This post may seem strange coming from a life-long Dukie, but I want to note the passing of Dean Smith, the long-time coach of basketball at UNC.
College basketball often seem to reek. One can look at the immense amount of money that is earned, little of which seems to benefit the stars. Corrupting commercial ventures seem to become more important than traditional academic values. What should be a student-centric activity places the financial supporters of the university in the good seats and the students near the rafters or behind the goals.
All of this seemed to be under control when Coach Smith ran the UNC program. His students graduated. He followed the rules and expected all of his staff and players to do likewise. Despite this, (or, I hope, because of it), his teams played the game well. I will not pretend that I was happy when his team beat my Duke team, but I always knew that the contest had been legitimate and that the better team on that day had been victorious.
So, I pause today to remember a great coach, teacher and man. Rest in peace.