Fourth and Long

Published 11:50 am Wednesday, June 22, 2011

At first glance there does not appear to be a lot going on in the world of sports, however, despite neither football nor basketball being in season there I still plenty of both in the news.

Now that the Dallas Mavericks have won their first NBA Championship (I could not be happier for both Dirk Nowitzki and Mark Cuban) the league and it’s players can get down to the nitty gritty business of figuring out how to split up all the money they are making off television rights, jersey sales and ticket prices.

The main point of contention appears to be the NBA’s desire to implement a soft cap. Billy Hunter and the players union hear cap and automatically hear hard cap. According to the players this is a deal buster.

I have said it before and I will say it again, the league and its players are far less than bright if they allow a lockout to occur in the same year as the NFL. It’s just a bad idea.

Speaking of the NFL, rumor has it the both the league and their players union are nearing middle ground and a deal may get done as soon as in the next few weeks. Needless to say this would be huge.

A completed and active agreement between owners, the league and players would allow the league to limit the impact the lockout has had thus far and eliminate any it may have on the future.

While football is a sport the National Football League is a business and nobody is itching to get back to business more than the league office. Time is money and they are tired of losing it.

While there may not be official college football there is still plenty for this college football fan to follow. With the notice of allegations having been officially served to UNC this week it appears we are nearing the beginning of an end to this horrid saga in Chapel Hill.

After reading some (not yet all) of the 42 page document I have come to a simple conclusion. We (it’s we when we win and it’s we when we lose) did not do enough to ensure that NCAA and University rules were being followed by everyone in the football program. We made some mistakes and will be punished for them. We deserve it too.

Despite the harsh reality of it all, I do take solace in noting that Butch Davis’ name appears nowhere in the document and the term “lack of institutional control” is never used. This essentially means that while some mistakes were made, the NCAA does not feel like the head coach or university ever lost control of the program.

Failure to monitor should carry a less severe punishment than a perceived lack of control would. The consensus appears to be that Carolina can expect a one or two-year ban on postseason play and the loss of some scholarships. Both hurt, but neither are program killers.

In the meantime I will continue to do my part to get my beloved university past this mess. I picked out my seats for the upcoming season on Monday and can officially begin to look forward to what I hope and expect will be an exciting fall in Chapel Hill. Only 73 Days to kickoff.

David Friedman is a long-time contributor to Roanoke-Chowan Publishing. A Bertie High School graduate, he and his wife currently reside in Wilmington. David can be reached via e-mail at