During this time, a loud and angry minority of CAA Cabinet members has stepped forward to demean their organization. I have no personal problem with any of these members and I respect their right to their own views. Their comments, however, have created an image of the CAA President and Cabinet that is simply inaccurate. This one-sided depiction occurred partly because no other Cabinet members were called for comments. Apparently fiery accusations of misconduct make more interesting news stories than the truth.
The truth is we have acted with integrity; there are no hidden agendas and there is no dictatorship. These members were fired because they violated established Cabinet standards, which were accepted and endorsed by every Cabinet member.
In regard to the depiction of Tee Pruitt as a dictator, this accusation is almost as ridiculous as the accusation that the CAA would fix the ticket distribution so that a group of random fraternity guys could get good seats.
Tee Pruitt is not power-crazed, he is not tyrannical and he is not vengeful. He attempted to keep his personal views and CAA duties out of the CAA election. Cabinet policy is that Cabinet members can support candidates but that their Cabinet obligations must come first. Pruitt followed this.The Cabinet members that did not are no longer on Cabinet.
We realize how easy it is to target the CAA. After all, it poses a perceived threat to Carolina basketball tickets. But the CAA is an ally, not a threat, and it would be wrong to let a group of Cabinet members graduate without being acknowledged for their hard work. We are proud of our accomplishments on behalf of the student body, and I am proud to have worked with such dedicated people.
This Cabinet installed 400 riser seats. I hope we can all agree that the risers have greatly enhanced the atmosphere in the Smith Center. This change is perhaps the biggest improvement in Carolina basketball since the Smith Center opened in 1986. It's astonishing that the DTH feedback consisted of "they should have done more," while newspapers around the state viewed it as a huge step in the right direction. Ever tried taking away seats from the people who paid for the Smith Center? It's a sticky process, but we persevered despite multiple roadblocks.
We planned and executed the first ever, wildly successful "Midnight with Matt and the Tar Heels." We made basketball distributions fair for all students by attempting to curb cheating. We kept students more informed of sporting events by installing a sports ticker at Student Stores and creating a listserv. We promoted olympic sports through Carolina Fever and sports marketing efforts. We made CAA more accessible to the student body by creating a newsletter and a Web forum.
So instead of fighting a battle based on lies and cheap shots, I'd like to put this disagreeable mess behind our organization. As always, we are happy to respond to any questions, and we welcome comments and suggestions. The student body has the right to know the truth about CAA. The complete and accurate truth, not just a version of one that makes headlines.
I want the student body to know that this organization has truly worked in your best interests. It's not a perfect system but we've made some substantial improvements. I'd like you to know that we have acted with integrity and we will pass that on to Reid Chaney's new administration.