When The Cheering Stops

January17/ 2000

… Lightning struck here Tuesday. Our column on Recruiting broke our hourly AND daily “view volume” record.  1,000 views/hour is peanuts to Matt Drudge or the JessicaSimpsonNude websites, but sure got our attention.  We ended the day with a higher attendance than 5 of the 6 Duke home FB games last Fall.  If you still have concerns about “recruiting”, today’s equally insightful column probably won’t help you sleep any better…   

   My favorite part of the annual UNC Basketball “Blue Book” is the “where are they now” segment.  The diefication of “the Dean Smith Era” can definitely send one into insulin shock at times.  Indeed, there were a few elephants swept under the carpet that are conveniently ignored by trueblue disciples of Ye Olde Legend.  That being said and acknowledged (at least here) … the sanctimonious old liberal coot did a heck of a lot of darn good stuff during his 35 year reign. I’m sure he appreciates my approval.

   NOBODY has ever combined such a high level of athletic success with a sincere conscientious concern for his student-athletes’ overall well-being than did Dean E. Smith.  Certainly there have been and still are other incredibly “good men” running sports programs at other Div 1-A schools that truly “care” about their “kids”.  To deny that there are such “heroes” in sports is as absurd as to pontificate that “our school would never cheat”.

   At Dean’s “suggestion”, SID Rick Brewer. and his successor Steve Kirschner, began the tradition many years ago of the “where are they now” section in each year’s “Blue Book”.  This segment chronicles every UNC BB player (and manager) going back 40+ years.  It gives a reasonably updated “whatever happened to” on EVERY player relative to his post UNC life.  Allowing for the occasional “occupational exaggeration” this is more Dean’s Legacy than “the banners in the rafters” and the hardware in the memorabilia room.

   Every Division 1-A school should be mandated by international law to provide a public chronology of its student athletes for 5, 10, and 20 years after their “signing day”.  “Dropped off face of Earth” can be a category but too many of those sends a message.  Yes, it is easier when one man oversees a program for 35 years.  In these days of “3 years and out” some players are at a school longer than some coaches.  Coach X will whine that the academic indiscretions of his predecessor Coach Y should not be used against him.  Balderdash … it’s institutional integrity that is being measured not Coach Du Jour … OR are we to believe that certain high profile coaches ARE ABOVE their institution!  Say it ain’t so Shoeless Joe!

   No one is saying that a coach is held responsible for what poor decisions his former players makes later in life.  A coach has limited control as does a chancellor or even a parent.  But if a coach is going to sit down in BillyBlueChip’s living room with his fancy brochures and extol the virtues of what Dear Ol’ Whatsmatter U has to offer then show Billy a true picture. 

   Any casual reader to this site knows how BobLee feels about “eligibility majors” and the pitiful sham they represent.  If “Billy Phenom’s” high school transcript is loaded with non-academic fluff and even his fluff grades are “gifts” from teachers pressured by Coach HardRock and Billy has taken the SAT six times trying to guess right enough to get to 800 … then telling Billy about Rhodes Scholars and MBAs is pretty much an insult to all concerned.

   Some will say that pursuing the faint dream of a professional sports career is the ONLY hope that Billy Phenom might have in life.  I refute that.  

Q:  What is sadder than an 18 y/o “phenom” at a 6th reading level who has never heard of Winston Churchill?

A:  A 23 y/o ex-phenom still at a 6th grade reading level who has still never heard of Winston Churchill, with a blown knee and, after four years hanging around a college on someone else’s nickle, only has a Letterman’s jacket to show for it.

   Is it right to blow smoke up Billy’s (or lets say T.A..s) butt and say “come with us and you’ll be in “the league” in 3-4 years, driving your Escalade, and beating off the bitches with a stick” … until Billy snaps a hamstring, blows out a knee, or gets coldcocked one time too many and ends up back on a street corner in (lets say) Albemarle hanging with his high school posse, unemployable, and blaming “the man” for blowing smoke up his butt.

   I challenge every Div 1-A school to:

1.       Provide that 5 and 10 year progress report of every student athlete that enters their institution.  Sure, some will stick bogus crap in their report.  Leave it to the message board loonies to police rival schools report.  If the report says Billy SwivelHips is in the Peace Corps in Tanzania and Billy is really in Huntsville doing 8-10 for popping a cap on his old lady for holding back her ho money … I’m betting their rival’s loonies will catch it like a lunker bass snatching a rubber worm.  School lies on their report … then school donates $10,000 to their rival’s booster club and forfeits 5 scholarships.  A practical use for board loonies … Yippee!

2.       Every Div 1-A school will provide “alternative curriculums” for “exceptional students”.  “Exceptional” meaning out of the mainstream of the majority of the student body.  There are “community colleges” nearbout everywhere now.  Which is better for “Billy” … 3 years playing hide & seek with bogus electives in some completely irrelevant “eligibility major” OR attending classes at the nearby technical school and learning how to make a living.  (I will expand on this incredible concept in a future column)

   When he blows that knee and or gets cut by the world’s worst European Arena League team he can go back to (lets say) Albemarle and make a living as a respected construction tradesman.  Playing three card monte on a street corner OR installing HVAC units or pouring foundations or installing cabinets or owning his own car wash and knowing the difference between a credit and a debit.  Which will look better in his school’s “where are they now” report?

   NOT SO FAST, MY FRIENDS … yes, I’ve been making not-so-sly cheapshot references to a certain former “student-athlete” at a certain ACC school and you fans of rival schools are chortling “Sock it to’em BobLee … yeah, those folks over there are sure irresponsible”.  OK, so lets compile that 5 and 10 year report on your school too.  If you don’t think “your school” has a closet full of these cases, youre ODing on that Kool-Aid again.

   For every Torrey Holt or Julius Peppers who “make it” how many do not?  Those fancy yearbooks trumpet the Big NFL Stars … but who remembers all the “phenoms” that fall by the wayside every year at every school?  For many “phenoms” pulling that cap out of the bag on “signing day” is as good as it will ever be … it’s downhill from then on!  

   Being 23-24 years old with “no future” when just 4 years earlier you had the chance of a lifetime … a chance to be “educated in something” in exchange for playing games in a certain color jersey.  Who is letting who down … “Billy” bless his heart never knew any better … but the adults that scammed him knew it all along.  Maybe “Billy” should have “known better” but did anyone ever sit him down and tell him how real life REALLY IS … When the cheering stops and “a phenom” has to become “a man”.


Swagger’s Stumper

Great Super Bowl Quotes

“If it’s The Ultimate Game 

how come they will play it again next year?”

This reclusive running back never said anything else … Who was he?


   Mindy (& Mork) lived in Boulder CO.  It can now be told that “Mindy” worked part time for the U of Colorado Buffalo Bimbos as a recruiting hostess.  Say it ain’t so Min!

   Apparently EVERY Wake Forest fan in North America read our column about Skip.  We got lots of “thank yous” for which we say “thank you”.  Plenty of fine folks.  Be assured that even among the Deacons there are bottom feeding slugs … we heard from several of those pathetic life forms too.

   BIG NEWS from the “Feel Good” TV Channels … Paige Davis, hostess for TLC’s Trading Spaces has been canned.  The ever perky tight jeaned wench was “let go” following reports of the ubiquitous “old boyfriend video” and some “strip for charity” shindig where Paige flashed her thong.  At least it wasn’t Rachael Ray.  That I could NOT handle. … … got me to wondering … howsabout “a secret video” of Barbara Boxer and Teddy Kennedy in a hot tub full of flatuous bilge.  Yuck … ptui!

   My good buddy Prince Albert The Long will be eBaying his 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers autographed baseball in the near future.  Details to follow. 

   The Meez is in another pickle.  Our favorite Chancellortorial stumblebum is reconsidering his earlier executive order to zap some award named for some woman that the faculty squirrels don’t like.  I think it was the Ann Coulter Award … no, that’s not it.  Elizabeth Dole Award, no … whatever. A Waffling Meez will be an easy target for sniping squirrels.

Beaucoups of new readers … check out all the cool stuff all over this site … Abbott & Costello, Andy Griffith, BobLee ALIVE, all kinda neat stuff …

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