Reply To: UNC Becomes A Literal Punchline On SNL

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Now you’re getting down to the “facts”…. as they were best seen back in the day….

Your recollections are spot on… as to the “invisible deal behind the deal”….

Now… while what had happened to Coach V may well have have been the “trigger” that set what followed over in Chapel Hill in full motion… It was not necessarily the root cause…

It’s worth reaching back a couple of more years and remembering…
1. Coach Smith arrove in Chapel Hill in 1961 with very low expectations… Coach Case retired in 1964.
2. There were black scholarship athletes at NC State several years before there were any at xNC.
3. Coach Smith was the most visible leader on that campus in bringing that to fruition… a position that put his career totally at risk … managing a process that was opposed at every level. Nor did his efforts go unnoticed on campuses outside of North Carolina…. (You may remember Coach Rupp’s famous statement at UK circa 1965 ).
4. Thus … the hardwoods at Carmichael and Reynolds in those days in one way were just stages for something much bigger than roundball.
5. On both NC campuses and elsewhere… the integration of college athletics helped to present an expanded view of race relations all across the Old North State.

Thus… in some ways… one might wonder… what took Coach Smith so long to start the AFAM program at xNC as that was just the logical extension of what he and others had been working towards for decades preceeding 1993.

And yes… at least in the minds of those involved at the time… it was done “the Right Way”… complete with echos of reparations, separate but equal, and a few other cliches of that day… enough so that a majority could say something good about it over morning coffee.

When it was finally done in 1993… the potential benefits of a few more victories on the hardwood was of secondary concern… merely a nice bonus.
That said… it could be asked why a AFAM program had not already been started at NC State… After all… we had a women on our Board of Trustees in the 1930’s, admitted women as students before xNC and were ahead of xNC in several other similar areas rightfully labelled as “liberal’ … albeit all without any of the fanfare and self=promotion that is normally associated with those kinds of things.

The answer to that however is not so complicated…. when one also recalls that as late as the mid-1970s… the School of Liberal Arts at NCState was still in somewhat of an infant stage … and whose primarily purpose was still to teach the Engineers and Scientists ENG 111 && ENG 112 and a little more.

One might also ask…”To what extent does any of this matter to the Pups” ??

That question almost answers itself…. as in…
‘Folks probably ought not offer opinions about stuff they don’t know anything about”.

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