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The Prodigal Returns

It was not a pleasant thing at all to watch Phil
Ford break down at his press conference and sob.
We saw a clip on WRAL
and that was really all you needed to see to understand that the man is in
pain. His apology was heartfelt and sincere. It's also been made
clear to him that UNC is not going to be a place where he can endlessly stumble
and retain his job.

Next up is court on the 18th. There's the possibility he might face a
week in jail, but the law allows that to be suspended if rehab has been
completed. However, there is a complication for Ford: Durham has just gone
through a scandal of how DWI cases were being handled (back hall deals, in a
nutshell). Every alcohol case is going to be by the book now, and particularly
for prominent people.

You'd have to be sick to take pleasure in seeing someone so close to
ruination. And yet there is legitimate anger over his apparent actions,
and some anger over how UNC handled this situation. Whatever anyone feels,
that part is over now. Ford will now have to contest a .24 DWI, and if he's
convicted, we hope his license is yanked for as long as possible. And we also
hope if he is convicted he'll apologize to everyone he might have put in danger.
His apology was heartfelt and sincere, but it was directed towards his employers
and family. That's fine, but if he is guilty as charged, they weren't the ones
whose lives were endangered. It's an apology we understand he can't make
while charges are pending, but if he is found guilty, or pleads guilty, we hope
he will have the decency to apologize to the people who could have been his true

It's beyond tragic, of course, to see David Thompson, John Lucas, and Phil
Ford all suffer so terribly from addictions. Thompson and Lucas appear to
have control of their lives again. We really hope Ford can join them.
Basketball is a great thing to triumph in, but
quiet sobriety is a much larger triumph.