The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Sunday January 29th

Column: Dean Smith was terrible


Daniel Wilco is a senior writer. He is a senior journalism major from Atlanta, Ga.

I’m sure we’ve all had our suspicions, but now we know for sure: Dean Smith was a terrible person.

Last week, we found out about another one of Smith’s sly schemes. His will left each of his former players $200 to “enjoy a dinner out compliments of Coach Dean Smith.”

Nice try.

The holy scripture that is the NCAA rulebook shows it is impermissible for student athletes to receive “cash, or the equivalent thereof (e.g., trust fund), as an award for participation in competition at any time...”

Grab your wrenches and head to the rafters of the Smith Center, right? Unfortunately, maybe not. The NCAA tweeted Saturday that “Dean Smith’s generous gift to former student-athletes is NOT an NCAA violation.”

Oh come on! I never thought it would happen, but you’ve let me down, NCAA. It really spoke to your image that the first reactions to Smith’s “generous gift” were not solely in praise of the man but questioning if the NCAA would strike out in retaliation for his brazen defiling of its flawless laws.

But once again, NCAA, your obsession with public image betrays who you really are. It looks like you’ll let this one slide, and it sickens me to see you bend to the will of others so easily. I can only hope you won’t change the rules in question even though something like this hints they might be overbearing. When have you been overbearing?

But fine, want further proof of Smith’s slimy ways? When he was an assistant coach, he took a young black man to The Pines, a segregated restaurant in Chapel Hill, under the pretense of social justice.

Maybe I’ve begun to think like you too much, NCAA, but this seems a bit fishy to me. What if he were trying to recruit him? He most likely bought him a sandwich with a side of impermissible benefits. Why else would he bring along Robert Seymour? Seymour, posing as a progressive pastor, was indubitably a wealthy donor, there to fund the sandwich.

For now, NCAA, I wait with bated breath for you to see the light and expose Smith as the crook he was. Without you, what could dissuade more coaches from emulating Smith?

In one day, Smith paid $36,000 to his student-athletes. You, the omniscient, omnipresent NCAA, have stood strong and paid them nothing.

Thank you. The world needs more of you, NCAA, and fewer men like Dean Smith. With your help, we can make sure that happens.


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