Edwin Yoder’s UNC-NCAA Point of View on Aug. 9 was truly poignant over a 60-year span. I was a mid-1950s contemporary of Yoder’s although as a multi-sport student-athlete at N.C. State who remembers smacking Carolina at Kenan Stadium in 1956 as its team broke through its “Welcome Home Sunny Jim” banner.
Many of the same athletic temptations affected State these same 60 years from the Jackie Moreland basketball scandal in the ’50s to the over-hyped Jim Valvano scandal of the ’80s.
I was present for both, beginning with Coach Earle Edwards asking me to write the NCAA asking why our ’57 ACC football championship team couldn’t go to a bowl game because of a basketball issue. I received a prompt letter from Walter Byers saying the NCAA was a voluntary association of institutions rather than individual sports requiring punishment at the institutional level.
With respect to Valvano issues, I was involved as president of the Parents’ Association and Alumni Association, plus Chancellor’s Council on Athletics. The big difference is that N.C. State learned from its more minor mistakes placing academic support for student-athletes under the provost rather than the athletic director, which continues to help State’s institutional perspective.
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Robert P. Kennel