A lifelong Carolina fan sent me this piece by Thad Williamson to serve as a representation of his thoughts and feelings of the revelations brought out by the Wainstein Report. The piece is honest, possibly still a bit defensive and deluded (regarding Dean and what he did or didn’t know and the degree, understandably so), and appropriately optimistic:
UNC is still an institution that aspires to greatness, and specifically to the notion that academic accomplishment and high-level athletic accomplishment can go hand in hand. Some of the problems at Carolina stem from the systemic tension between those two goals, when student-athletes are brought to campus without the requisite academic preparation. That’s a tension felt at almost every school in the country that plays big-time sports, and indeed is intrinsic to the current model of college sports.
I had similar thoughts about the program – regardless of how they got to where they are now (good or bad), UNC will always attract a large number of talented individuals, whether they be future professional athletes, doctors, scientists and researchers, writers – you name it. They still have the potential to build on the foundation of historical greatness and, if done right, they can rise to the top, look down and proclaim without irony that they arrived the Carolina way.