Jeremy Gerlach

All The Time In The World

SAN ANTONIO — Nate Britt needed more time, said Danny Green. Like a protective older brother, Green had hustled to beat the waves of media into Carolina’s season-ending locker room and was hunched with his arm around the freshman, almost shielding him entirely from the circling photographers. Just minutes earlier, Britt had called the “timeout that wasn’t” — a bizarre play you’ve no doubt seen dissected by analysts ranging from Steve Kerr to USA Today and Time Magazine. After Iowa State had taken the lead with about two seconds left, the clock had stopped and then started late. As...

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The Mysteries of March Madness

SAN ANTONIO — March is all about omens. With the consistently-inconsistent 2014 North Carolina Tar Heels, the basketball gods have been holding their cards close to the chest. After wins against top-ten teams like Duke, Louisville, Michigan State and Kentucky, coupled with inexplicable losses to UAB, Miami and Belmont, the Carolina faithful now take any sign – fortunate or ill-favored — they can get. But for those who knew where to look, Friday’s 79-77 win over Providence was pretty ominous. There was the city of San Antonio, home to the lingering specter of the 40-12 deficit to Kansas and...

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Ahead of the Curve

Though UNC-Chapel Hill’s athletic department released a new strategic plan for redefining the interaction between collegiate sports and academics Wednesday, several Carolina athletes have been ahead of their time in this regard. Tony Waldrop provides a particularly sterling example. A former NCAA and World Record holder for the indoor mile (a blistering 3:55), he competed, coached, earned a degree in political science at Carolina before completing his Masters and Ph.D. in physiology. He went on to serve as vice chancellor for research at the University of Illinois-Champaign before returning assuming the same post at UNC in 2001. He left UNC for his current position of provost at UCF in 2010. While I’ve seen his picture on countless trips to the Carolina Track and Field “Hall of Fame” room, those of you less familiar with his story will soon understand his relevance to the ongoing dialogue concerning the intersection of big-time, collegiate athletics and academics.   After a gold medal in the pan American games in 1975, you walked away from running in the 1976 Olympics to pursue a PHD. Which meant more to you, the PHD or world record? They are both separate things, from different parts of my life. I will say that the transformation from being an undergrad studying political science to completing my Masters and PhD [in Physiology] was a bit of a transition, but it...

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Life on the Road in the ACC

Until at least Fall 2013, the Atlantic Coast Conference won’t include any members from landlocked states. Before more variables are introduced, let’s rank the best (and the worst) of the ACC’s road venues. In full disclosure, I’ve only experienced these seven schools as a traveling student-athlete; this is an assessment of each town’s overall college environment, not necessarily just the basketball or football stadiums of each university. Furthermore, these are the only seven I’ve been to. (Apologies to the fine folks of Tallahassee, Atlanta, College Park and Winston Salem) Though I might not be able to give you any advice on road trips to any of the “Artists formerly known as the Big East”, I’ve got some pointers on how to have a good – and horrible – time up and down the coast. #7: NC STATE Town: Raleigh, NC Why visit? Before you jump all over me, pups, I’d like to preface this ranking with the disclaimer that I have high praise for many of Raleigh’s attractions, chief among them a certain Laser Tag/ Mini Golf attraction called “Adventure Landing.” State has top-notch athletic facilities in Carter Finley and PNC Arena, access to a Cookout, and plenty of parking. The problem isn’t what the town does or doesn’t have – the problem is where everything is. Why Not? To get anywhere at State, it seems you have to...

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"You're With Us"

Kirk Urso and my Carolina Family There is a small photo mural on the wall by the Olympic sports equipment room, hidden under Carmichael gymnasium down two flights of stairs. Footballers, track stars and jocks of all stripes pass it on the way to get our Nike-issued gear for the upcoming week. Fittingly, the mural has a representative from each UNC squad. We hear often about the notion of “family” at Carolina, but this picture is the clearest demonstration of what that means. We’re all caught up in cliques at some point in our careers, but the Carolina gathering transcends these minute divisions. Whether it’s that weird uncle (fencing) or that highly successful cousin (basketball) you are constantly measured against by your over-involved parents, all teams in this family care about you. Kirk Urso is on that mural. You may not recognize the face on the wall, but you might remember him as the star captain of the 2011 NCAA men’s soccer champions, or one of the countless athletes who’ve gone pro after their Carolina careers have concluded. You may have only heard of his passing from a genetic heart disease earlier this summer. I remember him as the first member of my Carolina family. In the fall of 2008, I was a runner from a small, 2A high school looking to walk-on to the Track & Field program...

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"Don't Mess This Up"

My one-day stint as a Carolina and Duke Football Recruit It’s no secret that UNC and Duke squabble over basketball recruits. From Michael Jordan to Jason Williams, each school has coveted its neighbor’s latest gem. But that’s old news. What about the other side of the equation? What about a prospect’s fight for the affectations of a revenue sport at either school? That I can tell you, because I’ve spent a day in the life of a football recruit for each program. Literally. One day. In the fall of 2006, John Bunting and Ted Roof’s football programs at UNC and Duke, respectively, entered their death throes. Bunting would be axed at the end of the year despite prevailing in a 45-44 classic over the Blue Devils, while Roof would follow suit soon after falling to Butch Davis’ Heels the next fall in Chapel Hill. Amidst this chaos, I quietly blipped onto a few area radars, and even more quietly bowed out. Asking an unpopular coach’s staff to recruit you is akin to playing in the band aboard the sinking Titanic; it’s a nice gesture that you’re interested in smoothing the transition, but no one’s really got time to hear you out. Especially if you’re a kicker in the Barth era. Specialists aren’t exactly a prized gem in a college scout’s recruiting board. We are allegedly entrusted with putting a...

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