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Reactions to scandal

Oct 30, 2014 -- 6:04pm

Leaders respond to reports of NCAA infractions

Roy Williams on his role in UNC academic fraud:    

“I know Roy Williams.  I know I’ve never one day in my life failed to do something knowingly that would hurt our student athletes.  I’ve never did something that I shouldn’t have done.  If you want accuse me of being naïve, go ahead.  But the people that know Roy Williams know that some of those things being said are not fair.”

 

Jim Boeheim on NCAA investigation at Syracuse (per ESPN):

“You'll want to hear when it's over, what it's all about. But I can't talk about it right now. When it's over, we'll discuss.''

 

Mike Krzyzewski on what’s happening at UNC and Syracuse (on the David Glenn Show):

“Anything that happens to one of us could happen to any of us, whether it’s academics or otherwise.”

 

ACC Commissioner John Swofford on the responsibility of coaches in academics:

“That’s really not generally a coach’s place or an athletic director’s place.  I see it as somewhat of a separation of church and state with academics and athletics.”

 

Glad Roy Williams knows Roy Williams.  Now that that's out of the way, can we focus on Swofford's comments for a second?  I'm not here to crush the good ole boys for doing it the way they've always done it, but these are the facts:  The schools are getting rich.  The commish and the conference are getting rich.  The athletic directors are getting rich.  The coaches are getting rich.  The students are suposedly getting an education.  Maybe "church and state" should be reunited in this case.  Maybe coaches should give a damn about what kind of education the students are getting, ya know, since they hang their hats having "student-athletes" and all.

I don't blame the coaches now, since it seems like this is the way it's always been done:  Have an assistant make sure they're eligible, and that's the extent of the questions asked.  Roy Williams didn't invent that system.  In fact, Coach K's quote indicates the scandals are totally beyond the coaches' control.  But maybe, given what happened at Roy Williams' school, we should re-evaluate the system, and give the well-compensated coaches and athletic direcotrs some control of that too.

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A Familiar Tale

Oct 28, 2014 -- 6:38pm

AJ Long is down, as was another freshman thirty years ago

AJ Long didn’t just struggle in Death Valley on Saturday night; he was rendered useless against a stout Clemson defense and a deafening road environment.  Long’s line:  82 yards passing and two interceptions—brutal.  Most frustrating, perhaps, was the fact that his defense put him in position to win if he gave them something, ANYTHING.

“I can’t look them in the eye,” Long said about his defense.  “You have one job—put points on the board, and if you don’t get that done… What are you really doing?”

He’ll take no solace in the fact that he’s not the first freshman to struggle in that spot, but we’ll point it out anyway.  In fact, he would not be the first to struggle in that spot and move on to a great career.

Don McPherson led Syracuse to an undefeated season in 1987 and finished runner-up in the Heisman trophy race.  Monday on Upon Further Review, he recalled his first career start in Morgantown against bitter rival West Virginia.

“It was a great defense, and on the first snap they put everyone on the line of scrimmage because they knew I was just a freshman,” McPherson said.  “When the ball was snapped, I remember feeling like I was in a car accident.  I had no control of my surroundings.”

The future Heisman candidate completed 11-of-29 passes with no touchdowns and three interceptions.  Syracuse lost the game 20-10.  Needless to say, McPherson has walked in Long’s shoes.

“You get knocked around and you lose your confidence quickly; you find out that they’re a little faster and a little better than you thought, and you get beaten up by the moment.” 

Long will try to bounce back Saturday against a struggling NC State defense.  The Wolfpack has allowed at least 30 points in four consecutive losses.  McPherson thinks that despite the short term confidence blow, the Clemson start will help him.

“He’ll look at film and see he should have kept his eyes down field here or stayed in the pocket there, and he’ll get it back.”

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