that’s all right, that’s okay

7/31/11

Before we move on to other topics (HA-HA!), I asked my buddy Anonymous Carolina Hero to do tonight’s blog, as he sums up the UNC coaching/administration fiasco about as well as such a thing can be summed up. ACH knows his shit as well as anyone, so I’ll let him say it:

****

A few days later here is my last (unsolicited) two cents:

The only thing wrong with this whole thing is the timing. Davis should have been fired last year. When it comes down to it, UNC’s reputation is what is at stake. Everyone keeps talking about “The Carolina Way” – which is really just the “Carolina Reputation for Doing Things the Right Way.”

So let’s say Butch stayed on and went 12-0 and won the NC this year. Outside of the UNC family/fans, what’s the reaction? “Of course, UNC won… they cheat.” How about if Butch went 7-4… the reaction? “Wow, you cheat and all you get is another average year?”

There was no way to scrub the stink of this off. That’s what Holden Thorp was saying about “chipping away” at the University’s reputation. Everyone keeps asking what changed that made the decision happen now. I think it was more info coming out about the McAdoo paper. When you throw academic fraud into the mix, then you’ve reached a tipping point.

We have nine (NINE) NCAA violations leveled against us. The NCAA could easily come down in Oct with probation, loss of scholarships and even forfeit some game. That’s bad for any school, but unthinkable for UNC. “The Carolina Way” really should have dismissed him last September.

Holden and others thanked Butch for everything he did for UNC. Some (ok, me) might challenge that. Thank him for what? For being paid handsomely to win 60% of his games? For recruiting knuckleheads like Austin and Little? For hiring a #1 assistant who had been apparently running for an agent for 20 years? For personally hiring a tutor who then wrote papers for players? For getting the $70m Kenan extension sold into the deal?

Once nine NCAA infractions came down there was no way out of this. We make fun of places like UK with Cal and all the football factories (Auburn, USC, etc.), but what are we really making fun of? Their reputation. People are saying UNC reacted too much to the Raleigh News & Observer or rival fans. But perception becomes reality. The timing was off, but the decision was sound. No way around that.

Trust me – I know how the real world works – especially in athletics. Hell, when I was an assistant [at a bigtime high school for hoops], I’m the one who basically told one of my kids to “do what you have to do” before he took his SAT… knowing it was either qualify for a D1 scholarship or wind up back in Kannapolis drinking a 40 on his front porch.

And I surprise myself around my feelings about UNC’s reputation (superiority?). But Butch resided over a program that could very well be put on probation (seriously, think about that). This happened on his watch. There was no way around it.

I’m now going to hitch up my plaid pants, hit the early bird special and be asleep by 8:00 tonight.

Curmudgeonly,

ACH

****

CharlieChooChooJustice48UNC.jpg

UNC legend Charlie “Choo-Choo” Justice confers with Coach Snavely during William & Mary game, 1948

0 thoughts on “that’s all right, that’s okay

  1. Mark Mays

    Oh god what elitist nonsense. Knuckleheads like Austin?
    If there was any actual, tangible damage to our rep, where does it show, outside of the wine and cheezer’s complaints to the BoT? And why should we really care? Are we so caught up in our Duke envy that we can’t handle this blip?
    Surely, an ACH would not give a shit if someone called us “cheaters” after a 12-0, national championship season. Especially if an ACH read the NOA.
    The student athletics academic support team is part of the college of arts and sciences. Davis got Wiley to help his kid, but she was already on the staff.
    Thorp just proved he’s not ready for his post.

    Reply
  2. kevin from NC

    Agree with Mark on Holden; he was not ready for this job especially with the (unknown at the time) state budget cuts and a huge legislative swing in the last election.
    The writer is correct, This should have happened right after the bowl game last year but didn’t. Some suspect that a few BOT members rolled off duty in late July and that swung the pendulum of support against the coach.
    As a non carolina fan, when this thing first broke last summer, my first thought was the coach will have to go and perhaps the AD as well… that it took this long is nothing short of amazing. The academic issues were known at that time but the extent was not public knowledge. I think the coach had in his employ the tutor that had been dismissed from UNC for improper benefits to student athletes to help with his son’s school work but she continued to help other athletes while in his employ. The whole thing stunk and the adults held their noses until the stench would not go away.
    I will be interesting to see if this is the end of the story publicly or if more revelations will come to light. I wonder if Holden can keep his job.

    Reply
  3. chm

    The Carolina Way: Is that “the thing UNC does instead of competitive graduate stipends”? Or is it the whole “being less obviously corrupt than other big sports schools as part of an overall institutional branding genius” thing? Either way, that’s quality stuff.
    I kid, Heels, I kid. But kevin from NC is right that the Trustee thing is what changed to make Butch’s firing possible, which ought to give the lie to the idea that Thorp operates with anything like a free hand on revenue sports. If you read my Friday post, you know I could go on at uncomfortable length about this. But I’ll just say that Carolina got a taste of the compromises in being a football school these last couple years and, to its enormous credit, decided it wanted to go back to being the place that allowed John Bunting to draw a paycheck for six (!) years.

    Reply
  4. AJay

    Davis was not responsible for the *academic* violations. If there’s going to be a threat to UNC’s academic reputation, those are the violations that would be most serious. Yet Davis (and all of athletics) are separated from being involved with the academic side of things.
    So we’re left with violations that mainly consist of two or three players taking improper benefits from agents. How exactly does that harm the university’s reputation except among those that just automatically assume that an athletic program with violations must indicate that a school cares more about sports than academics…nevermind that there’s no real basis for that assumption. Or is it the case that Duke’s academic reputation was harmed greatly when Greg Newton and Ricky Price were both found guilty of academic fraud? How about Coach K’s recent NCAA violation? Does that mean that Duke isn’t a good school?
    The only people that think this should reflect on a school’s academic reputation are those that simply think that…it’s begging the question.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.