Chansky’s Notebook: Remembering Bruce Jenner

This is today’s Art Chansky’s Sports Notebook as heard on 97.9 WCHL. You can listen to previous Sports Notebooks here.

Say what you must about Caitlyn Jenner winning the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage Wednesday night on the ESPY’s. Heart-warming that this transgender has finally found her true inner self?  Freak show that cheapens those who have won the award for acts of courage toward others, like Dean Smith? Or just a big WHAT- EVER publicity stunt? Jesse Helms would have loved this girl-guy!

I prefer thinking about BRUCE Jenner, one of the most popular athletes in the country after winning the gold medal in the decathlon at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, where by the way, Smith led the U.S. men’s basketball team to its own gold medal. So, for the moment, let’s talk about her in the male gender.

Bruce Jenner was born in 1949, in Mount Kisco, New York. He had dyslexia and struggled in school at a young age, but excelled at sports such as water skiing, football, basketball and track. He accepted a football scholarship from Graceland College in Iowa, but after a knee injury took him out of that game, he concentrated on track and field. His college track coach, L.D. Weldon, convinced Jenner to train for the Olympic decathlon. Little did either know that Jenner would go on to become one of the most beloved athletes of the 1970s.

Jenner mastered the 10-sport decathlon, a grueling combination of track and field events where on Day One athletes compete in the 100 meters, long jump, shot put, high jump and 400 meters; on Day Two comes 110 meter hurdles, Discus throw, pole vault, javelin toss and the dramatic 1500 meters.

Weldon encouraged him to train for the 1972 Summer Games, and Jenner placed third in the Olympic trials to qualify and tenth in Munich, where by the way the U.S. men’s basketball team got screwed out of the gold medal. At Montreal four years later, Jenner scored 8,634 points to win the gold and set a new world record and become one of the famous athletes on the planet.

In subsequent years, Jenner appeared with his family on the reality show, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, and this year revealed in a Diane Sawyer interview that he is a transgender and identifies as a female. In June, Jenner announced on Twitter that she is a woman known as Caitlyn. The circus of publicity followed.

This may be her biggest battle, but I will always remember HIS golden moment.

Hairston’s ‘Rental Car Man’ Loaded with Local Athlete Ties

DURHAM– P. J. Hairston apparently is not the only local high-profile athlete who associated with the Durham man linked to multiple rental cars driven by Hairston himself.

According to WRALSportsFan, Haydn “Fats” Thomas, 39, deleted his Twitter account July 1. But the tweet trails left behind were ripe with arrests, drugs and relationships with big-time athletes.

These connections with athletes from UNC, Duke and other schools have opened the door for the NCAA to potentially investigate whether this man provided impermissible benefits.

An NCAA statement released Monday stated that it “cannot comment on potential investigations.”

Social Media Log:

-On July 26, 2012, a Twitter handle @fats315 posted a photo of former UNC player John Henson on a couch at a club. Henson was picked up by the Milwaukee Bucks just 28 days earlier in the NBA Draft.


-On Nov. 14, 2012, UNC player Leslie McDonald tweeted that “Fats” gave him a phone, which McDonald used.

Mirage 7.26. @BRINTCITYNC

@Lezz_McDonald2 since when.. I’ll wait..

Leslie McDonald @Lezz_McDonald2

@BRINTCITYNC you don’t remember Fats giving me that extra one last week….yeah all I did is restore it and activated it. #CHEA

6:48 PM – 14 Nov 2012


-A picture taken at Solas in downtown Raleigh dated August 1, 2012 was posted to A.C.T. Productions’ Facebook account and shows Thomas, Henson and McDonald at a “Penthouse Wednesdays” party.


-On January 14, former Ohio State and current Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor retweeted a tweet sent out from a club promoter in Miami that links him and former UNC wide receiver Greg Little, former Riverside High School and current Indianapolis Colts tight end Weslye Saunders with Thomas.

Justice | DTMG @JKDTMG

I had too much fun with @MikeJAllDay @Str8UpGlittle @TerrellePryor @Wes_Saunders88 & @Fats315 at rokbarmiami 

3:23 PM – 14 Jan 2013



-One tweet, dated March 24, 2012, tags Duke football player Desmond Scott, Thomas and two others. There is a complementary photo of three bottles of alcohol. Scott played for the Blue Devils last season as a senior.

Mirage 7.26. @BRINTCITYNC