Full storyÂ from the N & O.
Today we learned that UNC hired a New York public relations firm last August to help them deal with the football scandals.Â There are so many good quotesÂ to get to with the above-linkedÂ article — I will just roll them out without much commentary.Â
Hill & Knowlton is a communications firm with offices in 44 countries. One of its areas of expertise is in managing crisis situations. It “advises clients on how best to navigate serious or complex issues while keeping their reputations intact,” according to its website.
Hey, I have a question.Â If the PR firm was hired in August, why was Erskine sending emails to Holden telling Holden and Butch to express “a sense of outrage” on September 30th before a press conference?Â Isn’t that something the PR guys should haveÂ been doing?
The program’s second-in-command, top recruiter and associate head coach John Blake, resigned amid questions about receiving money from an agent.
“questions about receiving money from an agent”?Â The PR firm must have written thatÂ line.Â Â Â Aren’t there actual wire transfer records with dates and amounts and everything?Â But I digress.Â More quotes:
As the NCAA and the university investigated, tidbits of news trickled out all fall. They made headlines each time and often prompted questions the university could not answer.
You don’t say!Â I totally missed this whole story.Â I had no idea anything was going on.Â Just think how bad UNC would have looked if they hadn’t hired the PR firm!Â Next, Steve Kirshner, UNC’s director of athletic communications, weighs in with his expertÂ evaluation of the scandals:
“This was a big deal.”
No kidding!Â Actually maybe I can understand why they had to hire an outside PR firm.Â Â Let’s move on and see what Bowles was doing.Â Â WasÂ Bowles calling for an independentÂ investigation to expose/eliminate the root causes?Â Â Of course not!Â But he does think it’s a good idea toÂ hire an outsideÂ PR firm toÂ spin/hide factsÂ and minimize damage to UNC-CH’s precious public image.Â This is all you need to know about the whole thing.
Â Erskine Bowles, president of the UNC system, endorsed the hire.
“You need outside help when you get into something like this,” Bowles said. “You had a crisis. You want to make sure you’re able to run the university but you want to still manage the crisis. [Chancellor Holden Thorp] couldn’t spend full time on football. He has a multibillion dollar operation to manage and 30,000 kids he’s responsible for.”
So, according to Erskine,Â Holden is responsible for 30,000, but obviously Butch isn’t responsible for his ~100.Â And actually only a fraction of that 100 were/are NFL prospects.
UNC has asked the NCAA that Ramsay’s appeal be postposed.Â You can check out the story here.Â By the way, I am all for UNC continuing these appeals, which have got to be 1) annoying the NCAA and 2) delaying the whole process.