Stuff popping all over the place.
- Your Bubba Cunningham local radio blitz was on Monday with the newly hired UNC AD making appearances on both the David Glenn Show and with Adam Gold and Joe Ovies. I did note that Bubba is now adding "whether it be Everett or someone else" to his statement about finding a permanent head football coach. Not that it matters but the fact he added the nuance means he is as least aware of the implications of his statement on Friday. Overall I like what I am hearing from Bubba so far. On one hand he says he needs to acclimate to the culture in Chapel Hill rather than come in and attempt to make changes. On the other hand, he clearly has a vision and ideas of where he wants the athletic department to go by saying UNC should set the highest goals possible such as a BCS Championship in football. It doesn't mean UNC will win the BCS but Bubba points out that if you see a high goal and come up a little short that could still be an ACC Championship or BCS bowl game.
- The Durham Herald Sun had an interesting piece on NCAA violations which occurred during Bubba's tenure at Ball St from 2002-2005. Probably more interesting that the actual violations is the fact no one brought this up before Bubba was officially hired. And when I say "no one" I mean the media. UNC knew all about the violations which had to do with textbooks, exceeding scholarship limits on the tennis teams and failing to count athletes time spent on camps and fundraisers as "athletically related activites." UNC search committee chair Lowry Caudill said the issues were discussed early in the process and basically implied the violations were akin to jaywalking. Probably so though the NCAA did level the lack of institutional control charge because multiple sports were involved which proves LOIC has nothing to do with the severity of the violations but rather the perception compliance is broken across the entire department. The article does mention Bubba stressed openness and cooperation with the NCAA during the investigation there.
- The deluge of preview articles and other features for the upcoming basketball season has begun in earnest. CBS Sports' Jeff Goodman shines the spotlight on Harrison Barnes who says he is more comfortable now and ready to meet expectations. Goodman also has a piece on Kendall Marshall.
- Goodman and Gary Parrish released their All-American and player of the year picks. They went with Jared Sullinger for NPOY. I have no argument with that. Barnes will be right there in that race and Sullinger is really good. On the four All-American teams they posted Barnes was on the first team, Marshall and John Henson were on the second team and Tyler Zeller was on the fourth team. I simply do not get the lack of respect being shown to Zeller by these guys. I love Henson and his game. I am a full believer that his defense really changes games in a tangible way(from blocked shots to forcing end line in-bounds passes to be thrown all the way into the backcourt.) However Zeller's consistent offensive production cannot be denied. If Henson's offensive game really develops then maybe you can argue he brings more to the table but based on last season Zeller is poised to do some serious damage on his own, especially if the three point shooting is there and Barnes becomes the offensive weapon we all think he can be. Still that is a list of essentially the top 20 players in the country and UNC has four. Scary.
- With the ACC's Operation Basketball coming up this week, the members of the media ponder their All-ACC votes. David Teel of the Newport News Daily Press is going with four Tar Heels and UVa's Mike Scott on his preseason All-ACC first team. This sets up an interesting situation. UNC did not have anyone named to the first team postseason All-ACC team in 2011. Now there is the possibility UNC could have 2 or 3 on the first team. I don't think it will be four because last season there were voters who apparently were so stupid they left John Henson off their ballot entirely. In ACC voting Zeller will get his due but Henson to some degree won't.
- According to the Triangle Business Journal, UNC is 3rd in all of college basketball in revenue earned. Duke comes in at #1 and Lousiville is #2. What I find really interesting about this is Duke essentially cuts themselves off at the lower shin to some degree by playing games in a decrepit barn that only seats 9000 people, most of them students who are not paying top dollar for their tickets. Compare that to UNC which averages over twice as many fans in the Dean Dome with tickets prices that range much higher. That must means Duke has significant revenue from other places or they make up the shortfall by never playing true road games anywhere except in the ACC. Oh and yeah, my whole reason for bringing this up was to (1) point out UNC was 3rd and (2) take gratuitous shots at Duke.