Inside Carolina is reporting that Ty Lawson, Wayne Ellington and Danny Green will all return to Chapel Hill for the 2008-2009 college basketball season, virtually guaranteeing that the Tarheels will hold the #1 preseason ranking as the heavy favorite to win the 2009 National Championship.
Lawson, Ellington and Green had become the targets of significant criticism brought about by UNC-CH fans, students and internet community members. The situation between Tarheel faithful and the players got so nasty that CBS Sportsline actually elevated the fans’ criticisms in a national article discussing the situation and criticizing the Tarheel faithful.
That article was written three weeks ago and we are yet to have seen or heard a single mention of it from UNC-CH Athletics Director, Dick Baddour or anyone else of note within the Carolina Athletics Department. Such behavior and media strategy couldn’t be any more opposite than the obsession and criticism that NC State’s administrators (Fowler, Purcell and Oblinger) have for the ubiquitous “internet” and all of the “bad fans” who evidently reside on the internet.
Dick Baddour understands the simplest of human common sense that NC State’s ‘leadership’ fails to grasp – if you don’t acknowledge this stuff then you don’t elevate it into the public consciousness and therefore you don’t validate the idiots who behave this way. There are tons of ‘crazies’ on the internet; but, just because someone happens to live in the year 2008 and uses the internet does not inherently make them crazy.
Lee Fowler has proven on multiple occassions that he would have immediately raced into public forums to draw even more attention to this type of topic; he most likely would have issued press releases and brought even more negative attention to NC State if the same situation would have happened in Raleigh as happened with Lawson, Ellington and Green. (Remember the reaction to the boos during the Clemson game in Carter-Finley a couple of years ago?)
But…Dick Baddour and the folks in the Carolina camp have a different way of dealing with adversity.
As evidenced by Baddour’s silence on the matter, Baddour didn’t go running to CBS to make a big deal about the article and only exacerbate the problem by bringing more attention to things.
* Baddour & the Carolina camp didn’t go whine and complain off the record to other media members about the crazy UNC fans and therefore he didn’t serve to taint the view of Carolina fans in the minds of others.
* Baddour & the Carolina camp didn’t go calling up newspaper reporters telling them that they were wrong with their stories like Fowler did with Herb Sendek in 2001.
* Baddour & the Carolina camp didn’t run around making a big deal of the story like Lee Fowler did when he called Mark May at ESPN and also dialed-into nationally broadcast football games two years ago to tell the world that Chuck Amato was not on the hot seat (only a couple of months before the Board of Trustees forced Amato out against the wishes of Fowler).
* Baddour & the Carolina camp didn’t fabricate stories about the risk of safety of the players and their families because of the basketball obsessed fans that reside in Carolina’s fanbase like Lee Fowler did in the Richmond newspaper in 2006.
* Baddour & the Carolina camp hasn’t waster their energy and created bad relations with anyone who lives in the real world in 2008 by publicly stating that “fan message boards on the internet” are the biggest challenge facing UNC-CH athletics like Lee Fowler stated in 2006. (Please tell me that you do not wonder why our Athletics Department is amongst the worst in the conference when our leadership is so disassociated with reality that they can’t find bigger challenges to conquer than fan message boards on the internet).
But…what does UNC-CH know about running an Athletics Department?! If those bozos in Chapel Hill who have built one of the top ten all-sports programs in the country had any clue how to run an Athletics Department wouldn’t they be looking to Lee Fowler to provide them guidance on how to react to this kind of stuff? If those bozos really knew what they were doing they would have made a big stink out of all of this and turned their players even more against their fans, thereby guaranteeing such an uncomfortable situation that their existing players would not want to return to school and future recruits would have much less interest in becoming a part of their program.
If only Dick Baddour knew how to deal with issues like Lee Fowler!
In related news, NC State’s JJ Hickson has surprised no one and has guaranteed that he will not be returning to school by signing with agent, Andy Miller of ASM Sports.
N.C. State’s J.J. Hickson said today he will sign a contract with sports agent Andy Miller of ASM Sports, who represents the Boston Celtics’ Kevin Garnett, among others.
Hickson, a 6-foot-9 forward, officially announced Sunday that he had hired an agent and would remain in the draft. That came more than a week after he told reporters in Phoenix that his intentions were to stay in the draft and not return for his sophomore season at State.
Hickson said he made the final decision within the past week
Parting shot — I just received an email from a friend of mine who is a lifelong Carolina fan that read as follows:
Just for the record, if what they are reporting is true, that Green, Ellington, and Lawson are returning to UNC, if they donâ€™t win it all next year, I might consider quiet watching UNC basketball forever. It is a bold statement, but w/ a lineup like that and the freshmen that are coming in, it would be embarrassing if they lose a single game.
What can I say about all of you unrealistic, over-demanding, impatient Wolfpack fans.
Post of the Day from Daniel33 on Pack Pride:
Unless UNC makes a few offseason upgrades to the Smith Center, I don’t think they can go all the way. Talented players are nice, but everyone knows to be really successful, you have to have top-notch facilities. UNC needs a few more luxury boxes to really compete on a high level.