ESPN Network: ESPN.com | NBA.com | NHL.com | WNBA.com | ABCSports | EXPN | INSIDER | FANTASY   




Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Low point - Smith hung in effigy
By Larry Schwartz
Special to ESPN.com


Jan. 7, 1965

Perhaps the lowest moment for the coach who would go on to win the most games in college basketball history comes shortly after midnight as the Tar Heels return to the North Carolina campus after last night's 107-85 loss at Wake Forest, their fourth consecutive defeat.

As the team bus pulls up in front of Woollen Gym, Dean Smith and his 6-6 team see about 100 students across the street. Other students are leaning out of their windows. In front of the gym, a dummy is hanging from a noose. "Look, they're hanging you in effigy," says assistant coach Ken Rosemond to Smith. The fourth-year coach stares straight ahead, not displaying any emotion. "I could tell it was me because of its long nose," Smith will write later.

After speaking to his team about that day's upcoming practice, Smith walks to his car. His players are furious. Billy Cunningham, North Carolina's star player, and Billy Galantai bolt from the bus and rip down the dummy. "I remember the team was just very hurt by this because we realized it wasn't Coach Smith's fault," Cunningham will recall. "It was our fault. It was the players' fault."





Send this story to a friend | Most sent stories