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Old 01-18-2014, 02:48 PM   #21
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Default Re: What It Was Like Back Then

Agreed, Pat. Bobby was the heart and soul of this era and it was no fluke he was the Captain and the one Frank loved most of all out of his players.
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Old 01-18-2014, 05:08 PM   #22
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Default Re: What It Was Like Back Then

Back then my brother-in-law was a good friend to former Gamecock great Bishop Strickland who had season tickets. Bishop never went to the Wednesday night games so many times he gave them to my brother-in-law. Since his kids were too small and we played ball a lot in his back yard he used to take me with him. From the first time I sat 8 rows up at midcourt and watched those USC cheerleaders bend over and yell "GOOO Cocks", I was a Gamecock for life. I just hope that someday we can field a consistent basketball team that can rival the excitement of those days.
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Old 01-18-2014, 06:10 PM   #23
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Default Re: What It Was Like Back Then

I was a Carolina student in those days and played in the game. Forgive my not remembering everything, but the best game was when we beat Indiana? I think and I believe Kevin Joyce threw the ball from half court and made it. I don't think 3 point shots was then. I could have the games mixed up. But it was exciting.
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Old 01-18-2014, 06:12 PM   #24
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Default Re: What It Was Like Back Then

I played in the band at the game.
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Old 01-18-2014, 09:25 PM   #25
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Default Re: What It Was Like Back Then

Quote:
Originally Posted by brat View Post
It is hard not to talk about those days without eventually going into the sides issues.

This is an often repeated topic, but there are always new fans, younger fans that come along who are unaware of this portion of our history, at least in detail.

I look at this is as a Gamecock "Declaration of Independence".
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

There were several reasons why we left the ACC.

A double standard from the ACC toward USC than any other school was a key element of friction. If a student-athlete's eligibility came into question, he had
to stop playing until it was determined if he really was eligible to play or
not. Sounds reasonable until you realize that this was for USC only, while any
other ACC school could allow their kids to keep playing unless it was later
determined something was wrong. This stemmed from a situation that was created by certain ACC bigwigs which is mentioned in the next paragraph.

Right before Frank McGuire's death, some ACC officials met with
him and told him that they had plotted to keep out of the league what was
Frank's biggest recruit ever (Mike Grosso...some considered the second highest rated HS kid his senior year behind one Lew Alcindor aka Kareem Abdul Jabbar). They came to ask for his forgiveness before he died.

UNC and Duke, among many others, wanted this kid, too, but he snubbed them in favor of us. He enrolled at USC and was looking forward to being able to play the following year. Grosso and the other Freshman that came to Carolina with him, routed the varsity when they played.

His uncle ran and owned a small bar and he (the uncle) was the one and only employee. He paid for the tuition of his nephew and wrote it on a check that had the bar name on it instead of a check in his personal name. This was not a violation by rules of the NCAA.

Turns out that Eddie Cameron, of Duke, who had hated for McGuire, got ACC support to create a new rule to circumvent things and hurt McGuire, USC, and this innocent kid. Duke and many other ACC teams recruited Grosso, but were spurned by him.

Grosso scored a 789 on his SAT. Back then, Freshmen could not play varsity sports, so he came to play on the Frosh basketball team. Nine months after his enrollment, the ACC created a new rule saying that any student with less than 800 on the SAT could never play in the ACC. To further things, the ACC made an internal review of his recruitment )I read a version (which I cannot verify the source as being accurate...namely off one of the ACC school sites discussing the matter months ago) of this where ACC people barged in on the Grosso family in the middle of the night and gave them the third degree to pressure them in hoped of uncovering some viable evidence and deemed that since the check was written on a business a count instead of a personal account, that a violation had been made, as if to somehow justify their new standards held against Grosso. While the ACC investigators did not find real proof (admission of guilt or paper trail of money being sent to the family, etc.), their investigators decided the family could not afford to pay his tuition. Why, I guess, that shows why Grosso's parents did not pay it and his uncle did, with money from his own business of which he had no employees.

He blew out his knee, transferred to Cincinnati and never had the career
most thought he would, yet still had enough raw ability to become a member of their Hall of Fame and have a one year in the NBA. I read an article recently about him, written a couple of years ago, where he said he has had a difficult life with relationships and such and until the last few years remained haunted by what happened to him and he never forgave the ACC for doing what they did to him.

According to Bobby Cremins, everyone loved Mike and whenever Carolina played either Duke or UNC, Coach McGuire would say to the team, "Remember, these are the guys that got rid of Mike." Cremins said it fired everyone up and he felt like killing them." To him, this was the incident that started the ACC hate against USC and it grew when Roche became a star.

UNC was found to have been allowing, for many years, two kids each season, that did not meet standards to enroll at that school and play football. Paul Dietzel, who had been trying to slightly lower the bar to compete with the SEC schools and other conferences for local kids, found out about it and asked the same thing be allowed at USC. His request was denied. When he protested about UNC doing it, they stopped, but was never penalized for their own violations of ACC law.

The funny thing was, USC was decades ahead of its time trying to convince the ACC that football was the real cash cow of the conference (and all of college sports), not basketball. We were sick and tired of losing our best in state players to the SEC because the requirements were significantly higher, set by the ACC, not the NCAA. We wanted to meet the lower standards so that our student-athletes could get into school more easily and improve the product brand of the ACC. We were denied this attempt and it came to be that every time we brought a subject up for a vote that we introduced in an attempt to help the ACC, it was voted down in unanimous fashion by the other schools, 0-7. This was the result of, no doubt, more collusion and secret arm twisting by UNC and Duke.

USC was the league doormat for ages in most sports, basketball being the king sport in the ACC, made that all the more pleasing to the Tobacco Roaders. When Frank built a team that started beating them, it inflamed their hatred of him and us and the state of South Carolina.

Some very few people say that leaving the ACC was the worst thing we ever did. If you were alive back then and old enough to have to remember those days, you would disagree, vehemently. Think of the rivalry and hatred most feel toward Clempson. Multiply that by four or five times and you would be close to the hatred the ACC had for us and we for them, basically all because we simply wanted equal treatment and for the ACC not to be ruled by, UNC
and Duke.

The famous fight with Maryland? I was actually there, because as a kid, I was at every home game. It's cause was due to Maryland players throwing elbows all game long and Lefty did nothing to stop his kids doing it. With 5 minutes left in the game, we were winning by about 25 points, nearing 100 points, and a Maryland player took a cheap shot at Rick Adylett, hitting him in the head, as drove in for a lay up. Enough was enough, and our kids let them have it. Lefty got what he deserved for not pulling his cheap shot artists with the elbows.

After that point and the very unflattering Sports Illustrated issue on John Roche and the team, it was impossible to stay in the league. Each time our kids traveled, let alone fans, they were cursed with extreme profanity, hung Roche in effigy, had trash thrown at them, heated coins, gum tossed in their hair, threats were made and cruel taunts were made about Frankie, Jr.,
McGuire's boy, a young teenager who had a severe case of Cerebral Palsy, which left him with the capacity of about a two year old. Several times, Frank had to be restrained from going into the stands at away games (Clempson) because of those taunts.

When USC won the 1971 ACC basketball tournament, 52-51 on a last second shot, two or three seconds after the game concluded, someone pulled the plug on the broadcast, refusing to show the Gamecock fans or their team celebrating their biggest and best victory. That is the only time that has ever happened, so it was intentional. You bet your ass if UNC won that game, every celebration, every award would have been broadcast, like it has been every other year and they probably would have interviewed the guy who had the job to lock the building up at night. Additionally, there were co-MVP's of the
tournament. Only one award was available at the end of the game, of course.
Instead of giving it to John Roche, the guy on the team that just won the
tournament, they gave it to the other guy, on the team that lost, who played for UNC. Saw an article about Roche not too long ago and when asked about that, he mentioned he never received his award. He really didn't care since he doesn't display any of his memorabilia.

Even back then many, many Clempson fans pulled for USC in basketball because, they too, hated the ACC teams and they couldn't beat any of the powers. In fact, Clempson had agreed to pull out with USC to try to force the ACC to change. USC wanted to do a joint withdrawal, at the same press conference, but Clempson asked us to do it in the morning and they would follow in the afternoon. The story is that word got out to ACC people about what was about to happen and they met with Clempson and told them to stay in the ACC or they would be turned into the NCAA for another series of football recruiting violations. Stay and everything would be forgotten. They did not keep their word to us and we left the ACC, alone. I vividly remember that day and the USC fans were joyous, such was the hatred of the ACC. It was like a heavy weight had been lifted from us. Freedom!!! We were tired of being the red headed step child. To this day, I despise the ACC and am angry that we ever play any of them, in any sport, unless it is in a bowl game or NCAA's where we have no choice, and I even include Clempson in that group. If Clempson had followed through, I believe our rivalry would not be nearly as bitter as it is today.

Some forget (and this incident was before my time following the team) was that Duke, again, got pissed at McGuire and USC and actually was allowed by the ACC not to play us for a basketball season. If we had tried to request such a thing, you know darn well it would have been refused. Shortly before we decided to leave the ACC, Maryland and a few other ACC teams were making comments that they would refuse to play us again as long as McGuire was our coach.

Few recall that a few years after we left the ACC and before GT joined (thus, the 7 original schools were left), we approached the ACC to rejoin as the SAT standards had been dropped to a level similar to what we had wanted (two months after we left the conference) and we also felt some of the raw emotions and bitterness may have subsided by then.

The ACC agreed to let us back in if we did the following:

Pay a fee to be readmitted (nothing wrong with that)

Not be eligible to play for any ACC title for at least 3 years. (spite)

We had to repay the ACC all the money they would have gotten from us for gates, TV appearances, etc., from the moment we left the conference, just as if we had never gone, even though they did nothing to earn that money. That probably would have added a couple million to pay out, at least. That was lots of money, back then. (greed)

We had to offer a public apology to the ACC for ever leaving and admit we were wrong in doing so. (humiliation)

Promise to never leave the ACC, again. (removed our last right of protest)

All of that was in The State Newspaper or Columbia Record and I remember reading it as if it were yesterday.

That was proof that the ACC would still treat us like garbage and we made the proper response by telling them to stick it in their collective ears.

The best day USC ever had in sports was the day we joined the SEC, regardless of the high level of completion, for they treated us as complete equals. That is all we ever wanted. From this we have great pride in our new conference and appreciation for anything positive that results within. The second best day was the day we left the ACC only because it eventually led us to the SEC.



Yes, even though I was a youngster back in those days, I remember well just how great our boys were. John Ribock, out of Aquinas High School in Augusta, GA had been recruited to "add muscle on the inside and rebound". John was the one that "knocked the socks off Lefty D that night during the game. John Ribock did not get the praise that he should have gotten either, since he did not score a lot, but what he brought to the game helped USC win because he was as "tough as a pine knot". He also played along side some great players, but without the big uglies to do the dirty work for you, you will never have the flashy scorers to get all of the attention.
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Old 01-19-2014, 12:15 AM   #26
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Default Re: What It Was Like Back Then

Quote:
Originally Posted by dreammachine View Post


Yes, even though I was a youngster back in those days, I remember well just how great our boys were. John Ribock, out of Aquinas High School in Augusta, GA had been recruited to "add muscle on the inside and rebound". John was the one that "knocked the socks off Lefty D that night during the game. John Ribock did not get the praise that he should have gotten either, since he did not score a lot, but what he brought to the game helped USC win because he was as "tough as a pine knot". He also played along side some great players, but without the big uglies to do the dirty work for you, you will never have the flashy scorers to get all of the attention.
I told Ribock tonight that he clocked Driesel right on front of me. He said he could fill the coliseum with people who had told him that. But it's true... I was right there on row 2 when he nailed him.
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Old 01-19-2014, 01:14 AM   #27
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Default Re: What It Was Like Back Then

My favorite from the era is Alex English. He is a year or two older than me, and I remember watching him on TV as a high schooler. He could sky, and released his shot with his arms extended over his head, the top of his jump. I never saw anyone block his shot. He was so smooth and I remember thinking how great he would be if he just tried a little harder... when I enrolled at USC and saw him play in person, I realized how hard he was playing, but he was so smooth he made it look effortless.
I vowed if I ever got to meet him, I would apologize for thinking he was loafing, and about 14 years ago I got that chance. When I finished my apology, he laughed and told me that several people had confessed that same thing to him. He seems like a classy guy- and what a great player.

One of his best games was at CC versus Notre Dame (featuring Adrian Dantley) Alex kept us in the game until the final couple of minutes... when ND decided to double and triple team him. It worked and ND got the victory.
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Old 01-19-2014, 02:08 AM   #28
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Default Re: What It Was Like Back Then

I wasn't around until the Jamal Bradley days, with Chuck Eitson(sp) and Aaron Lucas, but Dad said he was sitting front row the day Lefty got what he had coming, up almost 30 they wanted to scrum. I always heard it was an us vs the world mentality and that McGuire didn't do the screaming and shouting he would play with his cuff links. I heard he felt he was being screwed one game so he got up, got his team ans left. Dad eventually played darts with Ribock regularly and has told me some good stories. Some of my best memories are at the Colesium I see it like Tanners new stadium, it was built for basketball viewing set to Mcguires standards and I feel for gamecocks that never expierenced it. A little but of me died when they moved to the CLA but it will rock one day for sure.
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Old 01-20-2014, 01:07 PM   #29
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Default Re: What It Was Like Back Then

I moved to Columbia when I was 6 in 1995 I believe, so I only remember the late 90's where B.J. McKie was a star of stars. McKie was the definition of Box Office. After that, the teams with Carlos Powell, Jamal Bradley, Tony Kitchings, etc. That eventually transitioned into the Tre Kelley, Terrence Kinsey and Renaldo Balkman teams at CLA, which produced some memorable moments. Balkman was such a fun player to root for and always lit the crowd up.

The Carolina Coliseum was a fun place. Very loud environment when everything was clicking and everything was right on top of the court too. I miss it a lot.
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Old 01-20-2014, 02:56 PM   #30
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Default Re: What It Was Like Back Then

Quote:
Originally Posted by brat View Post
It is hard not to talk about those days without eventually going into the sides issues.

This is an often repeated topic, but there are always new fans, younger fans that come along who are unaware of this portion of our history, at least in detail.

I look at this is as a Gamecock "Declaration of Independence".
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

There were several reasons why we left the ACC.

A double standard from the ACC toward USC than any other school was a key element of friction. If a student-athlete's eligibility came into question, he had
to stop playing until it was determined if he really was eligible to play or
not. Sounds reasonable until you realize that this was for USC only, while any
other ACC school could allow their kids to keep playing unless it was later
determined something was wrong. This stemmed from a situation that was created by certain ACC bigwigs which is mentioned in the next paragraph.

Right before Frank McGuire's death, some ACC officials met with
him and told him that they had plotted to keep out of the league what was
Frank's biggest recruit ever (Mike Grosso...some considered the second highest rated HS kid his senior year behind one Lew Alcindor aka Kareem Abdul Jabbar). They came to ask for his forgiveness before he died.

UNC and Duke, among many others, wanted this kid, too, but he snubbed them in favor of us. He enrolled at USC and was looking forward to being able to play the following year. Grosso and the other Freshman that came to Carolina with him, routed the varsity when they played.

His uncle ran and owned a small bar and he (the uncle) was the one and only employee. He paid for the tuition of his nephew and wrote it on a check that had the bar name on it instead of a check in his personal name. This was not a violation by rules of the NCAA.

Turns out that Eddie Cameron, of Duke, who had hated for McGuire, got ACC support to create a new rule to circumvent things and hurt McGuire, USC, and this innocent kid. Duke and many other ACC teams recruited Grosso, but were spurned by him.

Grosso scored a 789 on his SAT. Back then, Freshmen could not play varsity sports, so he came to play on the Frosh basketball team. Nine months after his enrollment, the ACC created a new rule saying that any student with less than 800 on the SAT could never play in the ACC. To further things, the ACC made an internal review of his recruitment )I read a version (which I cannot verify the source as being accurate...namely off one of the ACC school sites discussing the matter months ago) of this where ACC people barged in on the Grosso family in the middle of the night and gave them the third degree to pressure them in hoped of uncovering some viable evidence and deemed that since the check was written on a business a count instead of a personal account, that a violation had been made, as if to somehow justify their new standards held against Grosso. While the ACC investigators did not find real proof (admission of guilt or paper trail of money being sent to the family, etc.), their investigators decided the family could not afford to pay his tuition. Why, I guess, that shows why Grosso's parents did not pay it and his uncle did, with money from his own business of which he had no employees.

He blew out his knee, transferred to Cincinnati and never had the career
most thought he would, yet still had enough raw ability to become a member of their Hall of Fame and have a one year in the NBA. I read an article recently about him, written a couple of years ago, where he said he has had a difficult life with relationships and such and until the last few years remained haunted by what happened to him and he never forgave the ACC for doing what they did to him.

According to Bobby Cremins, everyone loved Mike and whenever Carolina played either Duke or UNC, Coach McGuire would say to the team, "Remember, these are the guys that got rid of Mike." Cremins said it fired everyone up and he felt like killing them." To him, this was the incident that started the ACC hate against USC and it grew when Roche became a star.

UNC was found to have been allowing, for many years, two kids each season, that did not meet standards to enroll at that school and play football. Paul Dietzel, who had been trying to slightly lower the bar to compete with the SEC schools and other conferences for local kids, found out about it and asked the same thing be allowed at USC. His request was denied. When he protested about UNC doing it, they stopped, but was never penalized for their own violations of ACC law.

The funny thing was, USC was decades ahead of its time trying to convince the ACC that football was the real cash cow of the conference (and all of college sports), not basketball. We were sick and tired of losing our best in state players to the SEC because the requirements were significantly higher, set by the ACC, not the NCAA. We wanted to meet the lower standards so that our student-athletes could get into school more easily and improve the product brand of the ACC. We were denied this attempt and it came to be that every time we brought a subject up for a vote that we introduced in an attempt to help the ACC, it was voted down in unanimous fashion by the other schools, 0-7. This was the result of, no doubt, more collusion and secret arm twisting by UNC and Duke.

USC was the league doormat for ages in most sports, basketball being the king sport in the ACC, made that all the more pleasing to the Tobacco Roaders. When Frank built a team that started beating them, it inflamed their hatred of him and us and the state of South Carolina.

Some very few people say that leaving the ACC was the worst thing we ever did. If you were alive back then and old enough to have to remember those days, you would disagree, vehemently. Think of the rivalry and hatred most feel toward Clempson. Multiply that by four or five times and you would be close to the hatred the ACC had for us and we for them, basically all because we simply wanted equal treatment and for the ACC not to be ruled by, UNC
and Duke.

The famous fight with Maryland? I was actually there, because as a kid, I was at every home game. It's cause was due to Maryland players throwing elbows all game long and Lefty did nothing to stop his kids doing it. With 5 minutes left in the game, we were winning by about 25 points, nearing 100 points, and a Maryland player took a cheap shot at Rick Adylett, hitting him in the head, as drove in for a lay up. Enough was enough, and our kids let them have it. Lefty got what he deserved for not pulling his cheap shot artists with the elbows.

After that point and the very unflattering Sports Illustrated issue on John Roche and the team, it was impossible to stay in the league. Each time our kids traveled, let alone fans, they were cursed with extreme profanity, hung Roche in effigy, had trash thrown at them, heated coins, gum tossed in their hair, threats were made and cruel taunts were made about Frankie, Jr.,
McGuire's boy, a young teenager who had a severe case of Cerebral Palsy, which left him with the capacity of about a two year old. Several times, Frank had to be restrained from going into the stands at away games (Clempson) because of those taunts.

When USC won the 1971 ACC basketball tournament, 52-51 on a last second shot, two or three seconds after the game concluded, someone pulled the plug on the broadcast, refusing to show the Gamecock fans or their team celebrating their biggest and best victory. That is the only time that has ever happened, so it was intentional. You bet your ass if UNC won that game, every celebration, every award would have been broadcast, like it has been every other year and they probably would have interviewed the guy who had the job to lock the building up at night. Additionally, there were co-MVP's of the
tournament. Only one award was available at the end of the game, of course.
Instead of giving it to John Roche, the guy on the team that just won the
tournament, they gave it to the other guy, on the team that lost, who played for UNC. Saw an article about Roche not too long ago and when asked about that, he mentioned he never received his award. He really didn't care since he doesn't display any of his memorabilia.

Even back then many, many Clempson fans pulled for USC in basketball because, they too, hated the ACC teams and they couldn't beat any of the powers. In fact, Clempson had agreed to pull out with USC to try to force the ACC to change. USC wanted to do a joint withdrawal, at the same press conference, but Clempson asked us to do it in the morning and they would follow in the afternoon. The story is that word got out to ACC people about what was about to happen and they met with Clempson and told them to stay in the ACC or they would be turned into the NCAA for another series of football recruiting violations. Stay and everything would be forgotten. They did not keep their word to us and we left the ACC, alone. I vividly remember that day and the USC fans were joyous, such was the hatred of the ACC. It was like a heavy weight had been lifted from us. Freedom!!! We were tired of being the red headed step child. To this day, I despise the ACC and am angry that we ever play any of them, in any sport, unless it is in a bowl game or NCAA's where we have no choice, and I even include Clempson in that group. If Clempson had followed through, I believe our rivalry would not be nearly as bitter as it is today.

Some forget (and this incident was before my time following the team) was that Duke, again, got pissed at McGuire and USC and actually was allowed by the ACC not to play us for a basketball season. If we had tried to request such a thing, you know darn well it would have been refused. Shortly before we decided to leave the ACC, Maryland and a few other ACC teams were making comments that they would refuse to play us again as long as McGuire was our coach.

Few recall that a few years after we left the ACC and before GT joined (thus, the 7 original schools were left), we approached the ACC to rejoin as the SAT standards had been dropped to a level similar to what we had wanted (two months after we left the conference) and we also felt some of the raw emotions and bitterness may have subsided by then.

The ACC agreed to let us back in if we did the following:

Pay a fee to be readmitted (nothing wrong with that)

Not be eligible to play for any ACC title for at least 3 years. (spite)

We had to repay the ACC all the money they would have gotten from us for gates, TV appearances, etc., from the moment we left the conference, just as if we had never gone, even though they did nothing to earn that money. That probably would have added a couple million to pay out, at least. That was lots of money, back then. (greed)

We had to offer a public apology to the ACC for ever leaving and admit we were wrong in doing so. (humiliation)

Promise to never leave the ACC, again. (removed our last right of protest)

All of that was in The State Newspaper or Columbia Record and I remember reading it as if it were yesterday.

That was proof that the ACC would still treat us like garbage and we made the proper response by telling them to stick it in their collective ears.

The best day USC ever had in sports was the day we joined the SEC, regardless of the high level of completion, for they treated us as complete equals. That is all we ever wanted. From this we have great pride in our new conference and appreciation for anything positive that results within. The second best day was the day we left the ACC only because it eventually led us to the SEC.
I have always heard bits and pieces about why we left the ACC, but never realized just how bad it was for USC in the early 70s. I also see why so many Carolina fans hate UNC, and all the schools in the ACC.
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Old 01-22-2014, 08:37 AM   #31
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Default Re: What It Was Like Back Then

I was asked to send the info on why we left the ACC by someone from an ACC board. Turned out I reworked it by adding lots more info and made the text a little crisper if anyone cares to see the final work.

It is post 19 on this thread.
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