now, let's say a bunch of strangers (and even some friends) start speaking ill of that thing. hurtful, negative, partial-truths...some intentionally hurtful, some accidental. is your blood pressure rising? heart hurts just a little? now imagine that this goes on for several months with no end in sight. one sucker punch after another.
you're officially in my shoes now, so let's take a walk together.
[credit: UNC's official seal (obvi)]
i can't speak for every carolina student-athlete, but i can confidently speak for myself and the few that i know well.
it was hard.
there were no free passes. i probably needed some tutoring. i took the carolina CREED. i went to class. i went to study hall. i met with my advisor and chose my own classes. it was, after all, my education. i also earned every C i was ever given. i even have my book report on the oxford english dictionary to prove one of them. i worked for my degree; it was not given to me. i juggled 15 credit hours every semester on top of weights, practice, meetings, conditioning, film sessions, rehab, more meetings, matches, and away game travel. like i said, it was hard. i could've used a free pass or two actually.
i, and so many others that i know, competed and studied with utmost integrity. so yeah, i take offense to blanket statements regarding fraud and scandal at my university and in my athletic department in the same way that i took offense to the daily tar heel editorial in 2004 claiming that "all unc athletes are dumb jocks and should take a modified EXSS course load" because that's all we can handle. try me. or better yet, try my pre-med, business school, journalism school, and honors program teammates. and don't even get me started on the gymnasts and their curve-wrecking selves.
here's the deal: i get it. i'm not naive. there are elements of truth to the recent allegations and i won't argue with you there. mistakes and poor choices were made. but please, don't throw us all in the same pot. these individuals are the exception, not the rule. of that i am absolutely confident.
i'm bekah brinkley, and i'm proud to be a tar heel.
live unashamedly :: laugh uncontrollably :: love unconditionally.