Just some random thoughts in the July heat

Published 6:50 pm Friday, July 26, 2019

Whether you’re Tarheel faithful or a Carolina hater, stop by any UNC athletic website and feast your eyes on quite the delight in the school’s new and improved locker rooms and weight rooms for football just unveiled in Chapel Hill. I’m not saying they rival Clemson, Alabama, Florida State, or Notre Dame – or even what the multi-champion UNC basketball team has in the DeanDome, but for what the football kids once had, it’s a monumental upgrade.

When Mack Brown took over, he asked his returning players what they felt they needed, and those two facility enhancements were at the tops of most players’ lists. But Brown said it would come at a cost: he wanted just as much effort – 110 percent! – from the players once they hit the field, first in the Spring, and later during summer pre-season.

And there’s plenty of work left to do. Brown has a major project to fix everything from the culture to the foundation of the program itself.

He made a good first impression: leaving ACC Football Media Days in Charlotte and road-tripping up to Greensboro to see the high school coaches at their annual July confab that coincides with the East-West All-Star games. That’s how you get a leg up on recruiting once it starts in full swing.

Mack kept up his end of the bargain, fellas…now let’s see what you boys in Blue can go out and do.


While he didn’t initiate it, NC State football coach Dave Doeren received a gift from the governor and the state legislature.

It came in the form of House Bill 389, a bill giving North Carolina’s public universities the option to sell beer and wine at on-campus athletic events.

Now don’t think for a second I’m naïve enough to not know what’s in those coolers – but remember, since 911, coolers have been outlawed inside most stadiums.

You see, Doeren has commented many times over the years about the tradition of NC State fans leaving Carter-Finley Stadium at halftime to ‘tailgate,’ and how this impacts his team.

Well, according to my friends at WRAL Sports, the stats back him up. State outscored opponents in the second quarter last season, in front of a roaring crowd, by a whopping 87 points. By the third quarter, with so many of the Wolfpack faithful still in parking lots drinking alcohol, the team’s margin dropped to a mere seven points. Can you say, ‘Wake Forest?’

Well, now that the bill’s passed and been signed by Governor Roy Cooper, Doeren said at ACC Media Days he believes it will have an impact.


While his pro career future hangs in the balance, former Wake Forest star Chris Paul has gone about the month of July acting like a man without a care in the world.

The 34-year-old basketball point guard was traded from Houston to Oklahoma City, ending a two-year run with the NBA Rockets and sending him to a rebuilding franchise. You’d think that would be enough to keep him preoccupied.

Well, in the meantime, Paul has been guiding and coaching Team CP3 (his nickname) in The Basketball Tournament, overseeing his Chris Paul Family Foundation Golf Classic, taking time out for the Chris Paul Elite Guard Basketball Camp, and taking still more time out to donate $2.5 million back to his alma mater for upgrades to the Demon Deacon basketball program.

Trade!?! What trade!?!

Gene Motley is a Staff Writer at Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact him at gene.motley@r-cnews.com or 252-332-7211.