The headline read PJ Done. It’s Over. I smirked. The “watch” may be over but the saga of “PJ” simply moves into the eternal bubbling caldron of rivalry crap known as The Amphibious File.
The reaction to yesterday’s PJ DONE News was absolutely 100% predictable across the spectrum of partisan POVs……
• ABCers claim “tip of iceberg cover-up” because that’s what ABCers always claim.
• Tru-Blues claim “unfair treatment because ABCers are so jealous of how wonderful we are” because that’s what Tru-Blues always claim.
• In the middle are “most folks” wondering “how come it took so long to reach a seemingly obvious conclusion?”.
PJ’s locker deep in the bowels of Dean’s Dome has, I assume, been literally and figuratively “cleaned out” with yesterday’s announcement. Or maybe not. Will PJ continue to appear besuited on the bench with his former teammates. Will they all write “PJ” on their Nikes….. or have a commemorative “PJ patch” on their unis.
UPDATE: PJ is STILL a part of the UNC BkB team in every way except dressing out for games. He is still on scholarship and he is still practicing, etc. BECAUSE all that changed Friday is the official decision NOT to request a change in his “suspended” status. Friday’s decision ended the “when will he be…..” limbo situation. He “will not be” PERIOD. It is hoped that he will not enroll for the Spring…. will join a NBADL team and prepare for the next Draft…. and depart campus ASAP.
Writing names on shoes and commemorative patches have been done a bazillion times by every team on Earth. But UNC did the “everyone wear a white-tee” against UK….. and the “black-out thingy” against Miami…. both of which are just slightly less trite than “the wave”. What’s next? Hit an organ chord and everyone yell CHARGE?
I’ve never met PJ and doubt I ever will. Maybe he IS the Nelson Mandela of UNC BkB as Roy persists in portraying him. Misunderstood and unjustly persecuted for petty malfeasances.
Hugo’s (oops, Dumas’) Edmund Dantes unjustly imprisoned in the Chateau D’If to emerge years later as The Count of Monte Cristo?
ABCers portray PJ as somewhere between Ted Bundy, Charlie Manson and Greg Little.
As with all such partisan disparity, the Truth surely lies betwixt and between.
From noon on Day One of this latest assault on The Carolina Way….. I’ve perceived PJ as a product of his cultural upbringing. I don’t know the demographic geography of Greensboro but apparently PJ grew up within a social framework where the Fats Thomas-types are common. That world of bling and “rides” and 9mm and hip-hop parties was to him what Little League, church softball, hayrides and casseroles were to us Richie Cunningham-types.
That he sought out and found that familiar world in Chapel Hill / Durham should be no surprise. Do we really think enrolling at UNC-CH immediately transforms an 18 y/o “urban kid” into some squeaky-clean, Yes ma’am, gee willikers paragon of all things Dean Smith-ian? Yes,. I’m sure a sizable % of hard-core Franklin Street Kool-Aid drinkers are comfortable thinking that…. “this” won’t dent that long-held warm cozy assumption one iota.
Roy giving a “don’t do anything stupid” lecture at freshmen orientation doesn’t resonate if one’s definition of stupid is different from Roy’s.
I will mount my little cyber soapbox here to say:
The single greatest “issue” in Big Time College Athletics (BTCA) is…..
NOT how many teams in a BCS play-off.
NOT how many pages in the NCAA rule book.
NOT dumb incompetent crooked referees.
NOT too many silly bowl games with ticket scams.
NOT 9:00 Bkball games and noon FB games
NOT even filling seats in ever-emptying arenas and stadiums.
IMO…. THE #1 issue in BTCA is the ever-growing cultural disparity between the gladiators in the arena and the spectators in the stands. They come from very different worlds with very different interpretations of “acceptable behavior”.
Neither side is incorrect in their version based on their personal life experience, but when those different worlds collide in BTCA there are “issues”. The majority’s perception is going to win out. The measured distance between Skippa Bowles’ Lower Level of TDD and the playing floor is only about ten feet….. but it is ten miles apart in socio-cultural perceptions.
A dozen young AfAm males full of “quick”, “hop” and street-fueled bravado are dropped onto a college campus where the “like them” factor MIGHT be 1% of the population and told to “make yourself at home”. Huh?
I don’t have an answer. The best athletes are young AfAms. The public forking out the big $$$$ as boosters for prime seats are well-heeled (no pun) WASPs. I don’t see that changing. It is a growing divide.
Everything is hunky dory in College Town USA UNTIL the young AfAm male full of swagger from a lower socio-economic background is caught being (GASP) “a young AfAm male full of swagger from a lower socio-economic background”.
It is certainly not a Chapel Hill-centric issue. The same cultural chasm exists all across BTCA even in West Raleigh and West Derm…. and widens by the day.
Am I pardoning PJ? Not at all. That he committed MULTIPLE “stoopid stuff” merited his dismissal. Yes, I’ve heard all the “he was framed by DPD” crap. Yawn. Isn’t EVERY AfAm apprehended around Derm “a victim of profiling, et al”. Including Crystal Gale Mangum – aka “honor student and single mother of two” and convicted murderer.
AgentPierce says he heard Gene Nichol was standing outside Sutton’s Drug Store this morning screaming “That Damn Civitas Did This!”. That’s Pierce being silly…. I think.
In three years will Roy be renting PJ one of his houses? With Ol’ Roy one never knows.
So now “PJ” goes into The Amphibious File where his name will spend the next 25 years being regurgitated on an hourly basis by marauding ABCers….. cause thats how rival goobers spend their hours. His timing is fortunate for him as he goes into The Amphibious File along with Marvin Austin, Greg Little and good ol’ “Uncle Julius” Nyang’oro. Charles “Amphibious” Shackleford only had Chris “475” Washburn accompany him when he went into the file named in his “honor”.
The PJ Mess is Over?? It’ll never be OVER in our lifetime.
To paraphrase John Belushi “Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?”