Monday, November 17, 2014

Now I Feel Terrible about those UNC Allegations

The Tar Heels have disappointed long-time UK-hater Billy Reed:

"I feel betrayed. Never in my wildest dreams could I envision the mother of all academic scandals happening at North Carolina. But the facts are as indisputable as they are mind-boggling."

But don't worry; Reed still took time to take shots at unnamed people who are obviously UK fans:

"Sadly, but predictably, some Carolina haters engaged in schadenfreude of the worst kind. Tired of what they perceived as a holier-than-thou attitude at UNC, they took great delight in Carolina's fall from grace. They demanded that titles be vacated, victories forfeited and monies returned." 

And I also like his list of "clean" programs.  Hmm, who's missing from this list?

"Whenever I'd get into an argument about cheating, I'd always cite North Carolina as Exhibit A of a highly successful program that did things the right way. My list also included Duke, Stanford, Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Louisville, Indiana, Michigan State and a few others. But North Carolina was the rock. Whenever a radio caller would insist that everybody cheats, North Carolina was my go-to program for proof that he (or she) was wrong."

Finally, for those of us who have spent almost 50 years hearing about the Texas Western game, this little touch about UNC's 1967 team is interesting:

"{T}he Tar Heels went on to earn Smith a berth in the 1967 Final Four in Louisville's Freedom Hall. I was assigned to cover the team's arrival at Standiford Field. When the players disembarked, waving small, Confederate flags, nobody thought it amounted to any more than regional pride. (Nevertheless, Dean didn't like it when I mentioned it years later.)"

Really?  NOBODY thought it amounted to any more than regional pride.  Not one person?  Four years after the March on Washington, one year after Texas Western beat UK, and one year before George Wallace ran for President on a third-party ticket -- no one thought there was any political or racial significance to kids from a Southern school waving Confederate flags?  That's surprising.

OK, so for 40 years one of the top sportswriters in Kentucky told people in Kentucky that UNC was literally the cleanest and most above-board program in the country -- confederate flags and all.  By contrast, he insisted that UK was not such a program -- and implicitly repeats that charge in his most recent column.  It turns out that he now thinks he was wrong about the Tar Heels -- but he still feel obliged to warn "Carolina haters" that they shouldn't be upset by "what they perceived" to be a holier-than-thou attitude at UNC.  Thanks, Billy.  I'll keep that advice in mind.


  1. I work with someone who grew up in Chapel Hill and is a UNC-CH grad. He and I, a few months ago before all of this came out fully, were talking and he was making fun of UK with Calipari and going on about how crooked he is, etc. Then almost immediately started talking about how he wished they had kept Butch Davis. When I pointed out to him that Davis had been in charge of the football team when they were caught cheating, he said oh Davis didn't know about any of that.

    Last time I saw him I said I had two words for him, "death penalty." He is pretty down about the situation and actually made a point that I have not seen anyone else discuss. When he was at UNC they were just starting up the African American Studies program and there was a lot of controversy over it. He's really sad to see that program at the heart of all of this as it seems to undermine all the hard work that was done to get the program created and setup at the University.

    I don't know what will happen with UNC. My guess is they will get a slap on the wrist as they have been so public about everything and they are after all UNC, but I honestly do think they deserve the most severe punishment you can give. SMU got the death penalty for allowing donors to throw cash around their players. This was an institution that was internally cheating for their players. Which is worse?

  2. Give UNC whatever you think they deserve, but just give IU double. I still think employing and encouraging Bobby Knight all those years was the absolute worst of all.