Never mind math, work on the jump shot

February 1, 2014 

UNC sports fans might as well brace themselves for unceasing taunting and teasing from fans of other ACC schools gloating over the fall from grace of one of the most respected institutions of higher learning in the USA.

Those chiding fans might be smart to moderate their smirks.

A recent CNN study reported that 18 percent of all college football and basketball players can’t read above elementary school level. So let those whose alma maters have not cheated on student-athlete admissions loft the first air ball.

Baby sitters or athletes?

Basketball coach Roy Williams’ reaction to allegations leveled against his program was a bit puzzling indeed.

“Every one of the kids that we’ve recruited in 10 years you’d take home with you and let (them) guard your grandchildren. And I’m really proud of my kids,” he said.

Coach, that’s good to know. But those “kids” are not there to serve as trusted baby sitters for somebody’s grandchildren. They’re supposed to be legitimate student-athletes in pursuit of an education.

I felt myself feeling sorry Ol’ Roy until I remembered that he’s raking in almost $2 million a year. Instead, I transferred my compassion to all college athletes who are being shortchanged and misused by lucrative, out-of-control sports programs.

Ah, there’s the shame.

My 11-year-old grandson has been going to Carolina in his mind since he was 6. Reminding him of the tough odds an out-of-state resident faces in being admitted, I’ve advised him repeatedly to hit the books!

So what am I to do now? Tell him, “Never mind the math and science, just work on your jump shot?”

Early risers

I’ve been informed that I don’t know as much about squirrel behavior as I thought I did.

“Sorry, A.C.,” a friend wrote. “You’re catching the second feeding of your squirrels. They are up around 5:30, leaving their mess on your driveway, digging up your lawn, looking for acorns and up to other mischief.

“After they chow down, they sleep for two or three more hours and then visit your feeder again about the time you are having coffee.”

Dog love

Your responses to last week’s observation that dogs own the lion’s share of animal affection were varied.

A Wake Forest resident reported that she baby-sits her neighbors’ beloved beagle when they are out of town.

“They pay me extra to let Buckets sleep with me,” she said, explaining that the dog is so named because she oozes buckets of affection.

Even Poet Rudyard Kipling, (1865-1936) remarked on the obsessive love we lavish on canines:

When the body that lived at your single will,

With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!).

When the spirit that answered your every mood

Is gone – wherever it goes – for good,

You will discover how much you care,

And will give your heart to a dog to tear.

Lard is back

Yep, after years of warnings that eating food cooked in lard clogs our arteries and jeopardizes our health, some medical authorities say food cooked with hog lard may be good for you.

The mere mention of lard reminds me of a memorable moment when I was a back-bench lad at Salem Baptist Church in Surry County.

One Sabbath morning when choir was in full chorus, two ladies were enjoying a gab fest. When the choir suddenly ceased, one of the women’s’ voice rang out, “Well, I fry mine in lard!”

Even the preacher couldn’t control his laughter as he strolled to the lectern.

So, go to it, folks. Fry yours in lard.


I read somewhere that winter is the time when politicians talk about the homeless.

How true. Nevertheless, everybody has been talking about those recent “two-blanket” nights when we Southerners thanked God we don’t live in Minneapolis or Syracuse.

It’s said that God gave us memory so we could have roses in winter.

I’ll be happy to forgo the roses if the Almighty will spare us another winter like this one.

Snow: 919-836-5636 or

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