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UNC to host sport summit

To discuss how athletes Tweet

In the last four years, the average UNC senior has rushed Franklin Street at least once, and might have jumped over a fire.

They might have spent a Thursday night in Kenan Stadium, sat in the stands at Fetzer Field or spent an afternoon at Boshamer Stadium watching baseball.

It’s safe to say that sports are an important part of the experience at North Carolina.

During the last four years, UNC teams have won six national titles, been to the College World Series three times and played in two bowl games.

The Scholarly Conference on College Sport, a three-day consortium starting at 8:45 a.m. today and running through Friday at UNC’s Friday Center, focuses on that facet of North Carolina.

“Seemingly, part of the culture at UNC is sports,” said Richard Southall, director of the College Sports Research Institute.

Southall’s department cooperated with UNC’s sports administration program to put on the seminar, which is in its third year.

Admission to today’s symposium is $10 for students and $25 for the general public. Online registration and more information can be found at

The featured three-part symposium takes place today. In the morning, Associate Athletic Director Steve Kirschner and men’s basketball guard Marcus Ginyard are on a panel discussing Twitter in college athletics.

During the 2009-10 season, UNC players frequently broke news through Twitter. Ed Davis used his account to let followers know when he was announcing his NBA draft intention.

“My message is that when student athletes Tweet, they’re going to be held accountable,” Kirschner said, adding that he doesn’t want to limit athletes’ Twitter usage. “It’s the same as if you’re in the Smith Center in front of a press conference.”

ESPN legal analyst and senior writer Lester Munson was scheduled to be on the panel but canceled Tuesday.

“It would have been cool to meet Lester, but he’s way smarter than me,” Kirschner joked. “I stand a chance now.”

In the afternoon, Maryland men’s basketball coach Gary Williams and former NBA star Darryl Dawkins are on a panel discussing the effects of the one-and-done rule on college basketball.

Williams is known for focusing his recruitment toward four-year players at Maryland. Dawkins — known during his playing days as “Chocolate Thunder” — went pro out of high school in 1975.

The afternoon wraps up with a discussion of broad-based athletic programs.

“It’s important for students to recognize that it’s an integral part of college — but it’s also a business,” Southall said.

On Thursday and Friday, a series of presentations address everything from foreign tours of basketball teams to the recruitment of Cincinnati star freshman Lance Stephenson and the influence of sports information directors.

“People recognize that this is an unbiased, unvarnished look at collegiate sports,” Southall said.

The conference is put on entirely by graduate students in UNC’s sports administration program. This year, the co-directors were Ross Schwarzber and former Durham Herald-Sun reporter Jack Daly.

Contact the Sports Editor at

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