Texas softball coach issues second apology for giving umps the finger after being ejected from Big 12 Championship semifinal game

Texas head coach Mike White, right, argues with home plate umpire Bubba Ewald, left, in the first inning of an NCAA softball game against Oklahoma State in the Big 12 tournament Friday, May 13, 2022, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki) (Sue Ogrocki, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

University of Texas head softball coach Mike White has now issued two written apologies for his behavior during and after he was ejected from a Big 12 Championship semifinal game Friday. It was the hand gesture he flashed on his way off the field that caused the biggest stir.

White had been ejected after a confrontation with the officiating crew over calls in which White did not agree.

While leaving the field, White can be seen in a clip from the television broadcast, raising his left hand and lifting one single finger into the air before quickly walking off.

While social media lit up with varying opinions of his behavior, White himself has issued two written apologies online. In between his first and second statements, White received a public reprimand by the Big 12 Conference.

White’s first statement on Friday read:

“Today, I was ejected from the Big 12 Championship game versus Oklahoma State. I would like to apologize to everyone involved including the Big 12 Conference, Oklahoma State, my softball team and all Texas fans for my actions after being ejected.

Out of frustration I did something while leaving the field of play that I regret, and I hope that my apology will be accepted for my uncharacteristic indiscretion. I know that I have embarrassed the University of Texas, the Texas softball program and my athletic director Chris Del Conte, who have placed trust in me to lead this team in an honorable way. Today was certainly not the right way to conduct oneself during softball competition. I am an intense competitor by nature, and in the heat of the moment I made a rash decision which I truly regret.”

The Big 12 Conference reprimand reads:

In accordance with the Big 12 Conference Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct Policy, Commissioner Bob Bowlsby has issued a public reprimand of University of Texas head softball coach Mike White for his actions while exiting the field after his first inning ejection during today’s Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship semifinal game vs. Oklahoma State.

“Coach White’s action was a clear violation of Sportsmanship expectations, and we accept his public apology,” Bowlsby said

White’s second statement issued Saturday was directed in part toward the officiating crew:

“I fully accept responsibility for the reprimand the Big 12 Conference issued for my actions in our game against Oklahoma State yesterday. As I said after the game, they were unacceptable, regrettable, and reflected poorly on the Big 12 Conference, The University of Texas, my softball team, and me personally. In addition to that statement, I also want to publicly apologize to the umpiring crew, that was calling the game, and specifically umpire Naomi Urdahl. My actions were not in accordance with those of a Head Coach who has the responsibility to conduct himself in a professional manner at all times.”

Mike White was named head softball coach for Texas in 2018 after leading the University of Oregon’s program from 2010 to 2018. Between the two schools, he led his team to the NCAA Super Regionals every year they occurred. (There was no NCAA tournament in 2020, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.)

Texas lost Friday’s semifinal game 6 to 1. Oklahoma State advanced to play Oklahoma in the championship game Saturday.