Art Chansky

Are We There Yet? Part I

All season long Chapelboro.com’s “Hoop It Up” will be republishing select excerpts from Return To The Top on the 20th Anniversary of Dean Smith’s 2nd NCAA title season in 1993. Check back on Monday of each week for the next RTTT. By Travis Stephenson, UNC ‘93 The record will forever show Carolina won the NCAA championship on that magical night in New Orleans. But for 11 of us, the road to the national title started the night in Lexington, Kentucky, a year earlier when Ohio State bounced us out of the 1992 Mideast Regional. Some losses are more difficult to take than others. When you get soundly beaten by someone, like we did at Wake Forest early in the season, all you can say is, “Good game,” and go on to the next one. But when you could have won, should have won, were in control of the game – and then it slips away, you have to choke it down like a soggy piece of pizza. Ohio State was like that. I think some unspoken alliance was forged that night and it grew in the days that followed. We knew we had lots of talent and couldn’t accept losing like that. The media and fans were ragging on Coach Smith and the team. Then we had to watch Duke win another national championship. I don’t want to take...

Read More

A Season For The Books

All season long Chapelboro.com’s “Hoop It Up” will be republishing select excerpts from Return To The Top on the 20th Anniversary of Dean Smith’s 2nd NCAA title season in 1993. Check back on Monday of each week for the next RTTT. FOREWORD: We are excited to have had such an enjoyable year, one filled with so many memorable moments. Our players challenged themselves from the off-season on to be the best they could be, and they accomplished their ultimate goal. Only one team in the NCAA Tournament can finish the season with a victor, and I’m so happy for our seniors that they did it in their last chance. The coaches have a chance every year, but the players only have four shots at it. The balance of talent in college basketball today makes the odds overwhelming, so our players can take tremendous pride in what they achieved. Like all of our Carolina teams, this one played hard, played together and made the most of the big plays; we also had the good fortunate to avoid injuries to key players and had the bounce of the ball go our way on some occasions. I’ve always said you have to be both good and lucky, and we were. I do know we couldn’t have accomplished any of our goals without the seniors – George, Henrik, Matt, Scott and Travis.. They all...

Read More

The Skinny Boys

During the most critical stretch of UNC’s alphabet soup win over UNLV Saturday, the Tar Heels denied the Running Rebels three chances to take back the lead they had held only once briefly earlier in the second half. Thrice the Rebs had the ball down one point and, thrice, the Heels denied them the go-ahead basket before Marcus Paige widened the margin with a pair of free throws. At the time, Carolina was giving up about 25 pounds per man to the beefy ballers from Sin City. The “skinny boys” held forth until their star James Michael McAdoo recovered from a leg cramp that had the UNC medical staff pulling and stretching and kneading his right leg at the end of the bench. McAdoo’s return gave the good guys a little more girth but, in general, it was the heavies from Vegas versus the middleweights from Tobacco Road in pretty much a must-win situation for a team playing without its best player (according to Coach Roy Williams after the game). “People close to our program know that Reggie (Bullock) has been playing better than anyone on the team,” Williams said, coughing through a press conference during which ol’ Roy insisted he felt better than he sounded. Bullock sat out the game in a dark suit that looked funereal, considering the 20th-ranked Rebels came to town with a better team...

Read More

The Martin Report

Former Governor Martin’s report on his independent investigation into academic fraud at UNC is due Thursday, and my educated guess is that it will confirm what we already know and reveal little that we don’t. That’s the outcome UNC must have to finally put this scandal to rest and move on, and any new revelations would be even more damaging than the massive hit the university’s reputation has already taken. Any such new allegations would be a bombshell that could reverberate through the athletic department, past and present and future. Martin’s report is sure to say that, yes, there were too many independent study courses offered in the Department of Afro and African-American Studies and, yes, there were too many athletes clustered in some of those courses. We already know that and the university has pledged to fix the problem that apparently created a climate conducive to cheating. Fewer independent study courses will be offered and the students taking them will have to be fully qualified, which is the point of independent studies in the first place. Athletes liked them because they had no classes and helped balance the time burden of playing a varsity sport. And while we may suspect that more cheating occurred than has already been exposed, some of it claimed by former athletic support employee Mary Willingham, hard proof will have been difficult to find...

Read More

Jeff Lebo Then And Now

If the UNC administration had been smarter during the sorry summer of 2000, Jeff Lebo very well could have been sitting on the Carolina bench Saturday instead of coaching East Carolina. Of course, it eventually turned out fine when Roy Williams returned in 2003 after he had initially decided to stay at Kansas. Williams has won two national championships and made the Basketball Hall of Fame during his ten years back in Chapel Hill. But it did not happen until Carolina suffered through 2½ seasons born from the worst of several bad decisions made by then-Chancellor James Moeser and former athletic director Dick Baddour. When Williams shocked Tar Heel Nation by turning down the offer to succeed Bill Guthridge and the Dean Smith era, Baddour was left without a Plan B. It would be the second (or third) time that happened to Baddour, who once boasted he had so much confidence in his coaches that he never kept a list of possible replacements in case one of them left suddenly. Moeser had been appointed UNC’s new chancellor but had yet to move to Chapel Hill. After resigning from the same post at Nebraska, he was packing up in Lincoln when Baddour called to tell him Williams was staying at Kansas. “What are you going to do?” Moeser asked Baddour. “Coach Smith says that Larry Brown will come for at...

Read More

The Policy Wonk

If there is one thing we have learned about Bubba Cunningham in his first year as UNC’s athletic director, it’s that he is a policy wonk. He studies and evaluates situations, comes up with a plan (like his yet-to-be-released strategic plan for the athletic department) and then sticks to it like a man who knows exactly what he is doing. Of course, all plans can go awry, but the policies hatching them are based on long-term principles that are consistent when something pops up unexpectedly. Like Larry Fedora’s supposed dalliance with the Tennessee coaching job. While Cunningham’s statement Wednesday worries...

Read More

Abuzz About Basketball?

It’s not unusual for Chapel Hill to be abuzz this time of year over several local sports teams. It is, however, weird that Carolina Basketball is not one of them. UNC field hockey played for yet another national championship two weeks ago, losing to Princeton 3-2. The Tar Heel men’s soccer team is a solid favorite over 16-seed Indiana tonight on Fetzer Field at 6 p.m. (on WCHL) to reach the College Cup and try to defend its 2011 NCAA championship. The women’s team is already in the soccer Final Four, facing top-seed Stanford in San Diego later tonight...

Read More

Heels Good Bet, Sort Of

LAS VEGAS – Well, when in Vegas . . . where gambling is legal. After finishing our final Good Sports show on WCHL before the Maryland-Carolina game, I was intending to go to the hotel sports book and bet on the Tar Heels to cover the 24.5 point spread by which they were favored to beat the Terrapins. Only, I waited too long, watching the end of the Virginia-Virginia Tech game, which I had bet on the Hokies to win by more than their 10.5 spread. Now I have another reason to hate the Gobblers. They couldn’t score more than 17 points on a UVa defense that had been giving up 35 to 40 in recent weeks. Then, after watching UNC’s first half unfold, I was glad I did not get to the wager window on time. Despite Bryn Renner and Gio Bernard having their typical offensive days, the Tar Heels gave up long plays to a Maryland team quarterbacked by an ex-linebacker who looks like, well, a linebacker. No. 31 had the paunch of an LB and was hard to bring down when he ran; the stocky lefty also had a surprisingly good arm for Maryland’s fourth-string quarterback after all the others got hurt for the future Big Ten member. Maybe Maryland played Carolina so tough from the inspiration of its new destination. After all, the ACC has proven...

Read More

Huddle Up, As Season Ends

With the 2012 Carolina football season drawing to a close, this is the last week of Chapelboro’s Huddle Up With The Heels. It has been a pleasure to contribute to this diverse special sports section, which was invented to inform, entertain and educate UNC fans of all ages.   Appropriate for today, we are most thankful to have John Shoop, Carolina’s former offensive coordinator, contribute “The Shoop Scoop” every Thursday. His latest piece is a moving tribute to some of the youngsters he recruited and coached at UNC. Don’t miss this from-the-heart tribute from a good friend of WCHL and Chapelboro. When the Tar Heel coaching staff turned over, it was our gain that Shoop remained in the community with his family for a year to call the color on weekly high school football broadcasts and write his Huddle column. Thanks, Coach.   Freddie Kiger is one of Chapel Hill’s greatest ambassadors, and the former teacher and long-time media personality used his vast historical knowledge to post a unique Friday column that shared some jewels about the town and university just before game day. In his last piece this Friday, Kiger reflects on the 85th anniversary of the Dedication Game in Kenan Stadium. As with all of FK’s writings, this final post is filled with facts and whimsy about our history.   As we had in our Drive To...

Read More

You Left Us Defenseless

Carolina had no defense for what Georgia Tech did Saturday. The Tar Heels, in fact, gave up nine more points than their basketball brethren did in THAT season opener Friday night (a 76-59 win over Gardner Webb). In losing to the nearly-defenseless (themselves) Yellow Jackets, 68-50, Larry Fedora’s first UNC football team has much less to play for; it won’t have a losing record and could still finish 8-4, but that is no better than any of his predecessors have done over the last 15 seasons of football frustration. That elusive nine-win season will have to wait at least one more year, now that the probation-laden 6-4 Tar Heels have only two games left after having lost for the first time this fall in Kenan Stadium. They were trying to become the second UNC football team to ever go 7-0 at home. But a defense that had been keeping its collective finger in the dike the last two weeks while giving up 69 points to Tobacco Road rivals Duke and N.C. State fell apart while falling one-point short of relinquishing that number against a Wreck that Wrambled for 1,328 all-purpose yards, including so many uncontested long gainers that it often looked like Georgia Tech was playing dummy offense. The only consolation in giving up those 68 points was that it fell short of the school-record 69 that Carolina allowed Louisville...

Read More
Translate »