BL: Did UNC’s Billy Arnold Die in Vain? … and

Tim Taft DSM
August13/ 2018

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BLS: Did UNC’s Billy Arnold Die In Vain? … and

In Sept 1971, a UNCCH Footballer named Billy Arnold died as a result of Heat Stroke during a routine midweek practice. – LINK – The resultant comprehensive investigation and conclusions profoundly affected organized football at every level… or should Billy Arnoldhave. The incident took place in Year Five of The Bill Dooley Era.

Recent disclosures about “practice procedures”, conditioning drills and overall coaching attitudes (real and imaginary) in Big Time College Football indicate that the lessons from Billy Arnold’s Death 47 years ago may be fading away if not already forgotten.

Coaches with or wanting million dollar salaries know that WINNING is why they get those salaries… PERIOD.

Character-building… preparing young men for manhood… getting them an education… blah blah.  People who do “that” only get paid around $40,000.  Or, in the case of Mary Willingham, run out of town.

The Univ of Maryland is the latest “crime scene” as their Head Coach has been suspended pending investigation of player harassment and the “cull the herd” philosophy we discussed several weeks ago. Maryland had a young AfAm lineman die in June. – LINK …


NOTE: Most harassment and “culling” these days involves AfAm kids… ergo rich white guy boosters care less these days than they ever did. Which was never very much to begin with. Whatever “coach” has to do… just do it… AND WIN!  If that sounds heartless and quite scary… IT IS!   What’s some whozit kid’s health compared to Bragging Rights?  Really…


To avoid “broad brushing” I will NOT say “All Power Five programs are guilty of this Dirty Little Secret”. There may be a handful that actually adhere to the Sound Good slogans they post in locker room touting their school’s sacred “Way” for boosters to read and pat themselves on the back about. Those exceptions prove The Rule.

Bear Bryant’s Texas A&M “Junction Boys” took place in 1954. A lot has changed since 1954… and a lot has NOT changed.

Big Time College Football 2018 is a Brutal Sport played for Very High Stakes. As those $$$ stakes get higher… the pressure to WIN gets higher… and every snap of the football can have life-altering and/or fatal consequences.

I have been critical in recent years about goings-on at UNCCH.  Valid criticisms I do not rescind. The assorted actions themselves have been magnified by the on-going ignorance and arrogance of a vocal faction of the UNC fan base.

The Greatest Eligibility Scandal in NCAA History as well as numerous lesser incidents… Aloft … Marvin’s Tweet … PJ Hairston … the recent Shoe Scandal and dozens or so other incidents that hated rivals can recite in detail… notwithstanding…

The Death of Billy Arnold in 1971 DID have a very profound positive effect on UNC Athletics.

An effect that few UNCers, much less “hated rivals”, even know about.

Listen up…

The UNC Department of Sports Medicine was created following the investigation of Billy Arnold’s Death. Now days the term “Sports Medicine” is commonplace. It was not in 1971.

UNC’s protocols instituted post-Billy Arnold 1971 was an early pioneer in creating Sports Medicine as its own medical specialty nationwide.

The UNC Department of Sports Medicine is administered thru UNC Campus Health… and overseen by a physician especially trained in injuries specific to athletics. For 40 years that was THE Renown Orthopedist Dr. Tim Taft.Tim Taft

Dr Taft’s (now retired) DSM staff consist of specialists from Internal Medicine, Family Practice, Pediatrics and Orthopaedics.  The  staff of UNC Health Care is available as needed and their treatment coordinated / monitored thru DSM.

The UNC DSM report up-line to The Chancellor thru UNC Campus Health… NOT to the Athletics Director… definitely NOT to any UNC Head Coach. THAT line of reporting is A BIG DEAL.

Hypothetically… if Larry Fedora chose to ignore / violate a DSM protocol… he would incur the wrath of Chancellor Chihuahua. WHOA!

The Athletic Training Staff is a division of Sports Medicine reporting to the Medical Doctor overseeing the department. While Athletic Trainers have daily contact with the athletes… and coaches; they report to the DSM.

NOTE:  Strength and Conditioning Staff are NOT part of the DSM.  They do report to the coaching staff.

The physicians and trainers within the DSM understand that athletes are NOT “regular students” in terms of their physical conditioning and the demands of their sport. That said… their physical wellbeing takes precedent over the need for their skill on the field.

A member physician of the DSM attends EVERY Football practice. IN FACT… the DSM determines if weather conditions (temperature, humidity, etc) are conducive to having a practice and the duration and intensity of that practice.

The UNC DSM does not recommend.  It dictates.  That is not to say that coaches and DSM are adversarial… 99% of the time there is no adversarial situation at all. That other 1%, the DSM wins . The decisions of DSM are “unchallengeable”.

The DSM also has full authority over each athlete’s injuries and rehabilitation. Regardless how much a coach “needs” XYZ player… XYZ player must be formally cleared for practice / game by DSM.

Could another “Billy Arnold” happen at UNC? Could “a Maryland” happen at UNC? NOT if carved-in-stone procedures are being followed. Violating said procedures would have serious repercussions for those doing so.

Could a “culling the herd harassment” take place under the procedures described above? Not without a great deal of subterfuge. Could a “Spring of 1967” take place in 2018? The DSM physicians would have to be complicit and the professional repercussions for them would be severe.

It is my understanding that similar procedures to UNC DSM are in place at “some” other colleges… but they are NOT NCAA standards. I do not know what is in place – real or purported – at either NCSU or Duke.

Because Duke, WFU and ECU have similar Medical Center situations to UNC, I assume they have similar in-house protocols. No clue about NCSU but I betcha Bre’r Kennel will educate us…

Yes, UNC’s South Building has earned its reputation as a Fun House of Bureaucratic Buffoonery forever shooting itself in it’s “tar heel” over statues and all manner of socio-political nonsense. But this UNC Sports Medicine Program actually works… go figure!


After last week, I’m getting lots of off-line questions about … Hey BobLee, should I start Tweeting…?

That’s akin to Hey BobLee, should I gargle battery acid…?

No, you probably should NOT start “tweeting”. I could suggest opening a twitter account just to “follow” me for giggles & grins. But that would be a gateway drug for you to begin posting your own oh-so-clever tweets.

Do you really want to go blind and grow hair in your palms? I don’t think so.Twitter

BobLee’s Alternative. With each BLSays I will select 3-4 of the most Liked / Retweeted tweets from my 50-75 weekly posts.  That oughta entertain and/or piss off most of you…


Re: Dan Kane tweeted that all living NC governors held a presser to oppose some lame-brained NCGA legislation.
BL: … Yo DK: Did Jim Martin mention anything about his plans to interview Roy Williams re: the UNC AfAm Studies Scandal? … that still seems like a good idea ???


Re: Omarosa…
BL: …. Has Omarosa gotten to the part yet where she walked in on Donald Trump and Satan playing Twister on the floor of The Oval Office? She might be saving that for her next book … you know Chris Matthews’ leg is really tingling today… and Trump’s popularity ratchets up another 5%.


Re:  With the current coaching scandals, someone posted an old Roy quote “How can I be expected to keep up with 13 players… 17 if you count walk-ons?”.  He really did say that.

BL:  Lord knows “worrying about those four walk-ons” can fill up a fellow’s 24 hour day in no time.


Re: 100+ Newspapers Protesting Pres Trump
BL: So 100+ newspapers that have aggressively hated Donald Trump every day for over two years are “threatening” to post op-eds saying how much they really aggressively hate Donald Trump? …. All 100+ of those newspapers are hemorrhaging red ink like stuck pigs. Ummm, probably just a coincidence? LOLOLOL!


Re: N&O Daily Criticism of UNC BOG recent actions.
BL: The N&O Editorial Board is disgusting, I ALMOST sympathize with Little Tommy Fetzer – ALMOST… The UNC BOG has been composed of “partisan hacks” since its inception 50 years ago.. a different species of “hacks” now. … Kindly Old Bill Friday operated as Benevolent Dictator. His BOGs were all ceremonial fops and feckless Dem fat cats.
(NOTE: N&O Editor John Drescher “liked” this one.)



Next Time.

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