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This a great 30 for 30

  • Don't agree with ABC a whole lot, but nothing he said in his initial post is really unfair. Anybody who really knows anything about Valvano will tell you as much. Chris Washburn is just one, small example. Go google Charles Shackleford, who was ruled ineligible, and then miraculously ended-up eligible after some 'assistance.' Also google: "Personal Fouls: The Broken Promises and Shattered Dreams of Big Money Basketball at Jim Valvano's North Carolina State." Look, the 1983 team and story is terrific. Valvano's cancer story is terrific, his personality was very charismatic, and he obviously had some great runs at NC State. But no reason to trash ABC just because he brings up another aspect of the story. IMO.

  • BritBrant

    agree with this^^^^(same age) acc basketball was the shizz back then

  • You are grossly overstating the individual greatness of that NCSt roster. Not that it really matters, since that team competed in the epicenter of college basketball's glory years. All teams of postseason ilk were a combo of veterans and top shelf talent.

    You are incorrect about Wittenberg and Charles having long NBA careers. Both lasted one year. They were very good college basketball players. Charles was ahead of his time from a physical standpoint but his 6'7" size had him undersized at power forward. He was a tweener without much impact from outside the block. Wittenberg was a true leader and benefitted greatly from being coached early on by Morgan Wooten. His leadership only increased under Valvano, who's own charisma helped bring it out of those that had it.

    Sidney Lowe had a handful of years, maybe 4 or 5 but nothing special. Thurl Bailey was the NBA talent. And his 10+ years proved he was the goods. However, having an NBA talent like Bailey didn't put them above and beyond their peers. It allowed them to be competitive. In just the postseason alone, he had to face Sam Perkins/Brad Dougherty, Ralph Sampson twice, Sidney Green and Hakeem Olajuwan.

    You have to view the accomplishments relative to the era. A thurl bailey isn't commonplace in today's game. A team with a Thurl Bailey today has distinct advantages over all but a few teams of competition. It wasn't the case back then. So the coach has to push the right buttons, find the right chemistry, gain the right amount of trust to win even with a thurl Bailey.

    He faced Ralph Sampson 4 times that season. Whatever UNC threw at him three times. Duke was still young but had the Jay Bilas, Mark Alerie, David Henderson foundation just barely in place. John Salley had just arrived at GT. Maryland had Ben Coleman and a freshman power forward named Len Bias. The talent and depth of talent at the bigger positions on the floor conceivably negated NC St's 'NBA talent advantage'.

    It was a team that got its leader back at just the right time. Valvano knew just what to say and they all believed in each other. Valvano wasn't a fantastic coach. He was a great leader for those kids. He would probably acknowledge his mistake in the Chris Washburn deal. Winning can make you do regrettable things, but insinuate that Chris Washburn is what Valvano is/was is incredibly short sighted. Valvano's greatest claim to fame in his profession was his 1983 accomplishment. Look at what kind of people he helped mold and the success after 1983 many of his players have achieved. Terry Gannon, Thurl Bailey on snd off the court, Sidney Lowe is a respected coaching mind (though it didbt work out at NC St), Derick Wittenberg was a respected leader of men as a coach at multiple stops.

    That's his coaching legacy. All wrapped up nicely in last night's documentary. His never give up speech 10 years later was as true in his fight against cancer as it was in the way he helped bring a championship to those kids.

  • ACC was allowed to do it as an "experiment." Did you notice where the line was? Barely past the foul line.

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  • If you actually watched the documentary you saw the lead investigator from the NCAA in the case, Dave Didion, say they the charges in "Personal Fouls" were found by the NCAA to be untrue, and if he had a son he'd want him to play for V.

    As Didion pointed out, NC State went on probation because players were selling comp tickets. Nothing more, nothing less. BTW, that's the same violation that put USC hoops on probation from the Bill Foster era. Think what you will about BF, but no one ever called him a cheat.

    I love ABC, but the evidence is Valvano was a helluva coach, recruited some guys with no business being in college, just like most schools back then including us, and paid the penalty of losing his job over violations that are hardly scandalous.

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  • '83 was the only ACC tourney I ever attended. V and his men put on one helluva show.

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  • It didn't take him all year to capitalize on that talent. Whittenburg was the heart and soul of that team and broke his foot and the team suffered as a result. His coming back was the catalyst for that run.
    Of their 10 losses that year they lost twice to UVA which was an amazing basketball team. They lost twice to Maryland with Coleman and Bias. They lost to a UNC team that had Jordan, Perkins and Brad Doherty and they lost to Louisville, who also made the final 4.
    So much of coaching is about getting your team to buy into a vision and then motivating them to go and do it. He was masterful at that.
    Was he the best coach in the ACC? No. He did a fine job going up against Dean Smith and Mike Krzyzweski, a daunting task. Did he make some mistakes late in his career? Yes. Did he sacrfice academic integrity, at times, to get start players eligible? Yes? Was he some huge cheater? No. What got NCST into trouble were players selling gear and game tickets, unbeknownst to Valvano. Ultimately that's on him but this mythology has been perpetuated that Jimmy V was some big time cheater. He wasn't.
    He was a very good basketball coach that had a good run at NCST going up against 2 of the greatest coaches in any sport ever.
    Other than pointing out that Chris Washburn was a mentally challenged dirt bag you really don't have the slightest idea what you're talking about.
    I say all of that as a person that cannot STAND NCST. They're second on my sports hate list behind Clemson. I really don't like them or their fans. But Valvano was a very good coach who did far more good than bad at NCST and has a very inspiring story.

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  • please be inspired, as i said, i find the story inspiring too.

    portraying the championship team as a cinderella, imho, is nonsense. he had plenty of horses.

    so chris washburn was just the case of an unfortunate turn of events

    when you recruit people that cant even take the sat....he made dots......who is stealing & doing drugs on campus....gosh, you think it was just an isolated coincidence

    its not simply an indictment of the coach. when you have your university president fessing up if you are blue chip we will get you in school....that is not an educational institution, its a house of ill repute.

    like the kid said, i knew i was in college so i just connected the dots.

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  • Thanks for the heads up! I DVR last night and look forward to watching it!

  • He had solid but not great players on that team. Not a single player on that team could be said to have been a great college player or anything more than a serviceable pro player. If you don't want to use the "Cinderella" phrase, whatever. It's a meaningless adjective used to describe what was an unexpected and very improbable run to an NCAA championship. NOBODY saw that coming. He did a great job that year and was very good in a brutally tough league for a number of years beyond that run.
    It didn't end well and Washburn is a well documented idiot but Jim Valvano was a better coach than you're giving him credit for.

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  • Here's what the publisher of the book said:

    There were six major charges against Valvano in ''Personal Fouls,'' and not only were they not refuted, they were also all confirmed by either faculty members, administrators, or former team members: 1. Players had their grades changed so they could remain eligible. This charge has been backed up by faculty members. 2. Entrance requirements were lowered, or waived, to allow academically unqualified athletes to be admitted to the university. Backed up by administrators. Chris Washburn's combined S.A.T. scores were 470. 3. Players sold tickets. Backed up and documented by the N.C.A.A. 4. Players sold sneakers. Backed up and documented by the N.C.A.A. 5. Players took drugs, and Valvano knew about it as he knew about faked drug tests. This assertion has been backed up by players and is given considerable credence by Washburn's cocaine addiction, which led to his being banned for life from the National Basketball Association. 6. Jim Valvano and Bruce Poulton, the chancellor of the university, conspired to corrupt the system at North Carolina State. This was the most important charge in the book. That Poulton has resigned under pressure, that Valvano has been stripped of his athletic directorship, and that three other coaches in the state system who held dual athletic director/coaching positions have been forced to give up one job or the other, is ample evidence that the book has not been refuted.

  • That's great. i'm just quoting what the NCAA's investigator, Dave Didion said in the show.

    Not taking sides, but i understand the publisher of the books motivation to make the book seem as credible as possible. Wonder what Didion's motivation would be?

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  • who knows. but obviouslly Wittenburg is going to focus on the good, which is fine. As has been mentioned, there was a lot of good to focus on.

  • I'll take that as you don't have an answer.

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  • thurl bailey played 16 years in the nba. lorenzo charles, whitenburg, rowe & mcqueen all played in the nba

    i do object to the cinderella label. you need to redo the who story of cinderella if you want to make it work. the way they won, in a time when you had real basketball players on college courts, it was inspiring. valvano was inspiring

    but to pretend that he & the administration at nc state went all red light district to win is just hilarious.

    nobody is a saint. well, i guess some people do become saints. so i best stop now. enough on the negative for nc state & valvano

    it all does serve to remind me of the sad disparity between the college game that included all these characters in the acc plus others like bird & magic

    now, watching college hoops is like watching full court summo wrestling with occasional dunk highlight or...gosh three pointer....wow

    how depressing....current college ball i mean

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