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Art Chansky

Re-Emphasizing Football

  Maybe his timing shocked people and maybe he did not do it with the polish of a senior statesman (inadvertently committing a minor NCAA violation, himself), but it astounds me how Holden Thorp has become the villain in the firing of Butch Davis, who as the facts continue to seep out was, at best, an arrogant, see-no-evil football coach and, at worst, presided over a crooked program.   Those who support “Fire Holden Thorp” websites and actually send in money to erect billboards and hire planes to fly over Kenan Stadium are somehow blind to the fact that UNC is facing major NCAA sanctions after its October 28 hearing that, perhaps, Thorp lessened with his last-minute move. Indications are that Davis did not pay much more than lip service to “take full and complete responsibility” to see this never happens again.   And I contend now and throughout the coming season that the 2011 Tar Heels under interim coach Everett Withers will be better off without the Davis distraction hovering over the team, especially if more bad news keeps emerging. Head coaches are overrated on game-day preparation and sideline significance, anyway. The coordinators prepare the game plan and call the plays, the position coaches get the kids ready, and on Saturday the head coach mostly listens through his head set and occasionally flails at the officials. His weekend job...

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A Way Out

You remember the classic Kevin Costner movie in which he seemingly had No Way Out of his pickle as a double secret agent?   Carolina avoided that dilemma in the first phase of a path to restore its reputation and integrity. It can also keep its football program on track as a contender in the Coastal Division of the ACC, which could always lead to a conference championship and ultimate BCS game.   With Dick Baddour’s announced resignation, Carolina can begin the search for a new athletic director whose first duty will be to hire the Tar Heels’ next permanent football coach. So the right plan is in place; let’s not screw it up by adhering to Churchill’s old adage “those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”   In other words, there are times when UNC might be able to promote a young star from within, but not this time, with such a big assignment on top of the in-basket.    Baddour has held the position for 14 years after being promoted from John Swofford’s senior associate in 1997, when Swofford became Commissioner of the ACC. Baddour, who had previously worked for the Dean of Students and the UNC law school, was basically a compliance guy whose job it was to know all the rules and make sure they were followed.   The late Chancellor,...

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Davis Should Go — Now

UNC can still begin moving beyond its regrettable football scandal of the last year, regardless of its final fate from the NCAA. Ohio State has conveniently provided Carolina with the model it should use in order to separate a scandalous past from a brighter future.   The Buckeyes, whose transgressions aren’t nearly as severe as those charged to the Tar Heels, immediately looked ahead by removing decorated head coach Jim Tressel after he bore responsibility for the violations by several of his players. The school installed assistant Luke Fickell as interim coach for the 2011 season.   The dirty laundry Ohio State still must deal with is off to the side and out of the public’s face, while its fans can focus on the new season without the controversy hanging over their heads on a daily basis. And perhaps Tressel’s firing and the Buckeyes vacating all of their 2010 wins, including the Sugar Bowl championship, may lessen their forthcoming NCAA penalties.   Carolina should do the same – immediately – before practice begins in August. Few objective observers truly believe that Butch Davis will survive the NCAA and academic allegations, for which he bears responsibility as the head coach and CEO of the football program but has yet to admit. Chancellor Holden Thorp, to this point a staunch supporter of Davis, told the Raleigh News and Observer that the...

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You Can Call Him Jones

A few things you may not know about the new radio Voice of the Tar Heels: His proper name is Monrovie Jones Angell, IV. That’s on par with Forest Orion Mixon, III, which is Mick’s official moniker, and a lot more eccentric than just Woody Lombardi Durham (the First). His dad is Monrovie, the Third, but goes by “Rovie” and is a retired Marine Corps officer who now works for the Marine Federal Credit Union in Jacksonville, N.C. Jones never knew his grandfather, Monrovie, Jr., who died when Jones’ father was a teenager. The original Monrovie? Jones hasn’t a clue and needs someone to build him a family tree. Jones’ mother is Elizabeth Makepeace Angell, who is a retired public a school teacher. Jones’ wife is Elizabeth Martin Angell, who was a public school teacher and is now a literacy specialist at Glenwood Elementary in Chapel Hill. Jones’ mother did not hand down any “EMA” embroidered towels to her new daughter-in-law. Young Elizabeth is actually three years older than Jones, lived five blocks away in Jacksonville and attended the same high school, but she wouldn’t give the pimply-faced freshman a second look when she was a pretty senior, Class of 1994. They both went on to UNC – as had Jones’ parents and his sister Molly – but never hung out together there, either, perhaps because Elizabeth was always...

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Carolinas Connections

A gala wedding party was thrown at Litchfield Plantation in South Carolina last weekend, and among other things it was a great example of why people who live in both Carolinas argue and joke over which is the REAL Carolina. Each state has so much to offer, no wonder so many people claim them both.   Because the bride is the daughter of former UNC basketball player and assistant coach Eddie Fogler, the Carolina mix was evident from the moment everyone arrived. Besides almost 200 friends from both states, many were people who live in North Carolina and summer in South Carolina.   Here are some of the uncanny connections.   Emma Lee Fogler was conceived in Chapel Hill, grew up in Wichita and Nashville (where her Dad coached) but for the last 18 years lived in Columbia, where Fogler finished his coaching career with eight years at South Carolina. Emma’s new husband is Boyd Jefferson (B.J.) Phillips, her high school sweetheart who went on to play football at NORTH Carolina.   Phillips, in fact, is the subject of a great UNC football trivia question. He played games in consecutive seasons in Kenan Stadium for DIFFERENT teams. After graduating from UNC in three years, Phillips got his Masters at The Citadel, where he played his last season of eligibility and returned to face the Tar Heels in 2009. (FYI,...

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You Da Boy!

Chapel Hill’s Ben Griffin is 5-foot-7 and 125 pounds soaking sweat from a summer afternoon on the golf course. He turned 15 last month and is a freshman at East Chapel Hill High.He is also the state high school 4A golf champion after winning on the second playoff hole at Pinehurst No. 6 last month. He beat a relative behemoth, a senior from Greenville Rose who is 3 inches and 40 pounds bigger and left the course in shock after the pipsqueak from Chapel Hill beat him by chipping in for a par on the 38th hole of the two-day...

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A Baseball School?

About 20 years ago, when Dean Smith had caught his second wind and was again dominating the ACC and college basketball toward the end of his coaching career, he was asked about his sport overshadowing all others at UNC. “A basketball school?” Smith mused. “We’re a women’s soccer school.” Smith was giving well-deserved props to one of his indirect protégés, Anson Dorrance, who by then had already won about 10 national championships, and when his women did not bring home the NCAA trophy it was tantamount to John Wooden not winning it all in his prime. Dorrance, as a UNC soccer player and then young coach, had become a student of the way Smith organized and tutored his team, using many of the measurements and methods that he observed as a privileged character allowed to attend Smith’s private classroom practices. Dorrance, of course, is still going strong, and Roy Williams, one of Smith’s successors to the Carolina Basketball Empire, has won two of his own national titles and will be a preseason favorite to bring home a third in 2012. But Smith’s legacy, Dorrance and Ol’ Roy all have to step aside this time of the year. Carolina is a baseball school. What Mike Fox has done with the once-sleepy version of the national pastime at UNC is no less amazing than what Smith and Dorrance have accomplished in...

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The Football Poll

Let’s have a poll, less formal and more detailed than you find on Chapelboro.com every day. You’re a UNC alumnus and/or fan. How do you feel about the Carolina football program being dragged through the NCAA mud for the last year or so? Does it make you mad that the governing body of college athletics is picking on the Tar Heels when the NCAA should be frying bigger fish like Ohio State and Auburn, like they skewered Southern Cal a few years ago? Is it embarrassing that your school has spent time on the wrong side of the news...

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The Tar Heels’ New “Voice”

How important is the radio broadcasting job at UNC – or any major college or pro sports team – these days? Certainly, every school and pro franchise needs a radio network so their fans can listen to the few games that aren’t on TV or if they can’t watch those that are on the tube. But the days of your favorite team’s broadcaster being your umbilical cord to the action are long gone because there are now so many options for staying connected. In these digital days, you can follow “live” play-by-play on your computer or mobile device, and those with enough “G’s” can watch the games on their 4-inch phone screens! When Woody Durham used to utter one of his pet predilections to Tar Heel fans during a close game – “Go where you go and do what you do” – my ex-mother in law would lock herself in the bathroom and yell through the door, “What’s happening?” Nowadays, people still leave the TV room during a tight finish and some old-timers rely on the radio because Woody’s words were more comforting than watching. And, of course, there is Dick Vitale, who has kept radio alive all by himself. But the advent of color and, now, high definition TV has cut steadily into radio audiences over the last 10 years, especially with broadcast deregulation that has allowed unlimited...

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Roy To Face KU's Self In Skins Game

Everyone knows that Roy Williams’ favorite off-season past time is golf, chasing that little white ball around his favorite courses all over the country and the world. Williams keeps a list of the top 100 golf courses in America and at last count ol’ Roy had played about 65 of them. While he is never a phone call or thought away from his basketball team and the latest recruiting target, Williams strategically schedules his golf games from April to October in basically three categories: regular matches with his closest cronies wherever and whenever they can tee it up; carefully planned trips for his so-called Foxhole Gang of long-time friends (sometimes they even bring their wives!) and a few of the hundreds of charity events he is invited to play in. In the last month, after completing his 2011 high school recruiting class and learning happily that Harrison Barnes, John Henson and Tyler Zeller will return for the 2012 season, Williams has been executing all three of his golfing missions. He will occasionally meet three of his local buddies early in the morning at the Chapel Hill Country Club and, riding carts quickly between shots, try to complete a competitive match in record time. His goal is to always be at his office three and a half hour after they tee off (which if you don’t play golf is considered...

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