William ‘Bill’ Friday died last week and he was a true academic leader, that was all about athletic reform…Friday, who graduated from N.C. State, took over the University of North Carolina college system in 1961 and one of the first things he did, was put a stop to the Dixie Classic Basketball tournament, held at the Reynolds Coliseum, on the N.C. State campus in Raleigh….
On ending the Dixie Classic, which featured all of the Big Four schools(UNC, State, Duke and Wake) plus other powers from across the country…….
(from the Charlotte Observer at www.charlotteobserver.com)
“It was something that needed to be done, and he had the foresight to do it,” said former North Carolina broadcaster Woody Durham, who was a student at North Carolina when Friday was named UNC system president. “There was no telling where it would have gone if it had continued.”
The uproar was tremendous, from fans, coaches, players and even Raleigh businessmen who profited from the tournament. But right until his death Friday at 92, Friday never wavered from his conviction that something needed to be done and he was the man to do it, a belief that would secure his impact on college athletics.
“I was a big basketball fan myself,” Friday, an N.C. State graduate, said decades later. “You can’t imagine the sadness in dealing with something like that. In looking back now, it was an early manifestation of the power of sports in society.”
Read more on this from the Charoltte Observer when you CLICK HERE….