Heels AD Still Has Williams’ Back
November 13, 2014
The news keeps getting worse and worse. The swirl of constant bad media coverage surrounding the North Carolina athletic and academic culture led to UNC’s Athletic Director, Bubba Cunningham, feeling the need to publicly defend his basketball coach.
Roy Williams’ integrity and character has been under attack from many in recent months. It has been building over the past three years, dating back to when stories began trickling out about UNC’s academic scandal.
Since day one, Williams has vehemently defended himself against accusers who said he knowingly allowed his players to take phony courses. And on Monday night Cunningham went on radio to back the Carolina coach.
Apparently, Cunningham is all in with Williams.
For those who may have missed it, UNC is still in the thick of an investigation into academic impropriety, a case that was re-opened by the NCAA over the summer. An independent probe recently released by Kenneth Wainstein revealed 18 years worth of phony classes taken by more than 1,500 former UNC players, many of them in basketball and football.
Did He Or Did He Not Know?
Let me start out with my thoughts on the NCAA investigation in Chapel Hill. I do not think this will end well.
Until the culture of denial ends and UNC accepts the truth, I feel this scandal will continue to grow. Whether Williams deserves to go or not, more and more people will want to bring him down because he denies everything and refuses to accept even the smallest smidgen of blame. So people will keep digging until the evidence is overwhelming. After looking at the probe results, one thing that sticks in my mind is that only one academic department was investigated. And look what was found out. And it did not take subpoenas to get the info. And it was still bad. This could get much, much worse.
I can hear media consultants all around the country discussing this case. Discussing how UNC better bow down or they will lose everything. The culture of lies and denial has to end now.
You know thousands of UNC fans do not like to hear the talk of the Heels having championships stripped. But it has to happen if the allegations are true. They’re not legitimate and were accomplished with ineligible players. And just think about how much money will have to be returned to the NCAA. No wonder all we hear out of Chapel Hill is denials.
UNC’s Roy Williams
Thus far, the school has chosen to stay in front of the story by dismissing lots of employees and making “structural” changes to the Athletic Department. Personally, I find it beyond belief that Williams, and all the coachesv within the basketball and football programs, did not know of the program’s operation to maintain player eligibility. His success was dependent upon 12 athletes staying eligible and he does not know anything about the classes his players are taking. I just don’t see that as plausible. Even assuming Williams knew nothing he is still responsible because he should have known. Giving him a pass on this would be a mockery.
What makes the UNC situation unique is the structural aspect of the fraud along with the length of time that it continued. It was obviously highly organized. Williams either knew or he simply did not want to know.
What would really make Heels’ fans sick is if the digging takes the fraud all the way back to Dean Smith. If they thought there was a chance of that occurring, you know they would want Williams to resign immediately and put the entire investigation to bed. After the banners are removed.
Will Cam Stick Around?
Cam Newton has proven he is a top ten NFL quarterback. Knowing this, how have those making personnel decisions, led by general manager Dave Gettleman, allowed the Carolina Panthers offensive personnel get this bad.
Total ineptness were the two words that came to mind Monday night as Newton was sacked nine times in Carolina’s 45-21 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. The final margin of defeat is misleading as Philly basically gave the Panthers two late touchdowns after opening up a 30+ point lead early in the third quarter.
Newton, as good as he is, is not capable of rescuing this offense. Now in his fourth year, playing with this offense will likely lead to Newton’s game digressing.
It begins up front, where Gettleman’s failure to find an adequate left tackle in the offseason has left Newton constantly under pressure and at risk of injury. Gettleman also chose to let the team’s best receiver, Steve Smith, leave. Smith’s replacements have done little.
Knowing all of this and having to play through it, you know Newton has thought of the future. As he should. This team is heading backwards and have few building blocks in place. Other than Newton, the only offensive player who excites you is rookie receiver Kelvin Benjamin. Newton deserves answers on the direction of the franchises offense. If changes are not made in the offseason, one could not blame Newton if he starts shopping himself as soon as his contract allows.
On another subject, one has to wonder why Panthers’ coach Ron Rivera kept Newton in the blowout loss well into the fourth quarter. Given the injury issues his quarterback has already faced this season, Rivera’s move was questionable to say the least.