Chansky’s Notebook: Let’s Not Forget

It’s been 20 years since the heartbreak in ‘Hooville.

With the Tar Heels going to Virginia on Saturday for a game they are favored to win, what better reminder of a having letdown than the infamous outcome 20 years ago in Scott Stadium, when Carolina had seemingly broken the long drought in Charlottesville? Or so we thought. Certainly, every UNC football fan over 30 remembers what happened.

The Heels have not won at UVA since 1981 despite having a better program over those 15 years. But this time they mounted a 17-3 lead late in the game when Brian Simmons picked off a pass and returned it to the shadow of the Virginia goal line. Game over, right? Another TD, or at least a field goal, puts it out of reach. Then All-ACC quarterback Chris Keldorf tried to rub it in by throwing the ball to the end zone. Either Keldorf missed his target or receiver Octavus Barnes turned the wrong way; that has been debated for two decades.

But Antwan Harris, from Raleigh, intercepted the pass and returned it almost 100 yards to awaken the Cavaliers and their fans, who to that point had imbibed themselves into a blither of disappointment. Still, Carolina led 17-10 and could have put the game away. But, uncharacteristically for a Mack Brown team, the Tar Heels fell apart. They could not move the ball, punted and allowed Virginia to tie the score. Ditto on the next possession, and the Wahoos completed the shocker by kicking a 32-yard field goal with 43 seconds remaining to pull off the 20-17 comeback.

Let the memory of that awful evening Charlottesville hang in the air Saturday so these Tar Heels, many of whom weren’t even born yet in 1996, get a lead a continue dominating the series as they have since the turn of the century. Let’s not forget that pain of 20 years ago. Let’s remember it, and shove it further into the past.

UNC Professor Studies Impact of Crude Oil on Ecuador Town

When most of us start our cars, turn on the lights in our house, or cook food, we don’t think about the impact thousands of miles away.

That’s what UNC Assistant Professor of Geography Gabriela Valdivia was thinking when she began her project: “Living with Oil in Ecuador.” She visited coastal oil town Esmereldas to learn about how oil can impact the daily life of everyone there.

She said at first the town didn’t look different from an American industrial city or town.

“It is a very modern world,” she said. “People drive cars, and they have dreams about their homes and improvements and wanting the best things for their kids, but all of that is colored by this very heavy-laid industrial space. “

And although you can’t necessarily see the effects from the Esmereldas oil refinery in the air, Valdivia said you can feel them and see them on your skin.

“You sense the refinery when your skin starts feeling itchy,” she said. “Or you have trouble breathing, when your children come home with skin rashes or things you cannot identify. When you have chronic respiratory diseases, and you have chronic inflammation as well.”

Valdivia also said although Esmereldas provides oil to other places, many of the people who live there experience frequent power outages, lack nighttime illumination, and lack the gas cylinders that most use to power their homes. And those who do have them use them infrequently because the deliveries aren’t on set schedules.

She said while these seem like minor inconveniences, they become major for residents of Esmereldas when many can no longer bathe, eat or take care of themselves.

“It’s how intractable it becomes but how it is present in all the everyday experiences,” she said. “From, like you said, watching your garbage not being collected, and wondering when that is going to happen, and who is going to do it and how that can happen in a space where you produce so much wealth for the country.”

Valdivia said the most important thing to take away from “Living With Oil in Ecuador” is that people really don’t think about where their energy comes from.

“We tend to forget how connected we are and how much is used around us,” she said. “Just to make those very simple mundane things happen for us.”

Valdivia is still working on the online project, and is studying demographic information from a team of researchers in Esmereldas. Her findings can be found here. She will also be speaking at the Fall Symposium on Climate Ethics in the Graham Student Union at UNC on October 28.

UNC Researchers Inducted Into National Academy Of Medicine

High honors for two UNC professors: Melina Kibbe and Aziz Sancar have just been elected to the National Academy of Medicine.

Kibbe and Sancar are two of only 70 inductees this year from across the country. Fewer than 2,000 members have been inducted since the Academy’s founding in 1970.

Melina Kibbe is chair of UNC’s Department of Surgery and editor-in-chief of the journal JAMA Surgery; a statement from UNC also describes her as “an advocate for gender equality in biomedical research.”

Read the full statement from UNC.

Aziz Sancar is a renowned professor of biochemistry and biophysics; his research on DNA repair also earned him the Nobel Prize for Chemistry last year.

Twenty-one other UNC professors have been inducted into the National Academy of Medicine – including UNC’s other Nobel laureate, Oliver Smithies.

Click here for a full list of UNC’s other inductees.

Spellings: Higher Education Is “A New Civil Right”

She’s already been on the job for more than seven months – but on Thursday, UNC held an inauguration ceremony for still-new system president Margaret Spellings.

Speaking at Memorial Hall, Spellings delivered an inaugural address that called North Carolinians to recognize higher education as “a new civil right.”

“Mass public education was an American invention, and it underpinned the American century,” she said. “It’s time to raise our expectations once again.

“Higher education is the next frontier – a new civil right.”

More on Spellings’ address at the UNC system website,

Spellings takes over as UNC system president at a critical moment in higher education. The cost of a college education is skyrocketing at a far higher rate than any other good or service – and that’s making college increasingly inaccessible to more people, at a time when a college degree has never been more essential.

The UNC system has long been recognized for its efforts to remain accessible; UNC-Chapel Hill in particular is often ranked as one of the best “value” universities in the nation. But Spellings said the challenge is growing, and the UNC system must do better.

“Our system too often fails those who come from rural, low-income, first-generation and minority families,” she said. “As long as we tolerate such divides in opportunity, the fundamental promise of higher education remains unfulfilled.”

Spellings pointed especially to income disparities, racial disparities, and geographic disparities – observing that a high school senior in one county might be twice as likely to attend college as a high school senior just one county over.

“We cannot allow a child’s future to be dependent on zip code,” she said.

And she concluded that eliminating persistent inequalities – “pernicious gaps in opportunity” – needs to be a central part of UNC’s mission.

Spellings did not offer any specific new policy proposals in her address – but she did conclude with an optimistic note. Eliminating inequality is a daunting challenge, she said – but UNC is up to the task.

“That’s never been done before – not here, not anywhere else,” she said. “But it’s plainly needed if our state, and our people, are going to thrive in the century ahead.”

Chansky’s Notebook: Limping And Smiling

Limping and bow-legged, Ol’ Roy is better.

Roy Williams made his first public appearance of the new basketball season this week at the annual UNC media day. Dressed in a sharp suit and engaging as ever, Williams later revealed his true self to a couple of sportswriters in the hallway outside the Smith Center training room.

Now in his coaching togs, Williams limped down the hallway smiling and said, “It’s so much better than last year . . . this four-month-old knee on this 66-year-old body.”

He was referring to his titanium knee that replaced the broken hinge that forced to him sit down during practice for the first time in his 40-plus year coaching career. He pulled down his brace and showed us the neat scar.

Williams had the knee replaced over the summer after he limped through the recruiting period and took his buddies on their annual golf trip that he struggled through with a handicap cart. Then he went under the knife and, while still limping, he is smiling more now than he has been for the last two years of pain. In another month, Williams will be walking smoothly and ready to coach his 14th Tar Heel team, one that will open the season in the top 10. Carolina lost two of its top eight players, but the best two – Marcus Paige and Brice Johnson. He has asked his returning guys to use the last-second loss to Villanova in the national championship game as fuel to improve and return to the Final Four in Phoenix next April Fool’s Day.

He will probably start three seniors and two juniors, rare for a ranked team in college hoops these days. By committee, they will have to replace Paige’s defense, leadership and clutch shooting, Johnson’s scoring and rebounding around the basket. Carolina will be weaker in the post unless Kennedy Meeks explodes and Isaiah Hicks stays out of foul trouble during their senior years. But Joel Berry and Justin Jackson should give the Heels two of the better perimeter players in the country.

For sure, they will have great motivation and coaching because Roy Williams is now 66 years old and four months, again a stand-up guy.

Ginyard: 7th Signing Date


Recent preseason tournament, “Tyskie Cup”Championship photo. I was named MVP


Signing my National Letter of Intent (NLI) to attend the University of North Carolina was one of the proudest moments of my life. From as early as I can remember, I spent the majority of my time running up and down the basketball court. Between the Boys and Girls Club, AAU and my school teams, I don’t think it was physically possible to play more basketball than I did. Luckily for me, I was able to find a passion for something that would allow me to experience a world not seen by many.

Signing an NLI is the biggest honor to date in collegiate athlete’s life. It’s a culmination of years of dreams, countless hours perfecting your craft, and most likely conquering a few obstacles along the way. Usually family members or loved ones are by your side, helping to guide you through the selection process, which can prove to be quite stressful. The decision is never as simple as it may seem for those who have never been directly involved.

What part of the country will I spend the next four years of my life? Which coaching staff will be responsible for shaping me on and off the court? How will I fit into the team? How does this school fit into my life goals from an academic standpoint? Will this school compete against other top schools in their respective conference? These are just a few questions that were important to me when I was making my decision.

It was an easy choice to play for Hall of Fame Coach (Roy) Williams. I had no doubt that the UNC Basketball staff would make me better on and off the court. Of course, the history and tradition of Carolina Basketball sells itself. The beauty of the campus and town of Chapel Hill captivated me. First class education, as well as top-level athletics across the board also drew me in. On every one of my 20+ visits (19 unofficial) to UNC (which may have set an NCAA record), I felt that I had found a slice of heaven. I was eager to join the Carolina family, which feels even stronger today than when I represented my university on the court.

Two months ago, 10 years after I signed my first letter of intent, I signed my 7th “letter” to continue my professional career with Energa Czarni Sluspk in the Polish Tauron Basketball Liga. Every summer I have a ‘signing day’ deciding where in the world I will pursue the opportunity to play basketball for a living.


The process hasn’t changed much, except now I pick between countries and at times even continents where to play. Without official and unofficial visits, deciding on location and coaching staffs can be a bit more difficult. You have to rely on your agent, as well as network of players and coaches in Europe to help guide you. Of course with professional contracts, your compensation (salary, housing, transportation, etc.) are also major factors in your decision-making process. Most countries have at least a first and second division that change every year, so keeping up with the most competitive countries is also part of your homework as a player. There are also multiple international competitions in which top European clubs participate.

At the end of the day, I think all athletes are in quite similar positions. Whether you’re talking about a high school senior who signed to play his college career at Carolina, or my signing to play in Poland, getting better every day, competing at a high level and playing for championships are part of the athlete’s mentality and will not change for me, even after my days on the hardwood are over.


Connect with Marcus:


Facebook:  Marcus Ginyard

Twitter:  @MG1NYARD

Instagram: @mg1nyard

UNC Names New Dean of School of Dentistry

Dr. Scott De Rossi has been selected by UNC to serve as the new dean of the School of Dentistry.

De Rossi was most recently the chair of the oral health and diagnostic sciences department at August University’s Dental College of Georgia.

“I am honored to be chosen to lead Carolina’s School of Dentistry,” De Rossi said. “The school has a rich history of distinctive strengths that position it to greatly influence academic dentistry and shape the next generation of oral health professionals. I look forward to working with students, faculty, staff and alumni in promoting the health of the people of North Carolina, the nation and the world through excellence in education, patient care, research and service.”

UNC executive vice chancellor and provost Jim Dean said De Rossi’s selection will further UNC’s global mission.

“Scott De Rossi is a leader in oral medicine and brings significant clinical and research expertise,” said Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost James W. Dean Jr. “Chancellor Folt and I are confident that his concern for faculty and student diversity and globalization will help our School of Dentistry achieve its vision to be a world leader in improving oral health through excellence in education, patient care, research, public service and engagement.”

Dr. Jane Weintraub announced last December that she would be stepping down as dean of the School of Dentistry after five years leading the school. Weintraub has returned to a researching and teaching at the university.

De Rossi’s appointment has been approved by the UNC Board of Trustees and is effective January 15, 2017.

Chansky’s Notebook: Coach For The Ages

Hail to Anson Dorrance, the 800-win man.

He’s has been so good for so long, and so self-effacing, that Anson Dorrance lives below the radar. He has not only built Carolina women’s soccer into a national powerhouse, he is the man most responsible for making the game a phenomenon for the female gender. And he continues to do it while the craze he created has seemingly brought the Carolina program back to the field.

No, the Tar Heels do not dominate like they once did when most every good girl soccer player in high school either signed with UNC or took a long look before going elsewhere. There is such parody in the ACC – heck, we lost to N.C. State this season – that schools once afterthoughts in the game have become powers. Florida State reached Carolina’s level first and most of the rest have followed to the point where the Tar Heels have a much harder time winning the conference and getting a high seed for the NCAA Tournament.

That is all Anson, who has the most wins in college soccer history. He was the USA women’s coach until he had to step down because he was gaining too much of a recruiting advantage at UNC, something USA Basketball should have done with Mike Krzyzewski after he coached our Olympic team once or at least twice. Yet, Dorrance and recruiting chief Chris Ducar still scout, recruit and sign the best players in the country. It’s not a slam dunk for every girl, as it used to be, but the Tar Heels remain the gold standard in women’s college soccer and have sent 33 players on to the Olympic team, the national teams, the professional leagues and the broadcast booth.

Dorrance won his 800th game last weekend by beating plucky Wake Forest, and together with 172 victories he notched as the UNC men’s coach in the 1970s is 28 wins away from a total of 1,000.  Anson won’t reach that plateau this season or next, but the ageless wonder will be around here long enough to do it.

You can bet on it. Great going, Coach.

UNC Announces Fundraising Challenge for Financial Aid

An anonymous donation is spurring fundraising efforts for need-based and merit-based scholarships at UNC.

Officials announced on Tuesday the university had accepted a $20 million “match challenge” to benefit both Carolina Covenant and Morehead-Cain Scholarships.

The challenge, known as the “Give for Good: Scholarship Challenge,” will allow UNC to continue meeting the university’s mission of being “truly need blind during the admission process.”

Chancellor Carol Folt said announcing this challenge on University Day – celebrating the opening of UNC – was an appropriate way to further the university’s cause.

“This is a wonderful way to mark Carolina’s 223rd birthday with an incredibly generous gift and the match challenge, which will help us raise additional funds for need- and merit-based scholarships,” Folt said in a statement issued by the university. “Carolina continues as a leader among public universities at meeting the full financial need of all undergraduate students who qualify for federal aid. We believe that all students should have the opportunity to go as far as their talents and hard work takes them. This initiative will help provide additional scholarship resources for our deserving students.”

The challenge is the next piece of a fundraising campaign that has set records for annual giving in each of the last two years.

“We are profoundly grateful for a gift that so deftly aligns with our core values, upholds UNC-Chapel Hill’s commitment to excellence, accessibility, and affordability, and at the same time issues a call to action to others in the Carolina community to help enrich the lives of deserving students and their families,” vice chancellor for university development David Routh said in a release.

The Morehead-Cain Foundation, which was founded in 1945, established the first merit-based scholarship program in the country and has benefitted more than 3,100 students over that time frame, according to UNC.

The Carolina Covenant scholarship program was launched in 2004 with hopes of providing students from low-income families to attend UNC and graduate debt free. The program serves many students who are the first in their families to go to college. More than 6,000 students have been a part of the program over its 12-year existence.

The match challenge runs through October 2017.

UNC AD Bubba Cunningham Receives Second 10 Percent Pay Bump of 2016

UNC athletics director Bubba Cunningham has received a pay bump after it appeared Cunningham was ready to move to the University of Florida in early September.

The News & Observer is citing a university record that was released on Friday in reporting Cunningham’s salary has been increased to $705,853 annually.

WCHL reported that the university was preparing a raise for Cunningham in the wake of the near move to Florida, which was reportedly offering Cunningham $1.4 million annually.

Cunningham’s new salary at UNC represents nearly a 10 percent bump from his previous salary of $642,268. This is the second 10 percent increase Cunningham has received in the 2016 calendar year. Cunningham’s salary has increased form $583,880 to the new $705,853 figure over the last 10 months.

Cunningham was one of nine administrators who received a raise at a January UNC Board of Trustees meeting. While eight other administrators received raises at that meeting, Cunningham’s was the largest percentage increase.

UNC Chancellor Carol Folt’s salary has jumped nearly 13 percent since October 2015. Folt was given a nearly 10 percent increase by the UNC System Board of Governors last fall before receiving a raise of more than three percent in July. Folt’s salary is now $596,448.