For those of you who have either XM or ITunes, Coach K's show Basketball and Beyond is a really great resource and often has some really interesting guests and comments. The show with Charles Barkley, for instance, was predictably hilarious and brutally honest. And Dave "no doubt about it" Sims is a reliable presence and seems like a genuinely nice guy. So we already enjoy the show and listen to it when the new ones are posted on ITunes, and were really happy to see Coach K turn the tables a bit and interview Barry Jacobs about his remarkable new book. Across The Line: Profiles in Basketball Courage: Tales of the First Black Players in the ACC and SEC.
Coach K raved about it and said his players were going to read it to have an awareness of the importance of the history and events Barry discusses. It really confirms our impression of the book: not only is it a superb book, and a gripping read, but it's an important book and one which should be widely read. Our guess is that over time it will come to be regarded as something of a classic. If our earlier comments weren't enough to convince you, maybe Coach K's will. Pick it up! You'll be amazed at some of the stuff you read.
Incidentally, Duke's first black player, C.B. Claiborne, is an important part of the book. He had a difficult time at Duke, partly because Duke had a general indifference and lack of awareness of his plight. He has never felt part of the Duke family, and it is past time that Duke make amends. If it were up to us, we'd ask him to come back for a game and we'd hang his jersey in the rafters. We wouldn't necessarily retire his number, but Duke needs to recognize what he went through, that the school basically ignored him, and make some meaningful attempt at reconciliation.