The discussion about what's wrong with big-time college sports continued Tuesday in Chapel Hill, as The N&O's Luke DeCock reported in today's column. Taylor Branch, a UNC grad whose writing on what he considers the exploitation of college players has received much attention, said UNC players have been told by their coaches not to talk with him. Hodding Carter, who teaches at UNC, said the faculty had been passive, as other college faculties had been, "allowing the slaughter of the integrity of the institutions they serve to go forward." The N&O's reporting on the UNC football program (and the NCAA investigation into it) has shown some significant problems. We will continue reporting.
At the same time, it's worth noting that there are some outstanding young adults who play big-time college sports. The N&O featured prominent stories today on two of them as they prepare to play their final home games. NCSU's C.J. Williams' hustle and leadership have been apparent during his four years at State, our J.P. Giglio reports. That's how he got to be a team captain as a sophomore and junior. His coach says he's been "a great young man to coach." He will graduate in May with a degree in business.
UNC's Tyler Zeller also has been outstanding. He's a business major and a two-time academic all-America. One of his business professors told The N&O's Andrew Carter, "It seems like he really believes (in) doing things the right way for the right reasons, treating people with respect and working hard."
Let's hear it for C.J. Williams and Tyler Zeller (and for their parents). They've set a high standard and have shown how good big-time college sports could be.