Friday, September 3, 2010

A sad day to be a Tar Heel

This was the season that was supposed to change North Carolina football.

And that it has certainly done.

Instead of head coach Butch Davis and his team making all Tar Heels proud with a season worthy of an ACC championship and a BCS bowl berth, however, we’re seeing the polar opposite.

Without playing a game yet, the 2010 version of the Tar Heel football program has become an embarrassment to the University of North Carolina and what it stands for.

This NCAA investigation and all the accompanying collateral damage is the sort of thing that gets coaches fired. Davis may well not survive this mess.

The university is furiously trying to repair the damage as the probe into agent-related and academic issues continues. It announced Friday that it will withhold as many as 15 players from the Saturday-night season opener against LSU for violating school and/or NCAA rules.

Most of those players are on defense – including defensive end Robert Quinn, who may be the best player in the ACC -- but the list also includes the Tar Heels’ top three rushers from 2009.

What’s left? A hodgepodge of first- and second-teamers who should be as angry at their ineligible teammates as all Tar Heel fans must be. The UNC players who did nothing wrong are now being painted with the same scandalous brush. And they are the ones who will have to shoulder the criticism when things go wrong on the field, too, as they inevitably will.

It feels so sordid for a university that has long prided itself on NCAA cleanliness. The stain on North Carolina’s football program won’t be scrubbed clean all season (the only good news any Tar Heel fan really can take from any of this is that apparently the scandal won’t bleed into the men’s basketball program).

As for the fact that the Tar Heels have one of their highest-profile openers ever with this nationally-televised game Saturday at 8 against LSU?

The timing couldn’t be worse. The Tar Heels set this game up long ago. But it turns out they really needed to play Presbyterian for their opener this season, as Wake Forest did Thursday, and beat them by 40 at home without many people watching.

Instead, the ABC telecast will necessarily focus a good bit of time on the Tar Heels’ suspensions and their aftermath. North Carolina will likely take it on the chin both on the PR front and the scoreboard front.

Today is a sad day to be a Tar Heel. Tomorrow probably will be, too.

And that’s not the way the eve of a big-time opening day should feel.

Fans want to count down the hours before kickoff, not count up the number of players suspended hours before the game.

But the actions of the Tar Heel players – helped along by who knows how many adults who should have known better – have robbed fans of that privilege.

50 comments:

Wilsurto said...

There is an old saying "You Grow in the Valley". It's up to the football team to prove they are not a team of 15. It's easy for Fans to embrace their team through the good times, True Fans will also embrace them in troubled times too.

Anonymous said...

Scott, it feels sordid because it is sordid.

50 years (since the Dixie Classic scandal) of a sterling reputation flushed down the toilet.

We alums are first in shock, then damned pissed off about it.

Anonymous said...

The team sucked before this happened and they suck now!! You have to remember its Carolina football. Good luck against LSU!! LOL!!

J said...

This is probably mean, but I delight in this scandal.

I have had it up to my eyebrows with people who attended the school in Chapel Hill acting like going to school there makes them a higher life form than everyone else. Even worse is the people who never went there, but root for their sports teams, who share the same belief of being a higher life form than those that don't root for their sports teams.

Even before all this broke, I expected LSU to win the game. Now I'm expecting a butchering. It will reinforce the truth that nothing the ACC will ever do will ever get them to the level of football in the SEC.

tarhoosier said...

The timing could be much worse: before a bowl game; after a big BCS bowl win and then a give-back of hardware and money; revealed during a big basketball season streak and sucking money and ink from the remaining gem. This is actually a good time. The infected will not provide contagion during the season.

Anonymous said...

Amen J. When you carry such an elitist attitude through life, a little humbling is always waiting for you around the corner. UNC, consider yourself humbled. And embarrased. And humiliated.. etc, etc. I would suggest trying to learn some life lessons from this.

Anonymous said...

What a sad time for Carolina, the team and their fans. But some of the comments that are being left on this blog say a lot more about the commentors than Carolina or their team. Other fans have tremendous envy over Carolina basketball, so they look for any opportunity to put down Carolina and their fans. Don't know why it is so hard for people to understand putting down someone else truly does not make you look bigger or better, it makes you look pathetic. While Carolina is not my #1 team in the country I do pull for them in the ACC and I hope they get to the bottom of this situation and severely punish those involved and in the meantime I wish those young men not involved in the wrong doing the very best in their season and in their lives.

Anonymous said...

A TRUE FAN doesn't embrace them in this troubled time. A TRUE FAN demands that Davis and his regime be immediately fired. A TRUE FAN doesn't stand for this ridiculous situation caused by a coach who thought he was above it all. A TRUE FAN doesn't put their head in the sand and pretend being a TRUE FAN means supporting a disastrous situation.

I graduated from UNC. The only thing true about this is that it is a true mess.

Anonymous said...

They should have never mocked Bobby Bowden and his FSU trouble chilljuns should they? What goes around ...

Anonymous said...

Fowler, you quit crying just long enough to take a cheap shot a Wake Forest for playing Presbyterian -- the only reason it happened was because the original opponent Tulane bailed out at the last minute. Try doing some research and retire your UNC-CH beanie. You may one day grow up to be a professional journalist.

Anonymous said...

Exacly right J. No university, including Duke, Wake, UVA etc has more elitist alumni than UNC-CH. ABCers are not jealous at all, they just hate the egos that flow from UNC. We all have seen examples of it if you went to other universities in NC.
Welcome to reality UNC-CH, wallow in it.

Anonymous said...

Remember Scott, the sky is Carolina Blue
The sun'll come out Tomorrow
Bet the agent's dollar
That tomorrow
There'll be sun!
Just thinkin' about Tomorrow
Clears away the plagiarized papres,
And the sorrow 'Til there's none!
When I'm stuck in Chapel Hiif for a day
That's gay,
And lonely,
I just stick out my chin
And Grin,
And Say,
Oh
The sun'll come out
Tomorrow
So ya gotta hang on
'Til tomorrow
Come what may
Tomorrow!
Tomorrow!
I love ya Butch
Tomorrow!
You're always
A game away
Regards to the Ron Greene Boys

Scott said...

J you can't compare UNC football to LSU football and then leave it at SEC vs. ACC. True the SEC has done better but I think the ACC is deeper. UNC is one of the worst football programs in the ACC and LSU is at the top of the SEC so its like me saying the SEC sucks b/c Miss St. isn't nearly as good as Va Tech. UNC before probation was going to finish around 8-9 in the ACC, ESPN and others hyped them up to make this 1st game of the season seem big for tv ratings. ACC will be strong this year, expect Va Tech, Miami, Ga tech, Fl State, and Clemson to all be in the top 25 when all said and done and NC state to have a much improved year.

Anonymous said...

UNC: The most corrupt athletics department in the nation. The new UNC mantra is to seem, rather than to be. There is MUCH more to this. Can't wait to see how Santa Blake and Botch Davis react to the NCAA's findings.

Judy said...

the PRIMARY issue to most common sports fans, is that UNC-CH fans always act like "they are above it all" when they are not.

Carolina fans had this coming.

Anonymous said...

If you don't think this goes on at every school out there you are a complete ignoramus. It's is just a matter of it surfacing.

Anonymous said...

"50 years (since the Dixie Classic scandal) of a sterling reputation flushed down the toilet."

First off, that's such a load of crap it't not even funny. Go read Lawrence Taylor's book please and get back to me.

Second, I am not entirely sure this thing is over. Rumors, they are rampant, and you better hope they aren't true (every rumor up to now has been, so.....)

FireButchDavis@Twitter.com said...

Butch Davis Compromises the University's Academic Integrity

Scott:

In my view this started when 6 commitments to the February 2009 recruit class did not have the minimum NCAA academic requirements for admission to a D1 football program.

One of those 6 "non-quals" could not even gain admission to Hargrave, a football factory prep school.

Anonymous said...

I find it so funny that all of these people have come out of the woodworks. Apparently UNC is elitist, but the reality is that everyone who is making a deragatory post is JEALOUS. It is not a good look for you and it is honestly pathetic. I choose to worry about my team and my school, so you people should try the same. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having pride in your school. If you want to confuse that with being elitists, then go right ahead. Ultimately, I do not care what you have to say.

Anonymous said...

Just shut the football program down NOW! This NOT the Carolina way!

FireButchDavis@Twitter.com said...

Butch Davis Compromises the University's Academic Integrity - Part II

What's happened since?

(1) Mr. Davis' D-Line coach was found to have long-term ties to a sports agent. Are you telling me that he was unaware of this tie?

(2) Mr. Davis decides to not punish a player that was arrested for marijuana possession (most other coaches automatically suspend a player arrested for a felony).

(3) Mr. Davis appears to have not immediately questioned Mr. Austin for his Tweets re: his Miami trip. I would have been all over this immediately.

(4) Mr. Davis appears to have fostered an attitude that was pervasive amongst the team that academic fraud was ok as long as you were not caught.

(4) Mr. Davis has been a poor spokesman for the team and university during the investigation.

FireButchDavis@Twitter.com said...

Butch Davis Compromises the University's Academic Integrity - Part III

That said, Mr. Baddour and Mr. Thorp have done a poor job communicating to the public the series of events that many to believe that the outcome is much more widespread that today's perception.

Poor job all around.

FireButchDavis@Twitter.com said...

Butch Davis Compromises the University's Academic Integrity - Part IV

Follow the story on Twitter at "FireButchDavis"

It's time to clean house and that includes Butch Davis! We compromised our integrity and reputation when we hired him, and now we're paying the price.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Maryland fan and would love nothing better than to join everyone in stomping on the Tarheels. But the sad fact is that ALL big-time programs are corrupted to one degree or another. My beloved Terps basketball team, for example, graduates only 10% of its entering freshman class (from 99-02). What a pathetic pretense this is of the so-called "scholar-athlete." This is business, boyz, with a capital B.

Anonymous said...

For those who think the coach is responsible, tutoring, etc. is in NO WAY controlled by the coaches - it is a separate department for all sports. So while the agent thing is different, the tutoring mess no way reflects on the coaching staff or it would mean they were butting into areas they shouldn't.

Kingward said...

God is punishing them for jilting South Carolina. Now they will get to lose in front of a bigger audience. I love it.

Anonymous said...

Scott @ 3:07........shut up. You have no idea what you are talking about.

Anonymous said...

WAS IT A SAD DAY FOR THE OBSERVER??

POETIC JUSTICE

Tarheel Paul said...

You are all morons. The coach has nothing to do with the academic issues. The tutor was hired by the school. The school volunteered information that Alabama and South Carolina refused to give which resulted in their slap on the wrist and the UNC administration considering a death penalty.
Shame on Baddour and Thorp for being wimps. They did not support the students. They were too worried about their reputation which was already a joke. Shame on the University for not standing up for their athletes and coaches rather than throwing them under the bus.

Anonymous said...

Hey Scott

Today is a sad day to be a Tar Heel, but you know what day might be a worse day to be a Tar Heel?

Tomorrow...

Maybe

Lindsay said...

Scott,
Based on my experience as a two-time Carolina alum, I can categorically say that every day is a great day to be a Tar Heel. :)

Anonymous said...

this blog will never make it to print

I wish David Poole were on WFNZ now.

Anonymous said...

We live in ATL but still spent big bucks to buy two tix to see our Heels play. We both went to Carolina and were looking forward to seeing what a lot of people thought would be a dream season. Now that is down the drain because of a group stupid players thinking there were better than anyone ekes. I used to really admire Austin but he let his teammates and UNC fan down. Those players thought more of themselves than they did great university that was giving them a free ride to school. They should be ashamed.

Anonymous said...

Why all the hatin on marvin? he did the best he could and came back to ball with the tarheels for free. he was my roomie and he never took more than anyother nfl players did just enough to get by. marvin you da man and they will hate theirselves when you go pro and have the bling, cars and women next spring

Anonymous said...

Scott, how dare you? This is a minor speed bump on the UNC highway to Championships. Neither, rain, nor sleet nor work of the media can bring us down. ALL you ABC'ers keep wishing that you were us and stop trying to bring the Tarheel Nation down to your level

Anonymous said...

"A TRUE FAN" IS SUPPORTING THE PLAYERS WHO HAVE DONE NO WRONG. One sports writer said "UNC Probably now has one of the most eligible teams in football". GO HEELS Just because part of the team brought shame is no reason to disown those who have done no wrong. Embrace the team players that did it right, that what a TRUE FAN WOULD DO. It's easy for fans to jump ship now. The good players have made a commitment and we should support the ones who are playing Saturday enthusiastically

Anonymous said...

"Why all the hatin on marvin?"

Have you been living under a rock for the past 2 months?

Anonymous said...

I'd like to touch on a few fallacies here:

"After 50 years of being clean..."

Please. How can you POSSIBLY still maintain that delusion? You really think this is the 1st time anything liek this happened at UNC in half a century? True/False: If the NCAA was not on campus for Agentgate, the academic stuff never would have been found.

That is true, and insiders have admitted as much. It STILL would have occured, but you just wouldn't have known about it. If a tree falls in the woods and no ones there to hear it....

You guys DO NOT want to step in the Way-Back machine and scrutinize your program over the last few decades. You won't like what you find, trust me (see: Lawrence Taylor's book) You are absolutely 100% delusional if you think this is the one time you guys did anything like this. No, this is just the one time you guys got CAUGHT. BIG difference.

"The coach is not responsible for (blah blah blah)"

Spare me. And tell that to Jim Valvano who lost his job over a few players selling sneakers for buffett money (a FAR lesser crime than what's going on here).

You guys absolutely rode V out of town on a rail. What's good for the goose....

"This happens at EVERY university..."

Stop it. You guys have hung your hats on "this stuff doesn't happen at UNC" for the last 50 years. Horse! S#!t! You are no differnet than anyone else. Now you need to stop acting like it.

And, BTW, those 3 lines of reasoning are EXACTLY why everyone hates UNC and their fans. If you don't get that, than you're what I'm talking about...

Anonymous said...

We would rather in a million years be the "sad" #1 flagship of the UNC system and since 1789 the oldest public university in America as the UNC-CH Tarheels than one of those little green munchkin martian UNCC 49ers that this Scott Fouler apparently is.

btw the Heels have been playing football uninterrupted since 1889 and 2009 US News and World Report ranked UNC-CH as the 5th highest on the planet.

Put that in your corncob pipe and smoke it with that wacky backy down there. Whats sad is this article.

Tim said...

LOL at "anon" @ 8:18pm

Scott Fowler is a UNC grad

doooosh

prernatutors said...

hi i like the blog very much.

SCPOAB said...

Everyone who wants coach Davis fired should STFU and let the investigation run its course. The school originally hired this tutor and recommended her to Davis. That's not his fault. Until evidence is found that proves guilt beyond the players, get off his back. A TRUEFAN of the BABYBLUE doesn't knee jerk react. Other players need to step up and play. The NCAA (not UNC) cleared Sturdivant and Carter; sorry haters, but there isn't a cover-up. I really hope UNC pulls off an upset tomorrow night just so I can laugh at all of you.

Anonymous said...

UNC 7

LSU 59

Anonymous said...

Yes, but UNC will not pull off an upset, so you won't laugh at all of us morons after all. It's pathetic I'm posting this: comment threads just emphasize the problems with public education and with democracy itself.

The reason there are so many "haters" is that some UNC fans have behaved so judgmentally and superciliously toward others who have endured investigation. Not Tarheel Paul or scpoab. They're not supercilious.

Anonymous said...

anon 8:24am

A real live breathing NURD TURD. Scary as hell.

Anonymous said...

Ironically NCAA football is ten times more corrupt than the NFL. These violations are happening all across the country. Either change the system or stop acting so surprised and offended when these kind of violations are brought to light.

Anonymous said...

NCAA 10 times corrupt than NFL?

Wheres the proof?

Why 10? So 9 is out? 11?

Smells fishy.

Michael Bacon said...

Any UNC fans trying to shuffle this off with the "happens everywhere" excuse should be ashamed. Just because "everyone does it" is no reason to not be ashamed of it happening in Chapel Hill.

I don't blame Thorpe for not firing Davis right away. Look at the history of colleges with too quick a trigger finger. You don't end up with a cleaner program, you end up with a multi-million dollar wrongful termination lawsuit. Let the investigation run, and when it's done, roll the heads that need to roll.

And to all of the haters out there piling on UNC right now, I say, well, nothing. I laughed hard when Greg Newton got tossed from Duke for cheating on exams. I'd like to laugh at NC State's basketball program, but it's hard to be vicious to a program that has every reason to be in better shape than it is. So you know, enjoy the schadenfreude -- there's really not much to say at this point. UNC has a carton of eggs all over its face, and that's probably pretty freakin' funny to others.

The one source of pride I have left is that I have confidence that UNC won't pull a SoCal and try to sweep it all under the rug, or stonewall the investigation. If the administration fails in that regard, I'll be apoplectic. There's no question there's an infection there, and nothing but the strongest bleach will do.

Anonymous said...

"You don't end up with a cleaner program, you end up with a multi-million dollar wrongful termination lawsuit."

Wrong. Termination for NCAA violations is in his contract. Unless he wins 10-11 games and goes to a BCS game, I do not see Davis wearing Tarheel blue next year.

Anonymous said...

"the 2010 version of the Tar Heel football program has become an embarrassment to the University of North carolina and what it stands for."

Which is what? A lose-at-all-costs policy within the fball program?

" It feels so sordid for a university that has long prided itself on NCAA cleanliness."

It's sordid for a number of reasons. Not the least of which is that it's happened at a university that's long prided itself on promoting the holier-than-thou ILLUSION of NCAA cleanliness. This facade is known as "the carolina way."

"The stain on North carolina’s football program won’t be scrubbed clean all season (the only good news any Tar Heel fan really can take from any of this is that apparently the scandal won’t bleed into the men’s basketball program)."

Ah! Good news. Fball has always been a joke anyway and when push comes to shove it's all about bball anyway.Whew!

"North carolina will likely take it on the chin on the PR front"

It's about time. Nuthin' like the good ol' days when tptb at unx could just sweep all of this under the rug of Orange County "mediation",huh?

"Today is a sad day to be a Tar Heel. Tomorrow probably will be, too."

Boo-Hoo. Ya got the same empathy for the other outlaw schools?

"And that’s not the way the eve of a big-time opening day should feel."

It is if that "big time opening day" was made possible by a bunch of cheaters.

"Fans want to count down the hours before kickoff, not count up the number of players suspended hours before the game"

Then ACT like it and speak out when your school hires cheaters to coach your student/athletes and allows functional illiterates into your university.

"But the actions of the Tar Heel players – helped along by who knows how many adults who should have known better – have robbed fans of that privilege."

"VICTIMS!!!!" Which is it? Kids taken advantage of by predatory agents or well-intentioned coaches over-whelmed by the responsibilities of shadowing players in the internet age? Everybody cheated. Everybody knew they cheated. Those that didn't know,didn't wanna know making them no less culpable.