Why are NC State Fans Neurotic (a la UNC Scandal)

I always think it’s interesting that people claim NC State fans are so neurotic when it comes to their rivals, UNC.  People like to claim, and some NC State fans have started to buy into it, that UNC doesn’t get any kind of special treatment.  Of course not, it’s all in our heads!  Luckily, recent events have given us a more solid metric to use to explain exactly why NC State fans are so convinced of the massive Carolina bias within the UNC School System and the state in general.

I wanted to compare a few items regarding the Carolina scandal with how NC State handled things back in 1989 and 1990.  I don’t want to belabor the same-old arguments and conversations, but in light of last Saturday’s events, some thoughts came to mind.

NC STATE, Jan 1989 – Oct 1990

The offenses were a non-issue… athletically speaking.  Regardless, NC State’s administration and BOT decided that this was a disgrace to the reputation of NC State to have players selling shoes and tickets.  The result was NC State shooting itself in the foot with a two-year probation and not allowing their team to participate in the 1990 post-season.  NC State acknowledged that they had done nothing wrong by virtue of the NCAA’s investigation, but that the players had acted unethically which required that they act to ensure their credibility as a respected institution continued.  Whether you viewed the self-inflicted wounds as an unecessary crime against Jimmy Valvano and NC State athletics or not, you at least have to acknowledge that NC State was doing what it felt it could, at the time, to correct the corruption within their ranks.

The university system, at large, formed the Poole Commission found that Valvano had “violated the spirit, not the letter of the law.”  In other words, Valvano didn’t actually do anything wrong, but he acted poorly.  The university system decided that Jimmy Valvano could not provided needed oversight over his program which resulted in Jimmy Valvano being asked to resign.  So in addition to what NC State did to themselves, the UNC School System decided it was necessary to get intimately involved with an issue that the NCAA had already ruled a non-issue and that NC State had already taken action to correct.

What’s even more shocking about this harsh punishment by the university at-large and the university system?  NC State actually invited the NCAA to investigate them in the name of being open and honest regarding allegations against their program.  In January of 1989, Athletic Director Jimmy Valvano and Chancellor Bruce Poulton sent a letter to the NCAA asking for the governing body to investigate the NC State program so they could be cleared.  In other words, at the first sight of anyone accusing NC State of being a corrupt program, Jimmy Valvano wanted everyone to know that they had nothing to hide so they invited investigaters to Raleigh voluntarily.  Despite being forth coming, NC State was still subjected to the multiple penalties handed down by the unversity in general and the UNC School System.

Let’s see how UNC is handling things and then compare the two.

UNC, Feb/Mar 2010 – Present

We have been reading for a year and a half about UNC’s handling of their multiple scandals (we are up to 40 or 50 prongs, right?).  Let’s review how this has unfolded…

  • Rumor breaks of investigation… UNC denies any rumors.
  • Evidence found that Austin (and others) took trips and were buy goods with money that wasn’t theirs… UNC has no comment on the matter.
  • Reports of investigators visiting UNC campus… UNC denies any formal investigation is occuring.
  • Reports of connections between John Blake and NFL agents surfaces… UNC denies any formal investigation is occuring, but later on fires Blake.
  • Reports that 9 players had papers written for them by Butch Davis’ nanny surfaces… UNC finally admits there is an investigation, but holds a press conference with both the Chancellor, AD, and Davis to show the university’s support of the coach.
  • Marvin Austin gets suspended indefinitely… UNC conveniently finds the proof that there are traffic violations and vehicles that Austin owned.  The fact that UNC only decided to release these papers AFTER he was suspended is… how long did they have these records BEFORE he was suspended?
  • FOIA requests required a court to order UNC to comply… UNC releases partial information (with redactions).
  • Money trail between Associate Head Coach and agents released to public… UNC begins the “rogue coach” defense.
  • Media begins to question UNC and ask for interviews (July 2011)… UNC refuses to be interviewed.
  • UNC fires Butch Davis, Baddour agrees to resign, Thorp lives… UNC still claims that Davis didn’t know anything and this is a problem with rogue players (even though such a scenario would mean there is no reason to fire their head coach).

That’s just the brief summary of things that occured and UNC’s response (and I left a TON of details out).  What have we NOT seen from the UNC investigation?

1)  What NEVER occurred was for UNC to step up in the early spring of 2010, when rumors first broke, and publicly state, “These are the accusations against us… PLEASE come investigate us and clean this up!”  (Recall, this is exactly what NC State did back in January of 1989 before an NCAA investigation had begun.)
2) What has NOT occurred is UNC acknowledge that something is going on. They have also never admitted that either they, or the university system, need to conduct their own internal investigation for the purpose of assessing potential further-reaching penalties against individuals within the university who may escape punishment from the NCAA. (Recall, both NC State AND the UNC School System investigated the NC State basketball program IN ADDITION to anything the NCAA did.)


What you have in NC State is a program that initially heard reports of wrong doing in their athletic program, responded immediately to clear it’s name, had a university adminsitration/BOT that felt strong enough about the unethical details of the case that they needed to punish themselves beyond what the NCAA found, and a UNC School System who was proactive and willing to investigate NC State, resulting in pressuring the program to “ask one of it’s best coaches to resign”.

Let’s contrast that with Carolina.

Carolina, according to the Notice of Allegations, had received reports of academic impropriety and willingly failed to check-up on these reports.  There is also the issue that Marvin Austin was publicly posting, via twitter, his trips and gifts he was receiving and no one said a word from within Carolina’s walls.  There’s difference #1 between NC State and Carolina: taking initiative to be honest with their fans, the public, and the acadmic institution, itself.

Carolina has also closed ranks throughout the investigation.  Looking forward, it makes you wonder if Carolina has any intentions of even considering further punishments above-and-beyond what the NCAA deals out.  The NOA already failed to mention the rumored “Loss of Institutional Control”, and many fans of Carolina and rivals alike are claiming that UNC will get off light.  If us mere mortals realize this, doesn’t the Carolina administration and BOT realize this as well?  I wouldn’t place any bets that Carolina will do any sort of self-investigation beyond what the NCAA gives them.  There’s difference #2: NC State self-evaluated their athletic program to evaluate if any additional sanctions needed to be placed on the basketball team while Carolina is doing anything it can to downplay the importance of any one individual allegation.

The final difference between NC State and UNC I wanted to bring up was how the UNC School System has acted throughout this whole ordeal.  There have been a couple of state officials speaking out, but for the most part we haven’t heard any plans for the UNC School System to support the creation of a state-appointed commission, similar to the Poole Commission, to investigate what Carolina did or didn’t do.  If NC State had to be responsible to the tax payers via public commission, so does Carolina.  There’s difference #3: NC State played by a set of rules that was founded under the auspice of being a responsible institution.  A commission was put in place to determine if anything additional to what the NCAA and NC State, internally, had found.  Does anyone seriously think that Carolina will be held to the same procedural standard?

Carolina is just “different” from NC State, athletically and administratively.  For years, NC State has had to operate under a system built to put them at a disadvantage.  Hell, from NC State’s beginnings they weren’t given any funding to hire faculty, and the relationship hasn’t sweetened much since then.  That’s one thing, but when it comes to things that are unethical (gifts, parties, etc) and even illegal (unpaid parking tickets, switching plates on vehicles, etc), NC State is held to a standard where even if they do everything they can to be an open book to the NCAA and even if that investigation yeilds no violations, we must still self-inflict wounds that cripple our athletic program and allow the UNC School System to conduct further investigations “just to make sure we’ve been punished enough”.  Show of hands: who feels like UNC is being held, and will be held, to the same standard.  Anyone?  Anyone!?

And THAT, my friends, is why NC State fans have every right in the world to be just a tad neurotic.


If you are interested in more history between UNC and NC State that explains why NC State fans have every reason to be pissed off at Carolina, you may want to check out my other article on UNC that explains the history in NC State’s founding and the resistance our beloved State College faced.

About NCStatePride

***ABOUT THE AUTHOR: NCStatePride has been writing for StateFansNation.com since 2010 and is a 2009 graduate of the College of Engineering.

ACC & Other Fans General UNC Scandal

54 Responses to Why are NC State Fans Neurotic (a la UNC Scandal)

  1. TopTenPack 09/08/2011 at 4:17 PM #

    Does anybody know?

    I once heard a story that Dean Smith was behind turning NC State in for a recruiting violation (David Thompson playing a pick up game) and that lead to the 1972-73 post season ban.

    Is this true?

  2. StateWoman 09/08/2011 at 4:32 PM #

    Does anyone else find this job posting for the new AD at UNC-CH to be hysterical? The first sentence of position summary is great. The entire posting is online if anyone wants to read it.

    Working Title/Rank: Director of Athletics
    Position Category: Athletics
    Recruitment ID: 2501733
    Position ID: 1001028
    Salary Range: Salary Dependent upon Qualifications
    FT/PT: Full Time
    Department: Ath Director of Athletics
    Application Deadline: Open until Filled
    Proposed Start Date: 10/01/2011

    Position Summary:
    The Director of Athletics reports directly to the Chancellor of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and oversees one of the most successful and respected Athletic programs in the country, which is committed to academic integrity and competitive excellence in men’s and women’s sports.

  3. 3boys 09/08/2011 at 4:33 PM #

    UNX has always been the teachers pet – no matter what they did or how they did it they always come out smelling like a rose. State on the other hand is like the red-headed stepchild who cannot do anything right. No matter how hard we try to do it right, usually not good enough for the teacher.

    However, in the long run it made us stonger that nothing was ever given to us . . . .

  4. Ismael 09/08/2011 at 4:41 PM #

    @ncstatepride, great writeup, and to think you didn’t even mention how the N&O dealt with all this. I used to have all that stuff saved, the old papers. I was a sophomore in HS at the time, and for a while there, every day there was not one of these little JP.Giglio, Tudor or Decock pieces where they kind of imply some things… you had to have lived thru it and read those articles. They were hammering articles, like V was the OBL of Triangle Sports. And that’s what’s so sickening and galling when you compare and contrast what happened now and what went on to what happened then and what went on. The day that V retired, i’ll never forget the FRONT PAGE of the N&O. Huge picture of a dejected looking V walking off the floor at Reynolds while the N&O was dancing on his grave.

    NCStatePride: One conspiracy at a time, my friend. One conspiracy at a time. I wanted to focus on Carolina’s corruption in this one. It’s not about them being treated “better”; it’s about the whole place being a den of cheats.

  5. ncsu1987 09/08/2011 at 5:02 PM #

    Fantastic writeup. I could feel my blood pressure going up the farther I read. Really puts things in perspective to have it laid out like this. I lived through the late 80’s debacle as a student and in grad school and, even after all this time, it still pissed me off if I think about it too much. I think that’s one advantage the younger fans have – they didn’t live through that crap, and they don’t have some of that old baggage. Thanks for this.

  6. mwcric 09/08/2011 at 5:14 PM #

    Before I get tar(heeled?) and feathered, please let me be clear in saying I totally agree with this article, and think it’s a great piece. With that being said, though, and while I agree that NCSU has indeed been shat upon often by the UNC system BOG, one does wonder how much of the late-80s hysteria centered around that dipshit hack Golenbock’s tabloid trash book. Don’t get me wrong, I still think the program would’ve been over-scrutinized, but the ridiculous allegations printed in that book made long-term national headlines and I’m sure played a major role in the investigative aftermath. It’s really tragicomic, because if you go back and read that book now it’s so clearly and obviously a pile of steaming shit and incredibly irresponsibly and lazily written. Had it been published in the Internet age it would’ve been ripped to shreds instantaneously.

    And Ismael, to me the worst thing the N&O did was crucify V, and then treat him like a saint when he came back to Raleigh years later with cancer, while never owning up to their hatchet job. That was beyond the pale.

  7. golf76 09/08/2011 at 5:58 PM #

    When you get right down to it, this is what “sticks in the craw” of all true NC State fans – especially grads. UNC violations today are orders of magnitude worse than NC State in ’89-’90 AND how NC State reacted then showed monumental integrity compared to the current UNC situation, YET somehow the powers determined that an independent investigation was needed then. Where is the independent investigation now?

    I was raised to believe that in America “all are created equal” and that “justice prevails” (some might say “provails”). The actions, and inactions, of UNC administration, BOT, BOG, et al, illustrates that today in “the old north state” some “elite” appear to be more equal than others.

    That is what really sucks about the UNC fiasco.

  8. Wufpacker 09/08/2011 at 6:04 PM #

    With regard to this particular issue, NC State fans are not neurotic, just acutely observant. And while I respect Pride’s desire to keep the discussion on point regarding corruption and not to get into the favoritism issue, for me the two go hand in hand.

    “Move along, there’s nothing to see here,” has been their defense all along. The favoritism in the press an elswhere is what allows this to (thus far) work rather effectively for them.

    It is the favoritism which fuels the spin machine, which in turn allows the corruption to go larely unnoticed but the public (comparatively speaking).

  9. runwiththepack 09/08/2011 at 6:06 PM #

    Wow! It’s even worse than I thought it was – then and now both. He with the gold makes the rules.

    Good work, Pride. NO. GREAT work. Write a book.

    Most readers are probably either too young to remember, didn’t live around here back then, or weren’t paying attn. back then. If you meet such folks who don’t understand why the rivalry is so bitter to NCSU, try to put them on this.

    Of course, it boiled my blood to pick up the Nuisance and Disturber seemingly every day several days in a row to see

    G-I-G-A-N-T-I-C headlines…

    day after day after day after day…. I have had to chuckle this past year to read the whiny complaints from heels fans about how the N&O was hurting their feelings with those puny headlines – often months after the fact.

    I probably don’t remember it as accurately as I think I do. And most of those involved at the N&O are different today. So, it would be very, very interesting to see old headlines again pertaining to the so-called “Valvano SCANDAL”.

    As I recall, the headlines rival the headlines that we saw regarding 9-11 and the days following. Can you yung-uns imagine?

    If I don’t see those headlines reprinted in the next few days, i pledge to try to find them and post them here.

    Actually, what I would really L-O-V-E to see is the real Ivy League schools deliver UNC a big SMACK-DOWN for their bullshit claim to “public ivy”. I can’t believe that the REAL Ivy League schools put up with UNC’s such claim to begin with, much less after all this crap.

    Where’s the outrage (in the academic world)??? Oh, i forgot – this is U-N-C!! (Shake my head in disbelief)

    NCStatePride: Ironically… I graduated in the class of 2009. I’m not an “old fan”. Regardless, just knowing the facts and doing the research into how unjustly NC State was treated is just amazing. Younger fans closer to my age should be just as furious as those older. One of the reason I wrote this was FOR the younger fans out there who may not “get it” since we didn’t live through it.

  10. Sakaspack 09/08/2011 at 6:18 PM #

    Most of this write up is true……State has been held to a higher standard than UNC. And, yes, State did invite the NCAA to investigate the “allegations” or “alleged improprities” chronicled in Golenbock’s piece of crap…….”Personal Fouls”

    But what a lot of you folks don’t remember or never knew was that, early on, the State Attorney General, Bill Friday (believe it or not), and several members of the BoG tried to give us some cover saying that State was a victim of a hatchet job, a book founded on lies and sensationalism, etc. etc. and that State was operating within the rules of the NCAA, the Univ. system and the ACC.

    The N&O however would not let it go…..Look it up……They vilified NC State, Jimmy V, Bruce P., Sheridan, even folks like Gary Dornburg who called them out for their unfairness…..it was an ugly, ugly, ugly. freaking deal orchestrated by the Daniels family, Claude Sitton, and their minions on the Sports and Editorial staffs (McCarthy, Tudor, blah, blah)

    These are the facts…..The University, the Trustees, the BoG, buckled under the nasty, constant, 2-year harressment by the N&O.

  11. runwiththepack 09/08/2011 at 6:33 PM #

    The Daniels. Where are their gravestones?

  12. 61Packer 09/08/2011 at 6:42 PM #

    The UNC fans who are in denial over all this are the ones who are neurotic.

  13. 87stategrad 09/08/2011 at 6:45 PM #

    I know of no other University that condemns its rival to Hell in a fight song. Loudly and enthusiastically.

  14. NCSU88 09/08/2011 at 6:55 PM #

    UNX investigation won’t happen. In the current fiscal environment it would be seen as an unnecessary expenditure of funds.

  15. packhammer 09/08/2011 at 7:38 PM #

    Super write up. Its amazing that such even has to be written. All of this is so painfully obvious to anyone that lived through the time. I know in my heart that Sam Poole, die hard UNC Grad and fan, nailed us because he could. Independent my behind. Read Valvano’s book. That said I think this is the time to move forward. Get strong people. Give some more to the Wolfpack Club. Show up at an NC State event. Go to a game and get loud. Walk with pride. F them.

  16. Wolfy__79 09/08/2011 at 7:44 PM #

    ^+1,f them

    some of unc’s alum are okay but the bulk of their “fan base” can suck it!

  17. golf76 09/08/2011 at 7:50 PM #


    “UNX investigation won’t happen. In the current fiscal environment it would be seen as an unnecessary expenditure.” -NCSU88

    I would submit that without an independent investigation our entire university system is “all hat and no cattle.” We can’t afford to not have an independent investigation.

  18. Ashman87 09/08/2011 at 7:55 PM #

    Hey 87stategrad, I think Duke also does it (and with a little more gusto as well).

  19. Ashman87 09/08/2011 at 7:57 PM #

    But, I do agree that our NON ISSUES ruined NCSU for at least ten years while I’m not sure that UNC’s REAL ISSUES will ruin UNC for at least five years.

  20. runwiththepack 09/08/2011 at 8:18 PM #


    I fear you are right on. He with the gold makes the rules. The Chapel Hill crowd has done a domestic “carpetbaggers” job on NC. They have done a superb sales job on NC, while bleeding the state for the glory of their privileged ruling clique. It’s amazing how common folks, (i.e unc Walmart Fans), pay for UNC to treat the whole state like their country club and lick their boots.

  21. wufpup76 09/08/2011 at 8:21 PM #

    But really … How is this affecting recruiting?

    “UNX investigation won’t happen. In the current fiscal environment it would be seen as an unnecessary expenditure.”

    ^Maybe, but how much taxpayer money has unx already wasted on their cover-ups? This part has not gotten nearly enough play in media or on the web-i-sphere.

  22. BloggerEsquire 09/08/2011 at 8:31 PM #

    @87stategrad, I don’t even really keep up with this, but an Ohio State fight song declares that “they don’t give a damn for the whole state of Michigan.”

    As for UCLA/USC, I hear USC students drag Bruin dolls through the dirt around campus.

    But finally, Wikipedia tells me the official lyrics to NC State’s fight song actually say “Come over the hill, Caroline.”

    All in good fun.

  23. 87stategrad 09/08/2011 at 9:18 PM #

    I remember when my kids were young, I told them that everyone was actually saying “Come over the hill, Caroline”. They didn’t believe me, and were sending the Tarholes to hell by the time they were 6.

  24. concordwolf 09/08/2011 at 9:19 PM #

    This is a link to a 1993 SI story about Jim Valvano. It mentions the role of the News & Observer in pushing the investigation. The article also talks about the link between individuals experiencing trauma and cancer. A Google search reveals that research has found a very probable link between trauma, a weakened immune system, and cancer. The Daniels family, et al. sought to destroy NC State and Jim Valvano. They had a hand in his death, and should never be allowed to forget it.


  25. logarithm 09/08/2011 at 9:45 PM #

    This is an outstanding write-up. I always have to explain this and the longer history of institutional discrimination State has endured and I always struggle not to sound like I’m whining when I’m stating facts to self-important Holes. I forget, is there another write-up on SFN that talks about the resistance to State even being founded as an institution? The UNC-lead resistance in the years after the Civil War to even found another State college? And their continued elitism in the years that followed?

    NCStatePride: Funny you mention that… I’m proud to say I wrote that one, too. Told you I hate Carolina. The article can be found HERE.

    Also, I’m 24 and I didn’t know another student in my time who knew a thing about the ’89-’90 debacle. And none of my vintage of Tarholes know that State has ever been anything but the redheaded stepchild. Time has not healed these wounds. Time has brought about a whole new generation of elitists for them and pessimists for us.

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