The Suspense is Over
Usually at this time of the year I am excited about the fact that football season is only a few days away, and I can feel the adrenalin start to flow as I anticipate Saturdays in Chapel Hill watching the Heels go against the teams from other institutions of higher learning. It's not that way this year for me for several reasons, the most important of them being that I just read in the Winston-Salem Journal that the University of Miami has admitted Willie Williams and he has been awarded an athletic scholarship. I shouldn't let one situation involving one so called "student athlete" bother me so much, but the Willie Williams situation has become a symbol of what college athletics has become at some institutions, and I was hoping that UM would show some courage and deny him admission or at least a scholarship. Strange that all of his activities at the University of Florida on his recruiting trip were carefully chronicled in the press, but I didn't even know that Williams had been finally admitted to UM until this morning and I read a lot web sites and message boards in addition to several newspapers. Maybe it has been in the press but I haven't seen it. I only saw speculation. The press would say they haven't publicized his admission because it does not involve the public at large like an arrest or a trial, but I ain't buying that line. They could have reported the facts which would have been enough for most people.
The Marcus Vick situation has been resolved, at least for a while, and I must say that Virginia Tech handled that situation about as well as it could have been handled. You might be interested to know that every Virginia Tech supporter I have talked with expressed the hope that Vick would be separated from the Tech program with one exception. One letter to the sports editor of the Richmond Times Dispatch expressed the opinion that Marcus Vick's situation was "no big deal" and that he should be allowed to participate in football this year. Everyone I talked with felt he had been given his second chance.
I was afraid that expansion would bring this on and it has, but it is difficult to get all the facts in a situation such as these. One poster on the UM web site says that Williams has never been convicted of a single offense and that he should sue those who say he has. I don't know anything about this situation other than what I have read, but I read that he was convicted of at least a couple of offenses committed during his recruiting trip to U. of Florida and received probation as a punishment. It has been reported that he has been arrested 10 times, several of which were for felonies, but I can't say with authority whether he has been convicted or not.
And there is another side to every story. Initially, it was reported that Williams "groped" a female on his recruiting trip to UF. Webster says "grope" means "to feel about with one's hands."
I mention this only because at Williams' trial "grope" was changed by somebody to "hugged" and I believe this particular charge was finally dropped. It raises questions about the charges that need to be answered. I imagine the victim could be persuaded that a "grope" was really a "hug" provided provided someone made it worth her while.
So the results for the week were a wash. In my opinion Virginia Tech did as well as they could with their situation, and Vick will show them whether he appreciates his third chance or not. He is still appealing the original charge of improper conduct with an under age female. I heard a good analogy of the Virginia Tech situation that I will pass along. Someone said that VT had tried for years to be invited to the big party (ACC) and just as they entered the door, they spilled a drink on the carpet." If that's the case, maybe they used woolite quickly and the carpet won't show a stain but it was a close call.
Miami, on the other hand, is another story. Their message board posters think North Carolina school are hypocrites. They claim they didn't let a running back named Washington into Miami for academic reasons but that N.C. State is interested in him and may allow him admission to their school and program. One poster even said UNC would accept Willie Williams if we thought we could get him. When that or any similar situation occurs, you won't find me or this web site anywhere around UNC athletics. I wish I could say I am surprised at UM's decision to proceed with Williams but I am not. Some of us remember what the Hurricanes were like when Jimmy Johnson and Dennis Erickson were there, and it looks like they haven't changed from those days as much as they would like to think they have. Do you hear me Donna and Jimmy?