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Everything Wrong About Art Chansky’s Sulaimon to North Carolina Column

Posted on May 6, 2015 by

Art Chansky writes about sports. North Carolina athletics, to be exact. Sometimes Art Chansky writes really excellent stuff (see: The Dean’s List). Most recently, however, Art Chansky wrote a very bad column.

Let’s start with the title, shall we?

Art’s Angle: Sulaimon From Duke to UNC?

NO ART WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?! Maybe it’s a joke column. Maybe he’ll hit us with a Cinco de Mayo Fools at the end. Either way, you’ve got my click, Art. Let’s get this thing started.

“You know, if he wanted to, Carolina wanted him and Duke didn’t object, Rasheed Sulaimon could play for the Tar Heels next season.”

Oh no. He’s serious. There’s so much wrong with this lead I don’t even know where to begin, so let’s just go through this via bulletpoint:

  • Can’t dangle that participle, Art. That’s like 20 points off in JOMC153.
  • That’s way too many “what if’s” to base a column on. That’s like if I was to write “You know, if I wanted to, she wanted me and her boyfriend didn’t object, Jennifer Aniston could be my girlfriend next year.”
  • Why would North Carolina want him? We’ll get more into the basketball standpoint later, but given the PR disaster that has been Tar Heels athletics over the past 4 years, Rasheed Sulaimon is one of the last people North Carolina should go after.

Let’s see if it gets any better in the next paragraph:


“And, when you think about it, that would make for a pretty cool story and another chapter in the closest rivalry in college basketball. Sulaimon wouldn’t even have to move from his apartment in Durham! After all, it’s only eight miles over here.”

I feel like “that would make for a pretty cool story and another chapter in the closest rivalry in college basketball” was also something North Carolina considered before honoring Coach K before the second match-up of 2015, which resulted in a mixed reaction at best. North Carolina-Duke is North Carolina-Duke. Part of what makes the rivalry so great is that there are no subplots necessary: It’s just two successful schools in close proximity who love to hate each other. ALSO, Sulaimon would definitely have to move out of Durham. That I-40 traffic on weekday mornings is no joke, and LOL GOOD LUCK at finding a parking spot in Chapel Hill during classes.

“Here is how it would work, if it were to work.”

It wouldn’t, and it won’t.

“Sulaimon completes his undergraduate classes this summer and earns his degree from Duke. That is a must, according to NCAA rules.”

We’re really justifying that this could happen in real life, aren’t we?

“That would trigger an exception to the NCAA transfer rule, that students who have graduated from one institution with remaining eligibility could enter a graduate program at another school and be eligible to play right away (as opposed to sitting out a season like any old transfer).”

*Bo Ryan glares disapprovingly*

“It would also trigger an exception to the ACC rule that does not allow intra-school transfers – except if it is a graduate from one school entering a graduate program at another school.”

So, as much fun as it is to joke about this article, Chansky does deserve credit for doing the research to find out if this is even a possibility. That’s not me being facetious, either; the NCAA’s transfer rules confuse me, as do all other NCAA rules.

“The one last hurdle is the “objection” clause. Sulaimon’s old school could object to his playing his last season of eligibility at his new school. You think Mike Krzyzewski would object to Sulaimon playing for Roy Williams?”

That’s a terrible rule. That’s like donating clothes to Goodwill, hanging out around the clothes you just donated, and when someone goes to buy it saying “Oh no HE can’t buy my middle school track t-shirt!” That rhetorical question is easy, though: Absolutely no, Krzyzewski wouldn’t object. Sulaimon was the first player Krzyzewski ever cut from a team mid-season. While the sexual assault allegations possibly had something to do with the cut, Coach K himself said that Sulaimon “struggled to meet the necessary obligations” to be a Duke basketball player. And you’re saying he could ship that problem right across Toba–WAIT WHY AM I ENTERTAINING THIS IDEA AS IF IT WAS REMOTELY POSSIBLE?

“Besides not having to move, there are other reasons it would be good for both schools, particularly Carolina.”

I promise, he’d have to move. 

  • “The Tar Heels lost their new shooting small forward to Duke when Brandon Ingram signed with the Blue Devils.
  • J.P. Tokoto’s starting wing position is still open.
  • Sulaimon, who made the all-ACC freshman team in 2013, has hit 39 percent of his college three-pointers and would be a pretty good weapon in Carolina’s freelance offense.
  • Sulaimon knows most of the Tar Heels as well as players and playing styles around the ACC.
  • Maybe Sulaimon could play on teams that won back-to-back national championships.”

Since Art’s allowed to go bulletpoint, I’m matching him with one for each point he just made:

  • You can’t lose something you never had. *Stares out of window longingly*
  • I think that starting position belongs to Theo Pinson even if Sulaimon made the jump. That’s just me being Theo’s number one fan, though.
  • Rumors of North Carolina’s three point shooting woes have been greatly exaggerated. The Tar Heels were the 4th best 3-point shooting team in the ACC last year, just landed a sharpshooting freshman in Kenny Williams, and are returning Marcus Paige, Joel Berry and Nate Britt, each of whom shot over 35% from deep last year. That’s not even including Justin Jackson, who finished strong, shooting 46% from beyond the arc in the month of March.
  • Just because I’m friends with people on an intramural team doesn’t mean I would mesh well with their playing styles.
  • Did Sulaimon get a ring? Legitimate question that a quick Twitter search didn’t answer. I don’t think that counts.

 But wait! That’s just North Carolina’s reasoning for getting Sulaimon, we haven’t even gotten to why Duke would OK the decision! 

  • “Wouldn’t they be happy to still have Sulaimon around the ‘hood?
  • He could still be part of the Duke-Carolina rivalry.
  • No hard feelings for booting him off the team without explanation.
  • One less vacant apartment in Durham, helping the local economy.
  • Coach K would feel less guilty about stealing Ingram.”

 Let’s do this again: 

  • Oh man.
  • Why would this matter to Duke at all?
  • Krzyzewski gave an explanation. A very vague one, but an explanation nonetheless.
  • I can’t stress enough how empty that apartment would be if he went to North Carolina.
  • I’m SURE Coach K is losing sleep over “stealing” one of the best talents in the country from his biggest rival.

We’re almost finished. At least Chansky didn’t try to reason with the sexual assault alleg-

“And that little matter of Sulaimon supposedly being accused of sexually assaulting two Duke coeds? He acquitted himself pretty well with his candid story on last week, don’t you think?”

This is actually my biggest issue with the entire column. Not only is it HIGHLY inappropriate to use the terms “little matter” and “sexually assaulting two Duke coeds” in the same sentence, but it’s an insanely hypocritical remark for Chansky to make. Why? Just two months ago, Chansky wrote a scathing column about how differently Krzyzewski/Sulaimon and Roy Williams/paper classes were treated by the media, including quotes such as:

“Mike Krzyzewski and Kevin White should resign their posts at Duke for harboring knowledge for almost one full year that Rasheed Sulaimon had been accused of sexually assaulting two women in two separate incidents.

How does that sound?

Compare that to “Roy Williams should resign despite repeatedly saying that he had no knowledge of his players taking classes that were mis-taught by a secretary in the AFAM department.””


“But in the end, which is more important? Whether two women say they were sexually assaulted at Duke or whether there were 3,100 enrollments in a bunch of classes over 17 years that were offered and sanctioned by the university but gave out some ridiculously high grades for the work done?

Sexual assault in this country has become a red-hot point to where due process has been (and probably should be) compromised for the safety of potential victims. It is not exactly guilty until proven innocent, but women in harm’s way need to be protected from alleged predators, whether star athletes or not.”

Just two months later, Chansky is not only dismissing the allegations because of one Sulaimon interview, but he’s welcoming him with open arms onto North Carolina’s team. After facetiously (I think?) saying Mike Krzyzewski and Kevin White should step down for taking so long to DISMISS Sulaimon, he now advocates North Carolina to pursue ADDING him.

Chansky’s column was just something fun to laugh at until the “little matter” of alleged sexual assault. That’s when it became offensive, and that’s what inspired me to write this piece, because it is yet another example of sports fans justifying a horrifying, disgusting, inhumane action if it’s for the betterment of their favorite team.

We’ve made it this far, though, so let’s finish this thing off together:

“And, of course, there is the issue of who calls who first.

Think that one’s on you, ‘Sheed. Pick up the phone and call Ol’ Roy. See what he thinks.

Then Williams can call Coach K and see what he thinks.

Too bad Coach Smith isn’t around to broker the deal.”

That’s just completely backwards. Completely backwards. The Coach Smith mention is uncomfortable. And, side note, there will never be another Sheed.

So, we did it! We just read a very perplexing column by a normally talented writer. I’m still not sure where this column came from, or why an editor would approve it, but hey, you can’t win em all (right Kentucky?). Let’s just hope I don’t end up being the one who looks stupid when reports come out that Rasheed Sulaimon has begun recruiting North Carolina, and Roy Williams is asking Mike Krzyzewski for permission to offer him.

Excerpts taken from Image courtesy of Spencer Herlong (@TarHeelPhoto).

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