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Phil Ford Arrested, Allegedly On DWI Charges

Sad news out of Chapel Hill: Phil Ford has been arrested, allegedly on DWI
.  Ford, who reportedly had previous problems with alcohol in the
NBA, has retained a lawyer.  Though we know that this will inevitably be
grist for the rivalry between Duke and UNC, and drunk driving is a very serious
charge which imperils innocents, this represents, if true, a serious and painful
relapse on Ford's part.    If he was arrested,
, in that alleged state, we're happy, because he would be a danger to anyone on the road ( a source tells
us he might have blown as high as .24 on the breathalyzer), but it's not happy
news to see him fall back into apparently addictive behavior.  We're sure that his friends and colleagues will gather around him in his time of need.  The
following statement was released by the  UNC athletic department.



University of North Carolina athletic department officials
have released the following statements regarding the status of men's
basketball assistant coach Phil Ford.

"I have met with Coach Guthridge and Coach Ford to review the matter. I know
Coach Ford deeply regrets this. He will take a medical leave so that a full
evaluation of his situation can be determined. After receiving that
evaluation, we will treat it like any other personnel matter. Phil has been a
loyal student-athlete and coach and I respect what he has meant to our
basketball program." 

* Director of Athletics Dick Baddour

"Coach Ford certainly regrets the incident and the embarrassment it has
caused himself and the University. I know the athletic department supports
him in his efforts to re-dedicate himself. I am confident our staff will
continue to work together in all aspects of our program as we near the start
of the new season.
"Obviously, I am concerned about Coach Ford*s health and well-being and will
do what I can to support him at this time." 

* Head Basketball Coach Bill Guthridge

"I love this University and this basketball program and will do all I can to
continue to earn the respect and support given to me." 

* Assistant Coach Phil Ford

Ford has been a member of the Carolina basketball staff the past 11 years. He
played for the Tar Heels from 1974-78. Ford has hired an attorney and they
will deal with any legal issues involved.