Blog Entry

The UNC family squabbles go public

Posted on: February 5, 2011 1:50 pm
Edited on: February 5, 2011 3:13 pm
Posted by MATT JONES

No college basketball program in the country is prouder of its basketball alumni base than North Carolina. During the Dean Smith era, the image of a "UNC family" was cultivated and has become as large a part of UNC lore as its baby blue uniforms. The family concept plays a large part in recruiting, as the Tar Heels make use of their notable NBA alumni as well as any program in America, usually in the form of having the players coincidentally show up on campus when top flight recruits make their visits. It even affects decisions about the program, most famously showcased when the UNC leadership chose an inexperienced Matt Doherty to take over for Bill Guthridge, rather than trust the ship to someone outside the family. The image and reality of a UNC basketball cosa nostra is a large part of what makes North Carolina basketball unique and the family concept is to be cultivated and encouraged at all times.

That is partially why the story of Larry Drew quitting the team mid-season took many by surprise. It isn't uncommon for UNC to have transfers, as unworthy McDonald's All Americans ranging from Neil Fingleton to the Wear brothers have left the program over the years due to a lack of playing time or unharnessed ability. And, as Matt Norlander pointed out here yesterday, from a production standpoint, losing Larry Drew will be of little significance to Roy Williams's team this season or in the future. But for a player who has been a significant part of the rotation to just up and leave in the middle of the year with virtually no notice, well that suggests a rift in the family atmosphere that has previously been uncommon, or at least unspoken, in Chapel Hill.

Enter the wonderful world of Facebook. Yesterday, former UNC player Damion Grant posted well wishes for Larry Drew on his Facebook status saying, "always hate to see a player leave the fam, but no one can judge unless you walked in his shoes. Best wishes lil homie. Nothing but love Drew II." That set off a firestorm of comments on Grant's Facebook wall and led to this response by former UNC player Rashad McCants' father, James (the screen shot is linked here and contains some blatant salty language):


The topic then led to more back and forth conversation between McCants' father and other UNC fans in the comment section. Those comments included more criticism by McCants towards Williams, but have all since been removed, leaving us only with the screen shot above courtesy of The Devils' Den Duke Twitter feed (shocking that a Duke fan site would record it for posterity and future conversation, I know). It has always been rumored that Rashad McCants did not enjoy his time in Chapel Hill and had a decidedly rocky relationship with Coach Roy Williams. On at least one occasion, McCants has denied those rumors, but his father's comments suggest that the relationship was, at best, far from perfect. 

In the end, North Carolina will survive Larry Drew's departure on the court and his replacement at the point, Kendall Marshall is a better longterm solution for the Heels anyway. But his departure does poke some holes into the "one big happy UNC family" picture that is such an important part of the Carolina program and mystique. The notion that things are simply different at Carolina because the UNC family has a special strong lifetime bond that can't be severed looks to be, at least in some cases, a complete myth. Don't believe me? Just ask James McCants.
Category: NCAAB

Since: Feb 5, 2011
Posted on: February 5, 2011 5:09 pm

The UNC family squabbles go public

That was taken from someone's facebook account.  You are a bottom feeder.  CBS pays you to write this?

Since: Feb 5, 2011
Posted on: February 5, 2011 4:40 pm

The UNC family squabbles go public

I meant beyond the pale.  This is crap that you posted.  You should be ashamed. 

Since: Feb 5, 2011
Posted on: February 5, 2011 4:32 pm

The UNC family squabbles go public

Are you kidding me?  Do you even know any of the ins and outs of the situation regarding James McCants and Roy Williams?  James McCants is a train wreck of a father.  McCants own mother, when asked about James said, "Everybody knows James is an a-hole.".  He's a bitter, incoherent old codger that is p.o.'s because his son can't get a place on an NBA roster to save his life and he wants to blame Roy Williams for it.  You're going to pick one malcontent idiot of a father to show the the Carolina family is a myth?  EVERY coach has parents, players, you name it, that have left by they wayside because of things that happen here and there.  Roy Williams should be given every benefit of the doubt in regards to spiteful attacks by malcontent parents of former malcontent players.  The fact that you would use this guys tripe on facebook as a reason to poke a hole in the Carolina family tradition as being mythcal in some instances is beyond reproach on your part Matt Jones.  Some people don't want to be in the family.  Larry Drew and his psycho mother and father can take their place right beside James McCants as those that chose to leave the family.

Since: Jun 19, 2007
Posted on: February 5, 2011 3:03 pm

The UNC family squabbles go public

North Carolina fans are just a bunch of Appalachian hillbillys.

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