Friday, March 23, 2012

Witt happy the focus is back on football

                                         Former Yale quarterback talks with NFL scouts
                                         following Thursday's pro day at Yale.

It would have been understandable if former Yale quarterback Patrick Witt was a little uneasy in the days leading up to the NFL combine.

It's tough enough to deal with pressure of working out in front of a who's who of the NFL but the combine is also a time when teams delve into every aspect of a prospect's past. So Witt couldn't help but wonder if a circus-type atmosphere would be awaiting him in Indianapolis considering the buzz created by a New York Times expose on Witt. The story asserted that his Rhodes Scholarship candidacy was suspended at the time he announced his decision to discontinue his pursuit of the Rhodes because he would not be able to attend his final interview with the Rhodes committee in Atlanta and play in the Yale/Harvard football game.

Witt has publicly denied the claims raised in the story but that didn't mean that the NFL representatives he met up with wouldn't focus their attention on the questions raised in the story and the off the field incident brought out in the story. So you can imagine Witt's relief when most of the NFL people rolled their eyes and moved onto the next issue when they got Witt's side of the story.

"You tell them exactly what happens, the truth comes out and they go 'that's it?'" Witt said on Thursday after Yale's pro day. "I go 'yeah.' They ask 'you didn't have a chance to defend yourself at all?' I said 'no.' It is hard to tell a story because people don't understand just how vulnerable you can be in this instance, little due process and actually no due process at all so once the truth comes out, it is not a concern for them. I look forward to the opportunity to go in and prove my character to whatever team takes me."

Witt was out in California working with a quarterback coach when the controversy surrounding Rhodes Scholarship began to take on a life of its own. While it doesn't appear to have hurt Witt or impacted his chances of being drafted next month, the same can not be said for his coach at Yale the last three years.

Tom Williams was listed as a Rhodes Scholarship candidate in his Yale bio and spoke on multiple occasions about how his background in the pursuit of the Rhodes would allow him to offer counsel to Witt if he wanted it. The New York Times raised questions about Williams' claims since the Rhodes database did not have any records of a Thomas Williams applying for a Rhodes Scholarship in the early 1990s which is when he would have been eligible to apply. Yale conducted an internal investigation and while Williams was approved by people at Stanford to pursue a Rhodes Scholarship, he never actually applied. In December Williams was forced to resign.

While Witt certainly is not to blame for what happened to Williams, I was curious what his take was on the aftermath of the Rhodes situation.

"I was removed from that out in California so I was getting all the information second hand just like everybody else," Witt said, "I was really happy to see that he landed on his feet at UTEP (coaching safeties). He was a great coach, that was never a question. I enjoyed playing for him, he was a players' coach and he'll straighten things out and get back on track to wherever he wants to go."

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone really expect Witt to be drafted? I thought he showed very occasional flashes but for the most part was an average and inconsistent quarterback. I greatly doubt he is tough enough, talented enough or athletic enough to make it at the next level. Word is he was also not popular with his Yale teammates, so I just don't see it. Perhaps Arena football or some other minor league career but even then, I'm not so sure.

5:12 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting that after that previous reader comment, not one Yale player came to Witt's defense.

Speaks volumes.

11:06 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that's because not one team member considers this venue credible in any way. For you people that think you know what's going on, including the author of this blog, Witt will be on an NFL roster, period. Keep believing the politically correct garbage you see on this silly blog and you'll never know what's going on with Yale football.

11:43 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A friend of mine was on the team and said that no one genuinely liked Witt. Not good if you're a QB.

5:53 PM 

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