Carolina Basketball Confidential

Feeling good about the Tar Heel men’s team

I haven’t written about basketball or any major Carolina team sports in a very long time, and I haven’t gone to basketball or football games in years although I follow the teams. Sports had become too large a part of the Carolina culture, especially when oldwellit threatened our academic integrity. For a while, a part of deans’ jobs was to attend football games. I went, but not enthusiastically. I need most of my Saturdays to keep up with work. For years, as a way of thanking them, we’ve given our Dean’s Office basketball tickets to faculty and staff members who have donated to the Rosenau Society. That seems right to me. People should have the chance to participate without having to buy season tickets.

This year, finally, it feels as though there is sufficient distance and massive corrective responses between paper classes and other wrongs that occurred and the wonderful group of Tar Heel men who are playing like a team machine. Their culture appears healthy, and it makes watching/listening to the games a delight. Knowing Bubba Cunningham, UNC’s athletics director, I believe that honesty and integrity now are core values in sports at UNC-Chapel Hill.

So, Saturday night, my husband Bernard and I sat together and watched Carolina beat Syracuse on our individual cell phones—an upfront and personal view of the game with an amazingly clear view—and cheered the team. We may not have been in Houston or the Smith Center, but we screamed and cheered nonetheless. We’ll be doing it again tonight—hopefully, with another winning outcome. And I’ll be thinking of one wonderful, loyal Tar Heel fan who won’t be here this year—Michael O’Malley—who passed away last summer. Today, I say proudly what I did not say for several years….Go Heels! Happy Monday. Barbara

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