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Joel Hopkins Update!

You may remember Joel Hopkins, who rose to prominence, somewhat controversially, at Durham's Mt. Zion, where he built a powerhouse. A lot of college coaches avoided him like the plague, and at one point, there was a suggestion that the ACC would have a gentleman's agreement not to recruit anyone from Mt. Zion.

Hopkins has gotten out of coaching, but has found a more lucrative market to recruit from: people with serious mental issues.

North Carolina in recent years has tried to reform its mental health care programs and it has backfired spectacularly. Hopkins built Dominion Healthcare Services to exploit the opportunities. According to the N&O, Dominion "[has] workers go door to door in poor neighborhoods, looking for people to sign up for a mental-health service called community support...In 18 months, Dominion charged taxpayers $33.9 million for the service, more than all but one other agency, billing up to $61 an hour for services that included taking clients to school appointments and to charities for free clothes."

Not bad work if you can get it: you don't have to go to Florida to find your prospects, and they don't have to keep their grades up, either, not that that was particular issue at Mt. Zion, where the headmaster said he would tell Tracy McGrady: "I'm going to tell him to go get that [NBA]money. Everything after eighth grade is a repeat anyway."

Anyway, charging $61 dollars an hour to take people to the movies or out to the mall - it's no wonder the system is bleeding money. And Hopkins has his bucket out to get his share.

The state is trying to recover 1.5 million; Hopkins is suing them for 1.3 billion.