Art Chansky

Finding Local Creeps

This is a sports notebook only because the letter writer is Tod Morgan, the affable and hard-working athletic director and young men’s basketball coach at Chapel Hill High School.   It’s a cry out for help to find two creeps who stole Courtney Morgan’s wallet from her hand bag as she refilled her soft drink and attended to their 9-month old baby girl at a Southpoint Mall restaurant while out with several of her associates from the Carrboro-Chapel Hill School System. It is also meant to put a little pressure on the store that will not release the security camera photos of the alleged criminals, a man and woman, who shortly after the theft charged thousands of dollars of merchandise to the Morgans’ credit cards. The poor-quality pictures one of the stores did release are below. Crimes like this are always an outrage but receive little publicity because (thankfully) no one was assaulted or physically injured. But it hurts, nevertheless, when a visible member of the community is so wronged. Morgan is the best-possible advocate for all sports at CHHS, sending out daily emails about how all of the Tigers’ athletic teams are doing and following the progress of their athletes after they leave school. The same day he sent out this letter, Morgan also emailed out congratulations to two of his former basketball players for making the varsity squad at UNC, one of them the...

Read More

Analyze This: Duke Was Better

DURHAM – Carolina’s heart-pounding fourth-quarter loss to Duke Saturday night will be analyzed and picked over like an unsolved crime. Motives. Methods. Missing plays and players.   On a beautiful night in a stadium that has not seen so many people and so much passion in a long, long time, the Tar Heels could not or did not raise their level of play to match what they should have known was coming until the frenetic fourth quarter. And it’s probably something they have to learn by losing.   These are kids in pads, and most of the fans who filled Wallace Wade Stadium have been watching this rivalry since before all of the players were born. The Blue Devils certainly knew the frustration of their predecessors who had beaten their arch rival exactly once since 1989. But the Tar Heels either didn’t know how much they have dominated the series over the last 22 years or appreciate what that can do to amp any opponent.   And for the first time in a long time, Duke is a pretty good opponent. Great, in fact, for most of this night. And one that might be around for a while.   The Tar Heels got off to a fast start, what they’ve been trying to do for the last four weeks, and blew the singular chance to silence the crowd and take...

Read More

Those Cheating Ways

When the Tar Heels visit Duke Saturday night, they will be playing one of only 44 major colleges that have never been placed on NCAA probation in football. It used to be 45 before UNC got hit with the three years in 2011. Those who believe that college football is corrupt and teams have much better chances of winning if they cheat would be validated by looking at the list of schools that have finished No. 1 while either serving probation or committing violations that led to sanctions from the NCAA.   Southern Methodist can be called the worst cheaters in college football history in two ways. The Mustangs, who suffered the only so-called “death penalty” in the early 1980s, have been sanctioned seven times for a total of 17 seasons between 1957 and 2002. They had two great years long before their program was shut down, but never won a majority of the votes to be declared national champs in the polls (how they did it in those days). So SMuuu can be called bad cheaters.   Southern Cal, on the other hand, got far more from its cheating ways. The Trojans have served 6 separate probations for 15 seasons, but won two national championships (1972 and ’74) during a period when their violations occurred. Three times, USC investigations took so long that penalties weren’t handed down until...

Read More

Art's Angle: Little Big Man

Gio is Gio and a win is a win. Fortunately for the Tar Heels, those two things have to go hand in hand to pull out a beautifully ugly 18-14 victory over Miami for the first road W of the Larry Fedora era. Carolina did a lot of things right and a lot of things wrong, but only a team with moxie pulls one out when it was there for the losing. Nearly 500 yards of total offense and only 18 points is generally a formula for many mistakes. Take your pick. Two failed field goals and one interception in the red zone. A second straight game with 15 penalties, this one for more than 150 yards that included consecutive 12-men on the field flags. When it figured out you can only play with 11, the defense warped and bent but, thank goodness, did not break. Most of all thanks to the human bowling ball known as Giovani Bernard, who finished like he started on his way to 177 yards rushing, 36 receiving and 26 returning. The biggest mystery surrounding Bernard’s homecoming to Fort Lauderdale, where he starred for St. Thomas Aquinas High School, is how the hell he ever got out of Florida without signing with Miami, Florida, Florida State, Central Florida, South Florida, Florida International or Florida Atlantic? Well, you get the point. Rumor has it the bigger of...

Read More

Butch Davis' Job Interview

 Jeff Gravley’s softball interview with Butch Davis came off as just another smooth move by the former Carolina football coach. This time, at least, Davis looked and acted better than on the self-serving YouTube video he released with a pasty complexion, plastered hair and excuses galore. Davis is obviously back in the job market, and WRAL-TV was a perfect forum for him to once again take no responsibility for anything bad that happened at Carolina. Watch it on www.wralsportsfan.com. If you didn’t know better, you would think this guy was completely railroaded out of town. Davis talked about his current job with the Tampa Bay Bucs, turning down a coaching opportunity with the team to be a consultant. That, of course, allowed him to keep his entire $2.7 million severance from UNC, thanks to a loosely written contract that said he could not take another “coaching job” and be paid off. He counted himself among the “innocent victims” of the UNC scandal, even though Davis padded his already enormous bank account with the 10 million bucks he made at Carolina since 2007.  He said several times that he will coach again, hopefully leading a college or NFL program. His alma mater Arkansas will be hiring after this season, and Razorbacks’ Athletic Director Jeff Long will have to decide whether Davis passes the smell test to take over that scandal-ridden...

Read More

Of Kidneys And Kane

It’s safe to say Roy Williams’ annual preseason meeting with the media Thursday was the strangest of his 25-year head coaching career.   Obviously, the first question was about Williams’ health, and he revealed some details of the scary 24-day period when there was a “95 percent chance” he had  cancer in one or both kidneys.   And, after that was over, more than half of the Q&A with the assembled media was taken up by questions from News & Observer investigative reporter Dan Kane, who heads up coverage of the UNC academic scandal for the Raleigh paper.   Williams said he suffered from heartburn discomfort over the summer and, after his regular check-up and two X-rays, was told he had a mass in his right kidney that was likely cancerous. Surgery was scheduled for September 20, and Ol’ Roy went on a pe-arranged golf trip with his Foxhole Buddies.   “I’ve always said when I croak, I want to birdie the last hole I play and then keel over,” he joked, adding that he had a short birdie putt on the final hole of the trip and was torn over making it. He missed and admitted being relieved.   As we know now, the mass was benign, an oncocytoma that looks like a cancerous renal carcinoma in most x-rays and scans, and is not in only 3-7 percent...

Read More

Art's Angle: All White Is All Right

Hey, Coach, can we wear all white the next two weeks in Dade County and Durham?   White was sure right Saturday, as Carolina kicked old nemesis Virginia Tech around antiseptic Kenan Stadium for a signature win that pretty much showed us the full measure of Larry Fedora’s football program.   The less-than-capacity crowd made enough white noise so it seemed full, increasing the decibel as the slow-starting Tar Heels followed three straight three-and-outs and a Virginia Tech touchdown with Sean Tapley’s 94-yard kickoff return to the White House that tied the game. From there, all those Marooned in the northeast corner had little to cheer about.   Since it was the first such score given up by the vaunted Beamer Ball special teams since 1993, 237 games ago, they kind of knew there was more white lighting to come. Giovani Bernard lost three yards in the first quarter, then gained 265 over the last three to pass names like Voight, Means and Bryant as the 5th highest single-game rusher in UNC history.   Sure there was sloppy play and eight penalties in the first period alone by the amped-up Heels, who relinquished a 93-yard kickoff return and several long bombs of their own. But where the Hokies usually excel, on the ground, they were limited to 40 yards all sun-splashed afternoon. Go figure.   Carolina has now rung up...

Read More

A Coach's Choice

Duke’s Hall of Fame Coach Mike Krzyzewski is very likely one of only two people on the planet who knows what happened with his former player Lance Thomas during the 2009-10 season.  The other person is Thomas. Krzyzewski has to know because he asked and the former player had to tell his former coach the truth.     Coach K Faces Tough Choice?   On Dec. 21, 2009, after Duke had defeated Gonzaga at Madison Square Garden to run the Blue Devils’ record to 11-1, Thomas purchased $97,800 worth of jewelry from Rafaello & Co., in Manhattan. Rafaello & Co. promotes itself as a “deluxe” jeweler which also does business as A+A Diamonds, Ltd. Its website claims to have customers such as entertainer Jay Z.   According to a lawsuit filed by Rafaello & Co. in January, 2012, Thomas made a $30,000 down payment on five pieces of jewelry he carried out of the store and received a credit for $67,800. Thomas, who finished last season with the NBA’s New Orleans Hornets, never paid the balance until the suit was settled in 2012 and all terms were sealed.   The question remains and may never be answered because the NCAA does not have subpoena power and can only ask Duke to produce the facts that would determine if, by making such a purchase and getting such a large line of...

Read More

Art's Angle: From The Couch

Once it started raining heavily Saturday afternoon, my angle for the football game against Idaho was from my couch, clicker in hand, to watch Carolina’s record-breaking 66-0 win and a few other things tangential to the Tar Heels. Good choice because it turned out to be a great, as well as dry, day in that position. Carolina wiped the wet Kenan Stadium turf with the Vandals from Moscow (Idaho) as we figured would happen, but denying a touchdown for four more quarters (now 10 in a row) and setting a school record for most points (by one) in a game were welcome bonuses. Most everyone not only played well, but most everyone played, which means the 3-2 team will be well-rested for when the ACC season starts in earnest this week with Va. Tech coming to town. But it was also a great day because N.C. State lost in a most-embarrassing manner, with all-star cornerback David Amerson letting a Miami receiver slip behind him for the winning touchdown with merely seconds to play. That will have Wolfpack coach and ex-Marine TOB chewing glass. And Duke winning was also good, because the Blue Devils beat Wake Forest for the first time in 12 years, which puts Carolina back in the picture to win the mythical state championship and only title we can claim to win this season. Now if the...

Read More

Art's Angle: A Win For Losing

  A lot has happened since Carolina last won a football game before Saturday’s 27-6 victory over East Carolina.   UNC lost its chief fund-raiser, a former star quarterback who flew the coop with the mother of the school’s most decorated basketball player.   UNC lost a chancellor, who resigned effective at the end of the school year over the distractions his embattled office was causing.   And UNC hoped not to lose, even for a single practice, its beloved basketball coach, who had one of two tumors removed from his kidneys.   While all this was going on, UNC had lost its best football player with whom the Tar Heels would not have avoided all of the above but might have won two games and be standing 4-0 today instead of 2-2.   It’s been one helluva a fortnight.   All is certainly not right with the world after Carolina shook off its third straight sluggish start and put away the Purple Pirates from down east with its third straight shutout third quarter and improved second half performance.      But with Giovani Bernard back at tailback and Bryn Renner continuing to leapfrog other quarterbacks in the UNC record books, the Tar Heels are in a position to peel the winless Idaho potatoes this week and be ready for their “white out” effort against big, bad Virginia Tech...

Read More