Over? Nothing is EVER Over!

Dec 21,’13:  The headline read PJ Done.  It's Over.  I smirked.   The “watch” may be over but the saga of “PJ” simply moves into the eternal bubbling caldron of rivalry crap known as The Amphibious File.

The reaction to yesterday’s PJ DONE News was absolutely 100% predictable across the spectrum of partisan POVs......

•    ABCers claim “tip of iceberg cover-up" because that’s what ABCers always claim.
•    Tru-Blues claim “unfair treatment because ABCers are so jealous of how wonderful we are” because that’s what Tru-Blues always claim.
•    In the middle are “most folks” wondering “how come it took so long to reach a seemingly obvious conclusion?”.

PJ’s locker deep in the bowels of Dean’s Dome has, I assume, been literally and figuratively “cleaned out” with yesterday’s announcement.  Or maybe not.  Will PJ continue to appear besuited on the bench with his former teammates.  Will they all write “PJ” on their Nikes..... or have a commemorative “PJ patch” on their unis.

*****
UPDATE:  PJ is STILL a part of the UNC BkB team in every way except dressing out for games.  He is still on scholarship and he is still practicing, etc. BECAUSE all that changed Friday is the official decision NOT to request a change in his "suspended" status.   Friday's decision ended the "when will he be....." limbo situation.  He "will not be" PERIOD.   It is hoped that he will not enroll for the Spring.... will join a NBADL team and prepare for the next Draft.... and depart campus ASAP.
*****

Writing names on shoes and commemorative patches have been done a bazillion times by every team on Earth.   But UNC did the “everyone wear a white-tee” against UK..... and the “black-out thingy” against Miami.... both of which are just slightly less trite than “the wave”.   What’s next?  Hit an organ chord and everyone yell CHARGE?

I’ve never met PJ and doubt I ever will.  Maybe he IS the Nelson Mandela of UNC BkB as Roy persists in portraying him.   Misunderstood and unjustly persecuted for petty malfeasances.

Hugo’s (oops, Dumas') Edmund Dantes unjustly imprisoned in the Chateau D’If to emerge years later as The Count of Monte Cristo?

ABCers portray PJ as somewhere between Ted Bundy, Charlie Manson and Greg Little.   

As with all such partisan disparity, the Truth surely lies betwixt and between.

From noon on Day One of this latest assault on The Carolina Way..... I’ve perceived PJ as a product of his cultural upbringing.  I don’t know the demographic geography of Greensboro but apparently PJ grew up within a social framework where the Fats Thomas-types are common.  That world of bling and “rides” and 9mm and hip-hop parties was to him what Little League, church softball, hayrides and casseroles were to us Richie Cunningham-types.

That he sought out and found that familiar world in Chapel Hill / Durham should be no surprise.  Do we really think enrolling at UNC-CH immediately transforms an 18 y/o “urban kid" into some squeaky-clean, Yes ma’am, gee willikers paragon of all things Dean Smith-ian?  Yes,. I’m sure a sizable % of hard-core Franklin Street Kool-Aid drinkers are comfortable thinking that.... “this” won’t dent that long-held warm cozy assumption one iota.

Roy giving a “don’t do anything stupid” lecture at freshmen orientation doesn’t resonate if one’s definition of stupid is different from Roy’s.

I will mount my little cyber soapbox here to say:

The single greatest “issue” in Big Time College Athletics (BTCA) is.....

NOT how many teams in a BCS play-off.
NOT how many pages in the NCAA rule book.
NOT dumb incompetent crooked referees.
NOT too many silly bowl games with ticket scams.
NOT 9:00 Bkball games and noon FB games
NOT even filling seats in ever-emptying arenas and stadiums.

IMO.... THE #1 issue in BTCA is the ever-growing cultural disparity between the gladiators in the arena and the spectators in the stands.  They come from very different worlds with very different interpretations of “acceptable behavior”.   

Neither side is incorrect in their version based on their personal life experience, but when those different worlds collide in BTCA there are “issues”.  The majority's perception is going to win out.  The measured distance between Skippa Bowles' Lower Level of TDD and the playing floor is only about ten feet..... but it is ten miles apart in socio-cultural perceptions.

A dozen young AfAm males full of “quick”, “hop” and street-fueled bravado are dropped onto a college campus where the “like them” factor MIGHT be 1% of the population and told to “make yourself at home”.   Huh?

I don’t have an answer.   The best athletes are young AfAms.   The public forking out the big $$$$ as boosters for prime seats are well-heeled (no pun) WASPs.  I don't see that changing.  It is a growing divide.

Everything is hunky dory in College Town USA UNTIL the young AfAm male full of swagger from a lower socio-economic background is caught being (GASP) “a young AfAm male full of swagger from a lower socio-economic background”.     

It is certainly not a Chapel Hill-centric issue.  The same cultural chasm exists all across BTCA even in West Raleigh and West Derm.... and widens by the day.

Am I pardoning PJ?  Not at all.   That he committed MULTIPLE “stoopid stuff” merited his dismissal.  Yes, I’ve heard all the “he was framed by DPD” crap.   Yawn.  Isn’t EVERY AfAm apprehended around Derm “a victim of profiling, et al”.   Including Crystal Gale Mangum – aka “honor student and single mother of two” and convicted murderer.

AgentPierce says he heard Gene Nichol was standing outside Sutton's Drug Store this morning screaming "That Damn Civitas Did This!".  That's Pierce being silly.... I think.

In three years will Roy be renting PJ one of his houses?  With Ol’ Roy one never knows.

So now “PJ” goes into The Amphibious File where his name will spend the next 25 years being regurgitated on an hourly basis by marauding ABCers..... cause thats how rival goobers spend their hours.   His timing is fortunate for him as he goes into The Amphibious File along with Marvin Austin, Greg Little and good ol’ “Uncle Julius” Nyang’oro.   Charles “Amphibious” Shackleford only had Chris “475” Washburn accompany him when he went into the file named in his “honor”.

The PJ Mess is Over??  It’ll never be OVER in our lifetime.   

To paraphrase John Belushi “Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?

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Posted: December 21, 2013 at 1:32 PM by SaidWHATMedia | with 16 comments
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Comments
BullCityBeth
'write PJ on their Nike's', i love my BobLee, I was surprised to see him on the bench on Sat evening, but as always can count on BobLee to clarify :-). Merry Christmas to you, Blondie and Kid, I hope it is a wonderful time for all!!
_________


BL: All fine around here so far. Plenty of column fodder as always !!
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12/23/2013 11:12:57 AM

58 Wolf Kennel
Dear BL. Of things most important, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and Blondie and Kid. Someday I hope to meet them so I can know them a little better than through your anonymous filter :>)). Sorry you can't make the Missouri game Saturday because my family is thoroughly enjoying a team with both character and characters - and good young men.
Relative to your article and over-arching premise. Yes, there is a gaping chasm between the haves and have-nots in the US far beyond anything seen in our sports arenas.
I have to disagree with you at the edges, however, even recognizing you always have the last word in this bloggy format.
Personally, I don't believe the gulf is as great as you portray between the spectator and gladiator. There are more of us than you give credit for who are just separated from the arena by age and aching joints. Sports are more eternal than some passing fad despite the ESPN's and money of the world. I want to be in the arena (if I can be) rather than "couching" it.
Also I believe the PJ's and Austin's of the collegiate world are exceptions rather than the rule. Most athletes who made it to the collegiate level have something on the ball beyond your chosen term of "thug-a-letes",
I had an opportunity to speak at length individually with about half of our NC State Men's Basketball team Friday night who were attending our women's game. Actually quite impressive.
This won't surprise you, but I blame UNC-CH for the dragged out process with PJ. It goes back 3-1/2 years to the initial football stories. Should have been dealt with immediately and maybe PJ's issues would have never happened in the first place.
____________


BL: No argument from me that UNC has had piss-poor executive leadership for quite some time.... incompetents on various levels who were drunk on their home-brewed Carolina Way wine. I do believe that Bubba Cunningham is trying to "fix the assorted messes" but not all are pulling in the same direction. ADs are not dictators.

As for being irrationally enamored with the sancity of one's own program... THAT is obviously not exclusive with blind partisans of a C-Blue hue. :-)

I will repeat.... "clash of cultures" is NOT a clash of good v bad.... but a clash of "different". I hold resolutely to the premise but will allow you to view it otherwise.

There will always be a sizable core of "want to be there" fans to fill 75-80% of a stadium / arena for each game.... and sell-outs for Big Games. NO ONE ever has or will classify TheRealBobKennel as a typical fan.

The Kennellian World View is always an "interesting" journey .... not unlike the Pirates Of The Caribbean ride at Disney World. :-)
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12/23/2013 11:12:40 AM

Down East Heel
Whatever. Baseball starts in 54 days. PS - you nailed as usual. If you have a copyright on the "distance between the spectators and gladiators" line I owe you mucho royalties.
_____________


BL: Nope, no copyright BUT I do appreciate a "you know what that BobLee says...." :-)

AND explain that acknowledging two very different cultures is NOT RACIST.
.
12/22/2013 8:01:20 PM

72Packer
BobLee, I believe you are dead on one of the issues that could kill college sports as they exist today. You mentioned another, the declining attendance at the games themselves-someone has to care about the games if they are to have value to ESPN. But there is also the philosophical argument about what Colleges are supposed to be doing. The more I see college athletics in general, the uglier it gets. Yes, there are feel-good stories and great kids playing college sports; but in the big time sports, money has taken over as the guiding "moral". My comment is not about PJ so much as college sports, and not UNC so much as the NCAA in general.

Presently, the Engineering College at NC State is ranked 27th in the world. I am beginning to think that if our resources went into the Engineering college instead of athletics, that the Engineering College would be ranked in the top 20 in the world instead of 27th. Isn't that goal in accord with what colleges do? Its time the arms race in collegiate athletics was halted, until common sense can return.
____________


BL: One critical misunderstanding in your premise. Declining on-site attendance is NOT due to lack of interest at all... but to a more convenient and economically efficient alternative to enjoying it. ERGO.... ESPN is happy as a clam with bazillions of eyes every Saturday.... in living rooms rather than in bleachers.

The NCAA and "College purpose" debate will wage on forever (at least our lifetime).
.
12/22/2013 2:25:31 PM

Transplanted Tarheel
PJ is probably getting faxes from clubs in Europe as we speak, If the NCAA says its ok for him to be there in the interim , and Bubba is letting Roy get away with it, let him be.

In regards to the disparity between fan and player, it has always been that way, the gladiators were not exactly from the upper echelon. Of course the one difference now from those days of antiquity is that instead of our names being engraved in our seats in the coliseum we now get a parking pass in the Morrison Dorm lot. And you canbetchayerass that the Romans would have stayed home as well if they had surround sound and HD.
___________


BL: Imagine watching lions devour Christians in HD !!!.... with a hottie sideline reporter asking "how do they taste?" questions.

PJ's status has not changed other than the announcement that his status WILL NOT CHANGE. Hopefully he will go NBADL next month and all involved "move on".

The % of saturation of the gladiators being "from different worlds" than spectators HAS changed over the past decade or so.
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12/22/2013 12:32:11 PM

JD Lowe
Just let PJ play. It isn't like he raped anybody *cough* JAMESIS WINSTON *cough*
__________


BL: Yeah, well there's that aspect too.

"Situational ethics" and "whose ox is being gored" are somehow always determining factors.
.
12/22/2013 10:27:36 AM

Jeanne Gunn
You are so right about the socio-cultural divide that exists between the spectators and players in college ball these days. Carolina needs more Marcus Paige and less PJ. The divide seems wider than ever - do you think it's due to the world of instant information we live in or things are really getting worse in college sports?

And you're right about the "PJ File" - it will never go away, and he has too much company with "Starvin" Marvin Austin, Greg Little, et al.

Best wishes for a Merry Christmas to you, "Blondie", and your daughter (I don't feel right referring to her as "kid", as she has grown into a lovely young woman).
__________

BL: She (Kid) will always be "Daddy's little girl".

Discussing the "cultural divide" is tricky to avoid value judgements.

"Things are getting worse" because "whatever it takes to win" is the dominant urge.

Some kids, maybe Marcus Paige or Harrison Barnes "grew up in" a more assimilated environment versus a PJ (or Marvin) whose world was AfAm urban-centric.

For the AfAm-centric kids to assimilate cold-turkey as 18 y/o is much more difficult.

Learning a foreign language is MUCH easier for small children than for adults.... same with cultural mores.
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12/22/2013 9:55:58 AM

TC
Totally dead serious here. You probably keep up with sports more than I do. You also probably exchange emails with folks that are paid to do that.

Have there been other schools that suspended or meted out a punishment to a player and then let stay on the team as a nonparticipating member?

Probably a win-win as the Scout team will be much better & PJ will improve his skill set. But a bit out of the ordinary....I think.
Comments?
_______


BL: It seems quite odd to me. Having a non-roster / ineligible player practicing seems verboten to me.

Not unlike bringing in Jordan and Worthy and Hansbrough to practice to improve the others.

I shall investigate.
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12/22/2013 9:32:35 AM

Emmette Taylor
You hit it "dead center". The cultural divide continues to create a Grand Canyon that dwarfs the real one in Arizona. What amazes me is do not most people grasp this concept or just choose to ignore it due to blind loyalty? Merry Christmas Bob to you and yours!
__________


BL: I believe it is CowDog who refers to this phenomenon as "the elephant in the room" that everyone (but me) chooses to ignore, I suspect from fear of the Politically Correct Police.

I don't see it as a PC issue at all.

Cultures are not "good" or "bad" but simply incompatible in certain areas.

I shall continue to shine a light on it until the NCAA creates a BobLee Commission to study it.
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12/22/2013 9:04:15 AM

PhilLeonard
Is your UNC at Chapel Hill education showing? Dumas wrote the Count of Monte Cristo!
________


BL: You're right. My apologies to both Victor and Alexander.
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12/22/2013 8:36:04 AM

unctarheel1984
I tried to read this one last night, but was distracted and blew it off. I gave it proper attention this morning and found it a thoughtful and sincere piece. Was this a last ditch effort trying to impress Santa just before Christmas?
________


BL: Yes
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12/22/2013 8:20:37 AM

NCSU68Grad
Your column is an interesting eclectic mix of humor, sarcasm (to me) and sincerity.

It has all the ingredients of a WH presentation....notice I did not include TRUTH...as you said....there are no real truths in this, except the ones that folks are going to keep quiet.

I was listening to the UNC v Davidson game riding around this afternoon. Jones and Eric were commenting on PJ's being seated in his usual place and also practicing with the team.

I will just make a few statements....hopefully NOT too judgmental....

PJ, as of my post, has not come forward and issued a public apology. His family has made a rather terse statement with a UNC barb attached. Perhaps he will and perhaps he will not....and perhaps he has already suffered severe treatment from his team mates.

PJ appears to STILL be a critical member of the UNC Scout team. That is probably a very honorable thing to do and also benefits the players to have to test their skills against a player of his caliber.

You are spot on....there are MORE questions than answers....and it is FAR from OVER.

One wonders if he will continue his Scout duties for the season.

One wonders if he will attend classes and remain a STUDENT, now that part of the ATHLETE has been taken away.

One wonders, based on the REPORTS (not speculation) of HOW it was handled and the Family's statement. It appears that UNC did all the investigation. UNC had reported, by protocol, that there might be some irregularities with PJ and they would look into it. Then, after their due diligence, they actually chose NOT to petition the NCAA for an "OK....are you guys on board?" ruling.

So, in essence, Bubba and staff decided NOT to write the letter and told PJ of his fate.

I have NO knowledge of WHAT prompted that. Whether there were falsehoods as one of the follically challenged radio wags has espoused. Whether OTHERS were involved and exposing all of JP's alleged improprietaries would have just been opening Pandora's box.

SO, no one wanted to open Pandora's box and let all the evil out....they MUST have felt that there was NO chance that Elpis was at the bottom, ie....NO HOPE or GOOD to come from letting everyone see the "events"

Wolfies and ABC'ers and Light Blue Clad BM's will wasted quadrillions of band width....and as you say....the billions of Chinese will wonder....

BUT, who knows....maybe some Chinese teenager will be sewing NBA Copyrighted images of PJ on hats, shirts, whatever....in a few short years.

Over...hardly....but the news cycle is fickle...
__________


BL: I like the scenario where PJ moves to West Monroe LA and becomes the go-to-guy for the Duck Commander church league BkBall team.
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12/21/2013 7:29:29 PM

WildatHeart
So since all this happened while UNC was already on probation, what do you think will happen - anything?
________


BL: Not sure how that applies.
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12/21/2013 5:58:10 PM

Yogi
Bobby, you almost nailed it. ALMOST. The distance between Skippa Bowles' Lower Level seats and the "dance floor" is being measured at the 401 level courses when it should be measured in the 3rd grade. The education system as a whole produces that distance long before the PJs make it to Uncle Julius's classroom. Back when I was a young lad playing athletics you never made it to the floor or the field if you couldn't at least add three double digit numbers and get the correct answer. Call me cynical but the carrot for being able to be recognized as "college level" talent should begin with the ability to "perform at a college level" for an academic standpoint. Will that ever happen? It does every day, there are some true "student athletes", the problem is it's not the norm and hasn't been in some time. The NCAA tried to make it happen years back and just like every rule (life's ones too) people figured out how to get around the rule. Either those in charge need to make the system of rules work OR build a system of minor leagues, like baseball, that would allow those more academically challenged a path to the "Bigs". The biggest problem with that is the money would never allow it. I rest my case.
___________


BL: The "solutions" tend to be both obvious and laughably impractical.

The "bread & circus" drive of society ultimately overrides the "right thing to do" in such cases.

The socio-cultural "chasm" will widen.
.
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12/21/2013 5:10:04 PM

MLD
Will Roy survive? Is he getting paid to do this crap to us? Is winning really all some people think about?
_________


BL: Yes, he IS getting paid. As to his survival, I'll say that depends on which team shows up most often the next two months.

As for it being "crap". Well.... yeah.
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12/21/2013 4:46:07 PM

Monroe
If the Bailiff is hanging around, maybe outside having a smoke on the loading dock, axt him to step inside and call the next case.

You nailed this one, dude.
__________


BL: Not everyone is going to agree with you. :-)
12/21/2013 4:42:36 PM

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