Your August 01 letter published by InsideCarolina.com could not have been further from the intended mark. The subject should have been the University of North Carolina, but it was Deems May.
Your letter included the pronouns “I” 37 times, “my” 11 times and “me” 7 times, for a total of 55 self-references to you. You present your credentials by letting us know you are a member of the Rams Club, played football at the University, participate in Tar Heel Sports Radio, submit a weekly column to InsideCarolina and received 25 media requests to respond. The only credential you need to expose in a letter such as yours is that you are a 1991 graduate of the University. Reasonable people who care about the University care not a whit whether you honor your pledge to the Rams Club, participate in Tar Heel Sports Radio or write a weekly column for InsideCarolina.
You offer no defense of Butch Davis other than he is your good friend, but you trash William Friday and Holden Thorp. You refer to the de-emphasis of football by the above two individuals 7 times. In one instance you refer to “total de-emphasis.” Whatever could you mean by that in the face of the recent expansion of the football facilities?
One would infer from your letter that Butch Davis was fired simply to de-emphasize football at the University. This is a far-fetched assumption, since documented information about recent academic fraud involving the football program is widespread. If Butch Davis were fired solely to de-emphasize football, he would surely have legal recourse.
In view of the information available to the public, there is no indication that the University is de-emphasizing football, but if it takes de-emphasis to clean up the program, then so be it. In 1961, the University purposely and without apology de-emphasized basketball because of improprieties committed by its coach and a few players. Dean Smith was hired by the school’s chancellor, William B. Aycock, who charged the new coach with running a clean program. The right thing was done then and many people who love the University think the right thing is being done now. If you want to hold sway with these people, please focus on our real problems and offer solutions.
Joseph M. Harmon, MD
UNC 1966 and 1970