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The DTH Gives UNC and NCSU Fans Something To Agree On

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And that is this column is really, really stupid.

If you would rather reserve brain cells for this weekend when copious drinking might be required, I will summarize most of the piece written by The Daily Tar Heel's Jonathan Jones.

Last week on senior day at NC State, the Wolfpack opted to honor Russell Wilson along with the rest of the seniors despite the fact Wilson is technically a redshirt junior and has an additional year of eligibility left. Wolfpack coach Tom O'Brien said that they missed the chance to honor RB Toney Baker last season when he had a year left and did not want to make the same mistake with Wilson. Seems perfectly logical to me and since I don't spend too much time(read: zero time) thinking about how NCSU runs their Senior Day activities for football games, I blew it off.

Not so for Mr. Jones who decides three days before a big rivalry game would be a great time to post something so absolutely out of left field and quite frankly a little offensive that I am sure it is hanging up in the home team's locker room at the Wendell Murphy Football Center as we speak. Jones' argument is it was wrong for NCSU to honor Wilson. Wilson was not technically a senior and he should not be rewarded if he choose to bail out on his team and play professional baseball next season rather than use his final year of football eligibility. Jones reasons:

Senior Day is a celebration meant for seniors, not just for those who may not be around next season. Hell, if that were the case, most members of a John Calipari team would take the court before the final home game.

and

If you aren’t a senior, you shouldn’t be treated like a senior.

Allow me to anticipate a Wolfpacker’s argument: Wilson already completed his degree, so academically he’s a senior and should be congratulated for such an accomplishment.

The point of Senior Day is not to applaud student athletes for their four years in the classroom. It’s to celebrate their four years in class and on the field.

First of all, why should anyone at UNC care what NCSU does on their Senior Day?

Secondly, seriously why should any Tar Heel patron care about this or quite frankly anything that goes on at NC State, Duke, St. Aug's etc, etc, etc. At the present time I am pretty darn sure UNC fans have much bigger concerns than whether Russell Wilson is getting an applause on Senior Day as a redshirt junior. You know that whole business about taking care of the plank in your eye before worrying about the speck of dust in your brother's? In fact I would think The DTH has bigger concerns such as stalking honor court proceedings or joining on a lawsuit in an effort to engage in a fishing expedition of your own school in an effort to dredge up something that could be used build a flashy bombshell story. Instead The DTH is rendering opinions on things no one outside of West Raleigh gives a crap about.

As for the Jones' argument, I would say that it fails to recognize a couple of key points. First of all, Wilson is a redshirt junior which means he has been on the football team for four years. Yes, he has only played three years but his first year he did his share of hard work and contributing to the team the way most redshirt freshman do. Secondly, the current reality of college athletics means you will have players who leave early. Now I am not in favor of honoring players for one or two years, but someone who has contributed three years and has either graduated or is about to graduate, I have less issue with honoring them. In some cases juniors get to come back and have their jerseys honored which happened for Wayne Ellington and Ty Lawson. You could argue that was potentially a better route for honoring Wilson but even then there are possibly restrictions to what you can do depending on the player. Mainly, O'Brien felt they missed the boat with Baker and did not want to do it with Wilson. It doesn't sound like a big deal to me.

Oh, just to piece the argument even further. On Senior Day for UNC basketball, all the seniors on the team are honored. Not just the four year scholarship players but the walk-ons who may have only played one year with the varsity. Interesting that Jones' fails to mention that UNC is in the habit of recognizing players who spent less than four years on the court while lambasting NCSU for doing the same.

This piece strikes me as utterly pointless, exceptionally inflammatory in that bulletin board material sort of way and feels just plain wrong. I am not sure what purpose it serves other than bringing UNC and NCSU fans together in a week where we would much rather hate each other as much as possible. Not only is it somewhat disrespectful to Wilson but it is making it more difficult for me to let the hate flow since I have to spend time defending a rival during the period of time I am supposed to be breathing fire at them.

Hate week ruined.