Why in the world is Tommy talking about Tiger Woods on Inside Carolina's website?
As I write this column, I feel like I am next up on the tee and Tiger just blasted one 350 center cut. You see, for this website, Thad Williamson is our Tiger Woods. And Thad's column (Thad: The Matt Doherty Era – What Went Wrong?) yesterday was that monster drive. There is not much more I can say that Thad did not eloquently set forth, free from bias but grounded in a firm grasp of the entire situation. So I won't. Count me into the "what Thad said" crowd.
Unfortunately, it is not quite that easy since I'm up and it's my turn. Here goes…
After stepping away and taking in the aftermath on Wednesday, I am more amazed now than I was after seeing the actual press conference Tuesday night. Now, I've been in my share of courtrooms and I've rarely seen two witnesses to the exact same event describe said event in the exact same way. But when it comes to the Carolina coaching change, I have had a hard time believing how far apart any two writers can be with their views and beliefs on the entire Doherty situation, especially on the national scale.
If you are like me, regardless of how you feel about what has happened, you read every article. On one hand, you have guys like Michael Wilbon (Washington Post) and Stephen Smith (Philadelphia Inquirer) skewering Coach Matt Doherty for his actions during his tenure that resulted in his firing. On the other, you have guys like Dan Wetzel (CBSportsline) and Mike DeCourcy (The Sporting News) sticking a fork in the University's administration for the bungled handling of the entire situation.
Who is right? Is anyone wrong?
As with a court case, the truth generally lies somewhere in between the two ‘sides' and it is up to us --- the jury so to speak --- to determine what that truth is. The only flaw to my argument is that we, the jury, have no say in the outcome. What has been done, is done, period. The verdict is in and Coach Matt Doherty is no longer the head coach at the University of North Carolina. (He is, however, still a member of the "Carolina Family" and should be treated as such.) All we can do now is wait and see what happens.
Or is it?
Now more than ever, the Carolina fan base has a duty to unite and stand as one. Many around the country would like nothing more than to see Carolina Basketball flounder for years to come. They laugh at the bickering and sharp debate between supporters of Carolina over Coach Doherty's treatment, Coach Doherty's replacement, and the Carolina players. They know a divided fan base can be defeated and they relish the opportunity to watch it happen again and again. It's time to put an end to their joy.
Tuesday's press conference was painful to watch and at times, painfully executed by those in charge of such things. But in that presser, I think Chancellor Moeser said it best at the close of his prepared statement and in the process put the entire event in perspective...
"This has been very difficult for all of us - most of all our players. I'm proud of them. They played hard. They played well. They played for each other. These are kids that love Carolina, love the program and love the uniform. That is what this is about."
And that is exactly how it should be. A decision has been made. No amount of anger or vitriol spewed will change that now though it will make the environment for those players and the next head coach of North Carolina that much more difficult. And in the end, that discord only makes the goal of everyone "Carolina" --- returning to the rightful perch atop the college basketball world --- that much more unlikely.
Have a comment or question? Email Tommy at firstname.lastname@example.org.