The great debate of Summer 2011 was not just in our nation’s capital; Tar Heels are deeply divided over the firing of Butch Davis.
I will tell you right up front that I don’t have fan fever. I root for my home team and this one’s it, but you should know I don’t have that hunger to know where a ball goes (to my husband’s great disappointment). I was a Cal Ripken fan though admittedly more for his work ethic and blue eyes than for his sports prowess. I am all for having a winning team and we all need something to celebrate these days. I do understand student athletics builds teamwork, strong bodies, a competitive spirit and, for some, a path to a college education. That said, you should continue reading this knowing I am writing out of fervor for academics, not athletics.
“Wait,” you gasp, “I thought this was my trusty Savvy Spender column and would offer a respite from the football hue and cry.” Don’t worry, just stick with me here.
What I thought was all about football has taken a turn. Just prior to the change in football leadership, another story about UNC appeared here on Chapelboro.com: the $100 million budget cut. The effects of that may have been lost amid the athletic controversy but it’s clear that an almost 18% budget cut will have to be felt in the classroom, which is where every UNC student must go.
That was in the back of my mind when I read another story on Chapelboro.com, this one about big donors threatening to pull or reduce their memberships in the Rams Club. This could mean many thousands of dollars pulled from Carolina Athletics.
Further, some of those upset by the firing of Davis have decided to solicit money to buy billboards (and others to facilitate that solicitation) to condemn the decision and urge the dismissal of Chancellor Holden Thorp, the man charged with managing a world-class university during the loss of almost one-fifth of its budget.
Hmmm. All this talk of fundraising gives me an idea: How about all those who want to lessen their contribution to Carolina Athletics gives that same amount instead to Carolina Academics? There it will serve all students and is needed more than ever this year. Now that would be some savvy spending!
I’m fully aware that some of you will be sneering at this suggestion and, of course, even I know it’s awfully simplistic, as a successful athletic program does give returns to the broader university. But if you support UNC, are upset by recent events and want to vote with your wallet, vote FOR the school instead of against it.
Ok, rabid fans, tell me why this suggestion is insane, wrong-headed, perhaps even criminal by commenting below. Or write to me (politely, please) at Donnabeth@Chapelboro.com.