My buddy texted me yesterday that he’s thankful for Twitter.
Without Twitter, the rampant, chronic academic fraud and outright cheating over at The Flagship may still be rolling on, unexposed.
Now, let’s have a little fun speculating.
There’s a working theory we’ve formed over time: when NC State “broke the spirit, not the letter” of the law in the 1980s, it essentially altered the template The Flagship would need to use going forward.
Consider the scenario: During the 1980s, Carolina had two ACC titles (1981, 1982), was national runner-up in 1981, won the national title in 1982 and had three ACC titles (1981, 1982, 1989). But by 1989, Carolina basketball had two main threats.
One was Duke basketball, which during the 1980s had won three ACC titles (1980, 1986, 1988), been to four Final Fours (1986, 1988, 1989) and played for the national title in 1986.
The other was NC State basketball, which during the 1980s had won two ACC titles (1983, 1987), been to two Elite Eights (1985, 1986) and had won a national championship (1983). More importantly, Jim Valvano was — hands down — college basketball’s biggest rock star. Remember, Valvano (and then Krzyzewski) had turned down the UCLA head coaching job in 1988.
They weren’t quite an afterthought, but Duke and State were overshadowing Carolina, and that wouldn’t — couldn’t — be tolerated.
We all know what happens next for State: a UNC-centric Board of Governors, Poole Commission, SBI, General Assembly, Attorney General, NCAA, Valvano forced out.
One threat averted.
But it wouldn’t be so easy in regards to Duke, a private school. Recall that in 1990, Duke lost in the national title game. But then in 1991, when Carolina won the ACC championship and then made the Final Four for the first time in a decade, Duke upstaged them by winning the national title. Then, in 1992 Duke won both the ACC and national championships.
The Carolina Way would need to act immediately.
Keep in mind, on the academic side, the “minor infractions” at State in the 1980s were in reference to basketball players essentially course-hopping easy classes. The intent was for academically-weak players to remain eligible by avoiding matriculation into more difficult classes. It was a sketchy practice, sure, but there was no academic fraud — the players who didn’t deserve to matriculate weren’t doing so.
So, after all the grandstanding and outrage by the Board of Governors, et al, at such a practice, it was hardly feasible for Carolina to continue forward with a similar model. So, in 1993, John Swofford and Dean Smith created the AFAM program.
Then, as The Flagship institutionalized and streamlined the AFAM fraud over the next two decades, Carolina won three national titles (1993, 2005, 2009) and five ACC championships (1994, 1997, 1998, 2007, 2008).
What say you SFN Community?