This T.W.O. Cents column is in response to “A Letter to Deems May.”
Dear Dr. Harmon:
You first make the argument that “Reasonable People” care about the University and not what Deems does or who he is. By making that argument that way, you assume that anyone that has a different point of view must not be reasonable. I assume that comes from the fact that you consider yourself a educated man and you are the brightest bulb in the room and anyone that thinks different from you must be un-reasonable. Your letter is filled with half truths which is typical when facts are not on your side of the argument.
As far as defending Davis, why is there any reason to do so? The NCAA has made no accusation as to any wrong doing and neither has Thorp or anybody at the University. In fact Thorp stated on numerous occasions that Davis did nothing wrong. The recent expansion of the football facilities was in direct result of Coach Davis and the excitement of the program. The expansion was decided prior to Thorp becoming the Chancellor. One would assume from your statement that Thorp was a huge part of the expansion which is not the case.
Unlike Davis, Thorp has actually committed a NCAA infraction. It is funny that Thorp oversaw the tutor program that produced Wiley and assuming you hold yourself to the same standard as you hold others namely Davis he should resign.
“If Butch Davis were fired solely to de-emphasize football, he would surely have legal recourse.” The university can, at anytime, make that decision and you can’t just go into court and require them to do so. There is a reason that the University decided to buy out his contract and, my opinion, is a fire stop to keep from revealing the issues relating to the academic side of UNC. A modern University has no method of finding out if the plagiarism that is found on college campuses nationwide is just one example.
The last of your letter to Deems was concerning the point shaving scandal and involved only players and not Frank McGuire who you maligned. Coach McGuire left because of the de-emphasizing basketball and not fired or found out to be part of any wrongdoing. He left on his own accord and went to coach in the NBA and college again later. There were the detractors to that policy from students and those in the community. Jesse Helms, at that time a commentator on WRAL-TV, asserted that the individuals involved, not commercialism and professionalism, had corrupted basketball, and “deficient educational policies” had contributed to the problem.
The same can be said of the same issues you are seeing today.