The Chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Carol Folt, apologized recently for the school’s role in slavery during a speech at an event celebrating UNC’s 225th birthday. Referring to slavery’s “profound injustices,” she reaffirmed the “university’s commitment to facing squarely and working to right the wrongs of history.”
So far, so good.
But then something happened.
From beneath her ceremonial robes the Chancellor brought forth a basketball and began bouncing it — very slowly — while continuing to talk.
As the audience sat, slack-jawed, she proclaimed:
“And speaking of profound injustices, I want to apologize for the failure of the UNC men’s basketball team to win the NCAA championship in 2018. We won it all in 2017, and there is no excuse — absolutely none — for not doing the same in 2018. I understand the hurt and rage felt by everyone in Tar Heel Nation, a community that extends far beyond the boundaries of our state. Your pain is deep, and for the older alumni who passed away in the weeks following this year’s tournament, the agony will be eternal.
“Today, I pledge to you, in the name of beloved coach Dean Smith and all that is sacred, that UNC will not be denied in 2019. We shall return to glory and honor our school’s heritage. Tar Heel Nation will rise again, and the North will quake in fear as we march over scorched Yankee soil toward the NCAA finals in Minneapolis in April. So help me God.”
Dr. Folt proceeded to snatch the microphone from its stand, hold it parallel to the floor, and then drop it. She next pulled a flute from her sleeve and began playing an unrecognizable but catchy melody as she walked off the stage and out of the building. Entranced, a small group of pigeons and squirrels followed the Chancellor back to her office.
The next day, University officials announced that in early September Dr. Folt had started taking a powerful medication, prescribed by her doctor, for an acute sinus condition, and that the dosage level now needed to be adjusted.
On a related note, UNC men’s basketball coach Roy Williams informed reporters yesterday that the team’s fall practices had been going “really, really well.”