Current Date: Wed, 11 Dec 2013 13:31:34 -0500
TO THE EDITOR:
In my years at UNC, I have been fortunate enough to attend my fair share of UNC men’s basketball games.
When I look up into the rafters, I am never any less awestruck by the jerseys and banners above me.
I think of the name of the stadium, the Dean E. Smith Center and the man behind that name.
It is at this point that I experience a mix of pride and a touch of sadness.
This is because, since my arrival, I have noticed something troubling.
Every time the “This is Carolina Basketball” or “I am a Tar Heel” videos play, our student section seems to save its largest ovations for the most recent players to come through our program.
I’m sure this can be attributed to the fact that a lot of our student body became fans after the Dean Smith era, and they have a personal connection with these players.
Their enthusiasm is to be commended.
However, with the Duke game quickly approaching, our student body should remember the man who made such an intense rivalry possible, as well as the good for mankind he did in the process.
Not only did he win 879 games (24 against Coach K), appear in 11 Final Fours and win two National Championships, he integrated athletics at the University with his recruitment of Charles Scott.
He worked to integrate restaurants and neighborhoods in Chapel Hill.
He is a great man and shuns personal recognition.
It is for that reason that I plead of my fellow students: When you see the legendary old man at the end of the videos, go nuts.
He is why we are, as a University, who we are today.
Ross Hardeman ’13