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By Donnabeth Leffler

Adding up Lo$$es at UNC

By Donnabeth Leffler Posted August 16, 2011 at 4:54 pm

     In my previous post I confessed to little interest in sports. Just so I’m absolutely transparent on my lack of standing in this conversation: I graduated from a school with a terrific basketball program (not in NC) and I never got to a game.
     That caveat remains for those of you willing to wade into my take on this UNC football madness enveloping us. After listening and reading to all this talk of fans angry enough about the firing of Butch Davis to call for the ouster of Chancellor Holden Thorp, I had to ask, “Isn’t the tail wagging the dog here? Isn’t the Chancellor in charge of the WHOLE university and we’re talking about one part of it, right?”
     After the laughs of scorn and derision had subsided, someone took pity on me and explained that beyond the emotion of fan-dom, there is a knock-on effect that does affect the University’s coffers and therefore reaches well beyond the football field.
     Ok, I get that. And while it’s probably difficult to attach real numbers to it, I’m sure it’s real. 
     Know what else is real, UNC fans? A budget cut of nearly 20%. Bet there’s a knock-on effect from that too. Savvy Spenders like myself are wondering why there aren’t UNC fans screaming in equal number for punishing terms for the NC Legislature. 
     There’s more to it, you say. There’s timing, and official reports and who knew what when. I acknowledge my simplistic linkage of the two ripple effects takes none of that into consideration.
     Here is what I do know. I’m proud to live in a state with a top-notch university system and even more thrilled to live in the town that hosts the system’s crown jewel. I have met more smart people while living here than in all my other stops. That’s one of the reasons I’m so happy to be staying. Those smart people are likely here in some part because of UNC. Don’t even get me started on the wonderful, thoughtful, responsible babysitters we’ve employed. Those young people are proud representatives of a university that’s much more than a stadium. 
     I am nagging my out-of-state goddaughter to apply to UNC.  Aside from wondering if the school is a good fit, my only worry if she is admitted and does attend? Will the state budget cuts will lead to a lesser experience in her classroom?
Sports fans will say I don’t understand and maybe they/you are right. But why is no one screaming equally loudly about the lack of investment in our future being shown by the state legislature? Please explain to me by commenting below or writing to me at Donnabeth@Chapelboro.com.
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