BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) _ Montana State basketball coach Mick Durham apologized Friday for comments he made to The New York Times about American Indian athletes.
The Times published the remarks on the front page of its Sunday, June 17, edition as part of a story about the hurdles faced by Indian athletes trying to enter Division I college sports.
``It seems like the reservation is their comfort zone more than it would be for an inner-city kid,'' Durham was quoted as saying. ``To me, I just think they get the government check, and they stay. I don't know. I guess it's the way they're raised.''
Complaints to the school about the article prompted the apology from Durham and a letter to the editor of The New York Times from university president Geoff Gamble expressing the school's support of American Indian students.
``I apologize for the statements I made to a New York Times reporter recently regarding reservation life, and am deeply sorry for offending members of the Native American community,'' Durham said in a written statement.
``The discussion I had with that reporter revolved around illustrating stereotypes and perceptions that might be held by some, but not my beliefs. A very narrow portion of that conversation made it into print.''
Gamble, in his letter to the New York Times, said, ``I would like to make it clear that the comments do not reflect the attitudes nor the perceptions of myself or the administration at Montana State University, nor does it mirror the experience of American Indian students on this campus.''