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NC Writers Rip Heels

Lenox Rawlings
has an article up about the situation in Chapel Hill.
He quotes Jimmy V,
some time ago obviously, as saying that when Dean left UNC would decline. Time
has proven V correct.

He goes on to say a number of things that we said here repeatedly and some
for a few years now: Smith is gone and he took his genius with him,
the other teams smell blood, Roy Williams is not leavng Kansas if it means
embarrassing Guthridge, and Dean is not going to let Bill Guthridge get run out
of town because that's not the Carolina Way

There are more insults to UNC in this article than you can shake a stick
at. Among others, he calls Brendan Haywood a 7' accordion who folds up on
impact, and Terrence Newby should be at UNC-Lizard Lick. Ouch.

Now there is a radical solution to this mess, but it would entail kicking
Dean Smith out of the athletic department - but it would work.

Fire Guthridge - that's why Dean would leave -and make a full-bore run at
Rick Pitino, who is, reportedly, not thrilled in Beantown. Would he take it?
Well ask it this way - is Pitino's ego sufficiently healthy to think he can
replace a legend?

Or more precisely, ask it this way - would Pitino like to be the only guy who
won national championships at Kentucky and UNC? You just answered your own
question.

Of course, the Rams Club
would have to decide between loyalty to men who gave their adult lives to the
University and winning in the 21st century. It would require them to make
some hard and cold decisions about loyalty to principle or keeping up with
Duke, and would have to choose between honoring their greatest hero, who has a
cult of personality in Chapel Hill, and bringing in an abrasive, mercurial
personality, but a guy who, undeniably, wins - but whose arrival would signal
Dean's departure.

Would the Rams Club do that? Would they throw Dean overboard if the
perception was that he, by proxy, was costing them what they consider their
birthright?

You just answered your own question.

Word is out, and people from Tallahassee
to as far as Dallas are writing about UNC's fall. They can still turn it
around - and might well do it when Duke comes to town - but perceptions
are not unimportant - particularly to recruits. You might remember Eddie
Griffith saying UNC seemed "cocky" about their program. That was
an unimaginable thing for any recruit to say in, say, 1980. When Kenny
Anderson said he didn't want to be just another horse in Dean Smith's stable, he
upset a lot of people and was forced to apologize. Now the stable is
looking kind of empty, which might appeal to the next Kenny Anderson, only he's
going to Seton Hall with Eddie Griffith.

Another interesting point which we brought up a while back, and which hasn't
really been addressed but will have to be soon: if UNC doesn't get back on top -
with the very expensive football facilities, and that team not doing so well,
and the Dean Dome, which didn't make money even when UNC was at the top, and
which could be expected to fall off as the team does (if it continues), the
athletic department is going to be losing money. That brings up a whole
other set of issues which will have to be dealt with.

We also said, when Dean was still coaching, that discipline was becoming a
problem, a theme we repeated when Makhtar, Jamison and Carter were allowed to
taunt fans from the bench, and which became obvious when Shammond Williams fled
the court and Makhtar's, uh, unique charms became obvious. Now
other people are picking up on this theme.
Good, because we took a fair
amount of abuse for introducing the concept, so we're glad it became obvious to
other people as well. Has Gut lost control? Maybe. Maybe not. But there is
a mob mentality developing and he might not survive it, which would be too bad,
because he is a decent man and he has done, for the most part, a good job.

On a happier note for UNC fans, over at GDHC (no, that's not what GD stands
for), there's
a nice article up about Adam Boone,
who is expected to replace Easy Ed Cota
at point guard next year for UNC, though Brian Morrison has his eye on it as
well. A smart kid and a hard worker, Boone is the kind of kid no one should have
a problem with. We're glad he's going to be an ACC guy. Of course if you
want UNC recruiting news, the place to go is www.uncbasketball.com,
where Ben Sherman does a phenomenal job of keeping up with stuff.