Virginia Tech coach Mike Young apologizes for Jehovah Witnesses comment

‘We’re playing the Gators, man, we’re playing the Gators’

Virginia Tech head coach Mike Young celebrates with his team after a score during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Wake Forest, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021, in Blacksburg, Va. (Matt Gentry/The Roanoke Times via AP, Pool) (Matt Gentry, POOL PHOTO)

Days before the biggest game of his Virginia Tech career, Virginia Tech basketball coach Mike Young is apologizing for a comment he made during media availability.

During a Tuesday morning conference call, when asked if he looks ahead at possible future opponents in the NCAA Tournament or just focuses on one team at a time, Young responded:

“We’re not playing the Jehovah’s Witness all-star team here. We’re playing the Gators, man, we’re playing the Gators. I do know who our next opponent would be if we were lucky enough to win, but there’s not a chance in hell you start thinking about anything, nothing -- I will not clip about anything but Coach White’s Gator team, and that’s the same for my team. This is it. This is one game and if you play poorly or get out played, I’m going to be walking out the hall after talking to you guys via Zoom, and there’s going to be an NCAA Representative telling me, ‘you’re plane leaves in 45 minutes. Good luck to you. GO get your stuff packed and get out of here.’ It may not be that tough, but let’s play well and play a good ball game. Let’s see what happens.”

Mike Young

Hours after that, Young issued the following apology.

“Earlier today on the NCAA Tournament conference call, I attempted to show my respect for our upcoming opponent, the University of Florida. Regrettably, I didn’t articulate that sentiment in an appropriate manner. I apologize for my insensitive remark and am sincerely sorry for anyone I may have offended.”

Mike Young

Virginia Tech, a 10-seed, is scheduled to play 7-seed Florida on Friday at 12:15 p.m in the first round. You can watch the game on CBS.