Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Some Tar Heel detractors will tell you (ad nauseam) that UNC gets all “the calls.” This is especially true of those folks over in Durham who actually do get all the calls. However, this little item from the N&O will give them ammo for years to come!

From the Raleigh News & Observer - Robbi Pickeral, Staff Writer

North Carolina's men's basketball team on Tuesday had what a team official called an extraordinary chance to play basketball with presidential candidate Barack Obama.
So extraordinary that an NCAA rule appears to have been broken -- and the NCAA is apparently going to ignore it.

"This was a unique situation and not an NCAA issue," NCAA media relations director Erik Christianson said in an e-mail message to The News & Observer on Tuesday. "It certainly was a great opportunity for the student-athletes to interact with a presidential candidate."
At issue is the timing of the informal scrimmage and the fact that UNC coach Roy Williams watched it from the sideline.

According to NCAA bylaws, coaches are not allowed to watch pickup games at any time during the offseason. Division I basketball teams also are prohibited from any mandatory athletically related offseason activities through final exams. Exams began Monday at UNC.
Team spokesman Steve Kirschner said Williams knew he wasn't supposed to be at the Smith Center practice gym under the letter of the NCAA rules, but that these were "extraordinary circumstances," and, with the number of Secret Service personnel on site, the coach wanted to be there to make sure that everything went OK.

Kirschner also said the Tar Heels play voluntary pickup games all the time that are within the rules because they are not mandatory. That's what took place on Tuesday, he said.

(AP Photos by Jae C. Hong)

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