English apologizes for single moms comment

August, 10, 2010
8/10/10
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Eastern Michigan coach Ron English got himself into a bit of trouble for comments he made about single moms at MAC media days. Those comments were the fodder for a column in the Detroit Free Press Sunday that ripped English, forcing the second-year coach to apologize Monday.

Here is what English said July 31 when asked about his incoming recruiting class: "You know what the real focus was? We wanted to recruit football players that love football. I felt like we had a lot of guys who really didn't love football. They maybe were playing football so that they could go to school or whatever, but not for the love of playing football.

"So when we went out, we wanted to do two things. We wanted players who love football, who have the physical ability to play football and then the other thing we wanted was guys that could be coached. We wanted guys that had a father in their background because if you don't, the hard part is, some guy like me coming in and corrects you. So you're working -- that's a whole another dynamic. A guy that's raised by his mom -- and please don't take me wrong -- but the reality is, you have to teach that guy how to be taught by a man. That's part of it."

In his Sunday Free Press column, Mick McCabe wrote, "English has insulted every single mother in Michigan, not to mention a ton of high school coaches. ...

"Don't take him wrong? How do we take him right? English was given ample opportunity to explain his seemingly moronic and sexist comments, but declined to return several phone messages."

English finally spoke Monday, telling AnnArbor.com that he made a mistake.

"Where I've been, in high-profile situations, you always have to be very careful about what you say. But I want to say I made a mistake."

English has his own unique background. His mom died when he was 18 months old, leaving him to be raised by his grandmother.

"I don't know how you could say that. It doesn't even make sense," English said. "I know with families with the way they are today, there are going to be divorces and there are going to be single parents.

"As a program, if we said, 'We're only recruiting players with two parents in the home, our recruiting pool would go from big to very small."

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