An idiot…no, actually a double idiot

Published 11:19 am Monday, April 17, 2017

Well, here I am defending UNC basketball coach Roy Williams again. But taking off the Carolina-Blue shades (some call them ‘blinders’), is a chore I don’t mind undertaking.

This latest defense comes from the salvo fired by University of Maryland President Wallace Loh, who was revealed to have said last week he thinks the North Carolina athletic department would receive the NCAA’s rarely implemented “death penalty” for its academic-athletic scandal, the one Williams feels has gone on way too long. He even went on Sirius XM Radio’s College Sports Nation to talk about this ‘junk’.

Earlier this week, when asked whether Carolina’s recent national championship had any special significance given the unfavorable attention the program has attracted since the scandal arose, Williams kept his ‘dadgum’ cool, until he got to talking about the Terrapins prez.

“There’s been a lot of junk, and people have questioned my integrity,” Williams said on Wednesday. “Even since we won, people have come out and said some things without information. I know what the facts are … and then we have a president that says we should get the death penalty, a president of another university and to me that’s just so silly. A guy told me one time that if you got a little knowledge, it turns you into an idiot, but no knowledge: you’re a double idiot.”

The very idea that the NCAA death penalty is still something to be considered is kind of, well, idiotic. The NCAA has handed out a few postseason bans in big-time college sports recently, but even those are a far cry from refusing to sanction a program.

Let’s face it: UNC brings in lots of revenue for everybody.

Carolina basketball is one the NCAA’s most successful programs. According to Forbes magazine, they are the fifth-highest-grossing team in men’s college basketball. Entirely shutting out that revenue stream for a whole year can have drastic effects on the NCAA’s bottom line, hurting other teams as well. And I don’t just mean in the ACC.

The ACC is the NCAA’s fourth highest-grossing conference behind the SEC, Big-10, and Pac-10. Eliminating UNC would hurt the bottom line of one of college sports’ most successful leagues.

Carolina basketball is one of the NCAA’s flagship programs. It gave us Michael Jordan, 20 Final Four appearances and six national titles.

Can you imagine a football season without Michigan-Ohio State or Alabama-Auburn? Well, how about a hoop season with no UNC-Duke? Make that TWO UNC-Duke’s.

Try asking Clemson what it would lose without an annual trip to Chapel Hill. Yes, this is for school that’s never won in that town.

The last time the NCAA issued a death penalty it was the punishment for recruiting violations, academic fraud, and paying players. No school has ever received the death penalty for academic fraud alone.

Remember, Loh was the one who egged on the Terps to leave the ACC in the first place. One of his selling points: Maryland football, because football was the main priority of the Big 10 rather than basketball.

Uh, how many football national championship banners hang in College Park? I know for sure there’s a basketball championship banner: Gary Williams, coaching in the ACC, put it there.

Shakespeare was the one who wrote a soliloquy about “a tale told by an idiot”. I actually prefer the beginning of Macbeth’s speech: “a poor player that struts his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more.”


Gene Motley is a Staff Writer at Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact him at or 252-332-7211.