Definition of “A BIG DEAL” !!

May15/ 2000

Definition of  “A Big Deal”? …. Along the Gulf it might be “the oil spill”.  In Nashville it might be “the flooding”.  Arizonans have their new law.  New York City has that Times Square thing. ….. But in “the Triangle” all that is “piffle”.   The Lee Fowler Era of NC State Athletics flatlined at noon Tuesday.  The Wuff folks said “Jed move away from here .…”.

NOTE:   BobLee discusses recent speculation re: UNC’s Prince Tassel Loafer in the second half of this column.


I only met Lee Fowler once. In passing one day in Sunday School.  We shared mutual friends who know Lee and his family very well.  They have always spoken very highly of him.  I respect their opinions on the cut of his jib. Alas, “good men with well cut jibs” are drawn and quartered in the public brickyard every day.

“good men” are drawn and quartered every day ….”

The lanky Tennessean has given new meaning to the terms “maligned and beleaguered”.

It was “time” for Lee Fowler and NC State to part ways.  Most would say well past time.  I shall not debate the timing.  The generous terms of the separation agreement will have Wuff Loons rompin ‘n stompin for a few days.  But, like a greasy burrito, that will quickly pass.

The slobbering hyenas caged up in the basement of Wm Neal Reynolds Coliseum will spew in their fashion; picking over the carcus of the former AD.  For the vast majority of WuffNation attention will simply turn to “Who’s Next?”

Major college ADs, like Baptist preachers and city managers, have a job life expectancy of about seven years.  Do the job correctly and you make enemies.  Do the job poorly and you make enemies.  When the number of enemies reaches a critical mass, they change the lock on your office door.  Lee Fowler lasted ten years at the Ev Case Center. In this era of Internet kangaroo courts,  ten years as an AD is a lifetime.

It’s hard to argue FOR Lee other than that “good family man with a nice jib” part.  NCSU‘s “two sports that matter” have underperformed of late.  The “sports that don’t matter” have underperformed even more so. ….. Bass fishing doesn’t count.  “Other than that Mrs Lincoln how was the game?”

When defenders of Lee Fowler are reduced to saying “our new women’s basketball coach sure is pretty” you know the jury wasn’t out too long.

It’s hard to say exactly when the Lee Fowler Death Watch began. Young Wuff children now entering the first grade were not born when it did.  The first time Lee referred to the WuffLoonies as “that bunch” mighta done it.  The past decade has seen the rise of the Internet Lunatic Fringe as a factor in executive survival in “big time” sports.  Saying “it shouldn’t be” is like saying ACORN and SEIU shouldn’t elect a president.  Wishin’ don’t make it so.

Hopefully he sells the house on Lake Gaston and finds a new home in Starkville or wherever.  If TO’B beats someone other than Butch next year and Sidney finally gets to dance in March, “the new guy” will get all the credit.   That’s the way it is.

Like the Roto-Rooter guy says ….. “it’s a dirty job. Someone’s gotta do it.  It might as well be ……..”.  WHO?

Who WILL it be?   Bobby Purcell …… Charlie Cobb …… Bill Cowher …… Debbie Yow ….. John Tesh ….. Mary Easley ….. McQueen Campbell  ??  Wonder if Todd Turner will be asked for his recommendations?  Probably not.


Speaking of much-maligned Directors of Athletics …… with Mike Fox not likely to be returning to Omaha this year it’s only natural that the Franklin Street Speculating & Wild Guessing Society start up its drumbeat about Dicky Baddour.

Prince Tassel Loafer Death Watch has been turned off for the past few years among functioning adult UNCers.  Butch has shown improvement other than his annual oops to NCState and UVA.  Roy2Rings has those 2 rings ….. and that runner-up NIT thingy.  Anson and Karen Shelton and Elmar and the lacrosse boys (and girls) are stacking up Ws and high national rankings.  The bills are getting paid and CHPD is not trolling for miscreant jocks-in-blue with any regularity.

The pointy-teethed Dicky-haters are getting restless.  The mosh pits are percolating about PTL leaving this summer.  Guess What ….. the pointy-teethed Dicky-haters are DEAD WRONG …… AGAIN!

Dicky has two years left on his current contract.  He enjoys good health and, by past standards, the flames of overt Dicky-blame are quite low.

Those whose opinions really matter are quite pleased ….

Those whose opinions actually matter are quite pleased with the overall status of UNC Athletics Yes, Ol’Roy’s past season was a trainwreck, but considered an anomaly.

You can believe the goggle-eyed Dicky-haters in the cyber-dumpsters if you want to.  Or you can trust me.  Some day Dicky Baddour WILL indeed retire and we can play the “Who’s Next?” game with that job ……  but it ain’t happening this summer or any time real soon.

The “After Dicky – Who?” list will be considerably longer than the average ChooChoo-ite will ever guess.

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