Tuesday, January 6, 2009

CHARLESTON ASKS FOR CLEMENCY

Bobby Cremins, the former Georgia Tech coach and now head man at the College of Charleston, has asked the University of North Carolina and the ACC to be relieved from his commitment to play the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill on Wednesday night.

“I don’t want to play ‘em,” said Cremins who led the Yellow Jackets to the Final Four in 1990 while earning the Naismith College Coach of the Year Award, “I didn’t want to play them to start with, and after Sunday night, I damn sure don’t want to play ‘em now. No freakin’ way.”

Coach Roy Williams said in his Monday ACC teleconference that he agreed to a home and home with Charleston out of respect for Cremins and his love for the low country of South Carolina. “We own a home down there at Wild Dunes. There's no question that it's one of my favorites places to play golf, sit on the beach, and eat seafood, but I don't think I'll be doing any of those three when we come back next year to play,” Ol’ Roy said.

Charleston is a member of the Southern Conference and their hoops squad is off to a solid start posting a 10-2 record. The Cougars also lost their last game – to ranked conference foe Davidson 79-75. That experience will not help them when they face a Tar Heel team which no doubt suffered through tough practices after losing to B.C. in the conference opener.

The Cougars do not have a football program and are best-known for thier men's basketball team. In hoops the Cougars won the NAIA national title in 1983 and have made four trips to the NCAA Tournament (1994, 1997, 1998 and 1999). Charleston also boasts the 2004, 2005, 2006, & 2007 SoCon Champion baseball team, 2004 SoCon Championship men's soccer team and the 2003 & 2005 SoCon Championship softball teams. From 2001 to 2007 the Cougars have won SoCon titles in women's volleyball, men's and women's swimming, diving, men's and women's cross country, women's track and field and women’s basketball. Just the same, on Wednesday night, they won’t be playing softball or soccer or baseball.

In addition they have excellent equestrian and sailing teams, not to mention student rugby clubs for both the men and the women. None of this means diddly squat when they face a very cranky Tar Heel squad tomorrow night.

Cremins became the basketball coach in 2006. The ACC coaching legend had coached Georgia Tech from 1981 to 2000. In addition to reaching the Final Four in 1990, Cremins’ Jackets won three ACC tournaments. Unfortunately, none of that means jack crap when Charleston plays a fired-up UNC team Wednesday.

Cremins is, in fact, so good that prior to his run in Atlanta he made Appalachian State, a football school, a Southern Conference basketball power. The Cremins led Mountaineers won the SoCon regular season or tournament championship in 1979, 1978 and 1981. However, none of that will translate into baskets or rebounds when the Cougars tangle with a recently jilted formerly number 1 ACC powerhouse on their home court.

“Look, I won 100 games at Appalachian State and everybody knows that’s a football school, and I took Georgia Tech, another football school, to the Final Four,” said Cremins, “but, this? This is ridiculous.”

ACC Commissioner John Swofford said, “Fish gotta swim, birds gotta eat. Nothin’ personal, it’s jut bidness. Play ball.”


LEGEND: Italics: Not neccesarily true: Regular type: Pretty much true.

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