Eugene Chung, a first-round NFL draft pick out of Virginia Tech, was in the news Thursday when he appeared in the USA Today sports front under the heading “NFL missed big opportunity with Chung.”
As recently as 2021, the Boston Globe had addressed the matter after Chung said that while interviewing for a coaching job, he was told by an NFL team that he “was not the right minority.”
Mike Freeman, a columnist with USA Today, most recently had written this month that the NFL either had not confirmed allegations made by Chung or had “swept it under the rug.”
Chung, who was an assistant coach for Kansas City and Philadelphia, currently is the athletic director at the Community School of Naples, Fla. He also has trained college players to prepare them for the NFL Scouting Combine.
“The incident became another symbol of how the NFL often, and historically, treats its coaches of color as second-class citizens,” Freeman wrote. “It also speaks volumes about the two entities involved in Chung and the NFL.”
Chung was the third Asian to play in the NFL and the second Korean-American to do so. He played eight seasons in the NFL for a total of 55 games, including 30 as a starter.
Chung played for New England, Jacksonville, Indianapolis, Kansas City and Philadelphia after his selection by the Patriots in the first round of the 1992 NFL Draft.
Two make Major League Baseball debuts
Two pitchers with roots in southern Virginia made their MLB debuts this week with impressive outings.
Nick Robertson, right handed reliever from Franklin County and James Madison University made his debut for the Los Angeles Dodgers Wednesday against the Cincinnati Reds, striking out 3 in 2 innings, one of which a three-pitch strikeout of MLB Pipeline’s Top Prospect, Elly De La Cruz, who made his major league debut the night prior. Robertson is the third pitcher from the Cardinal News coverage area to make his major league debut in the past year.
Andrew Abbott from Halifax County and Virginia made his debut for the Cincinnati Reds Monday, allowing no runs and one hit, across six frames while striking out six batters. “I see a young Tom Glavine,” said Al Leiter on MLB Network. According to OptaSTATS on Twitter, Abbott is the “only left hander in the modern era, to toss six shutout innings with six strikeouts and no more than one hit allowed in his MLB debut.”
Zack Kelly of the Boston Red Sox and Botetourt County is currently rehabbing from surgery. (See our previous story on Kelly.)
A decision by Charlotte University men’s basketball coach Ron Sanchez to return to Virginia’s staff comes after the Charlotte 49ers won the College Basketball Invitational to cap a 22-win season.
Sanchez had been on Tony Bennett’s first coaching staff at UVa. A 22-win season for Charlotte was the most in program history, although the 49ers were 72-78 overall under Sanchez. He had inherited a 6-23 team.
“Ron took over a proud but struggling program and carefully rebuilt it into a 22-game winner,” Charlotte director of athletics Mike Hill said.
Sanchez’s most recent Charlotte staff included Vic Sfera, who had been an assistant at Virginia on two different occasions. It was Sfera who helped UVa land 6-foot-10 Igor Milicic Jr., who subsequently showed up at Charlotte, where he started 22 games this past season.
Sanchez filled a position at UVa that was created when Kyle Getter resigned to take a position on the staff of new Notre Dame coach Micah Shrewsberry, who had been the head coach at Penn State.
The Notre Dame job came open when former head coach Mike Brey stepped down. Brey subsequently took a position on the coaching staff of Atlanta Hawks head coach Quin Snyder, who was a player for Duke when Brey was a Blue Devils assistant.
Brey was 483-280 in his Notre Dame career, including 13 NCAA appearances.
The highest-rated men’s basketball prospect in Virginia, according to rivals.com, is 6-7, 180 Isaiah Henderson from St. Paul VI in Fairfax. He is the No. 67 prospect in the country, according to Rivals.
His teammate, 6-5 shooting guard Darren Harris, is 68th.
UVa has a top 100 women’s recruit, Breonna Hurd, a 6-foot-1 forward from Waynesville, Mo., who is rated 82nd overall.
The No. 1-rated men’s lacrosse recruit for 2014 is attackman Ryan Duenkel from St. John’s in Washington, D.C. His father was on a UVa football Sugar Bowl team.
Virginia Tech already has baseball commitments from five 14-year-olds who are travel-ball teammates in Prince William County. They will be unable to sign letters-of-intent until November of their senior year in high school.