New Thriller Provides Little More Than Look at a Bunch of Flunkies

Jim Valvano will lose no respect from his North Carolina State basketball players because of this book that recently came out, considering none of them can read it.

Not one N.C. State player has shown interest in this book now that their crayons have been rendered useless, there being no dots to connect.

The book in question is by Peter Golenbock, and while Goblinbuck is a best-selling author, readers should be aware that Goldenbook makes many factual errors, mostly spelling.

Anyway, it is called “Personal Fouls,” and here is what some people are saying about it.

“I hated it,” said one anonymous source.

“Worst book I ever read,” said one person close to the person who knew a person who read the book.


“It had real big print,” said one insider who wished to remain outside.

The book details some of the scenes behind the scenes at North Carolina State, where Coach Valvano cranks out college graduates the way Harvard cranks out professional wrestlers.

One of the eggheads recruited by Valvano, a certain Chris Washburn, scored 470 on his Scholastic Aptitude Test before being permitted to enroll at dear old State, bastion of lower learning.

Considering that a student is awarded 400 points for merely jotting down his name correctly, we can only assume that Washburn’s other 70 points came from staying within the margins, using a pencil instead of finger-paint, and turning over his completed test to a teacher rather than turning it into a paper airplane.

As Hollywood Henderson’s old joke about Terry Bradshaw went, Chris Washburn couldn’t spell “cat” if you spotted him the “c” and the “a.”

There once was a high school kid from Chicago who was trying to get into a major university. On an oral exam to get his high school diploma, the kid was asked to name the months of the year. He got 10 of them right. The teacher gave him a passing grade, since the kid had scored better than 83%.

At North Carolina State, this kid could have been a tutor.

Washburn was a pretty good player, when he wasn’t doing dope or swiping television sets. He was one of the many scholars to play for Valvano, who has coached at N.C. State for most of this decade and has seen exactly three of his athletes graduate.

The team’s motto must have been: “Play to Winn.”

This could be the only college basketball team in the nation that couldn’t reply when the cheerleaders yelled: “Gimme an N.”

When an N.C. State basketball player shouts, “We’re No. 1,” he probably holds up two fingers.

And we thought the University of Kentucky program was in sad shape, what with their Mad Dash for Cash “We’ll Send You One Thousand Dollars Overnight Or We Guarantee Your Son Back!” scholastic sweepstakes.

North Carolina State is an academic cesspool where basketball players are concerned, and Athletic Director Jim Valvano would have reprimanded Coach Jim Valvano if he hadn’t been asked to fire himself first.

The author of “Personal Fouls” was not granted an interview with either Valvano. Instead, he concentrated on anonymous sources, some of whom undoubtedly believe that “anonymous” is how a candidate gets elected if he gets all the votes.

Legislators warned the writer to be sure of his facts, scaring off his publisher in the process. Now that the book has hit the shelves, it has shot up among the top 10 best-sellers, which either means that it is a popular selection or that there is a current shortage of Stephen King and Garfield the Cat books.

Fortunately, N.C. State administrators have taken some action to clean up the school’s act, in the hope that at least some of the Wolfpack superstars might someday turn out to be smarter than your average wolf.

From now on, it is going to take more than a 470 score on a student’s SAT to get into this university. Recruits are going to have to handle some real stumpers, like, oh, date of birth.

We are glad that “Personal Fouls” has been published, although we wish at least somebody had gone on the record in this book, even if it was a question about the weather. We also look forward to the movie version, in which Bob Woodward conducts interviews with former North Carolina State players after their deaths.

Speaking of books, another big seller these days is “The Secret Life of Cyndy Garvey,” by Cynthia Garvey, who used to be Mrs. Steve.

This is the book in which Cyndy/Cynthia reminds us of what terrible people men are, except for the ones who recognize what a wonderful person she is.

Be sure to catch the parts where we discover what a horrible guy Steve was for dating other women after he was divorced, the cad, or for not marrying the woman that their children liked best, and instead having the nerve to marry a woman with whom he had the nerve to fall in love.

Oh, and be sure to keep in mind that Cyndy/Cynthia was a much more stable influence for the children because after all, being a mom comes first, and moms are the best people in the whole wide world, even if they do sometimes have affairs with other men while they are married and almost overdose on pills with their children in the house.

Boy, that Steve is a bad guy, and I guess she told him.

Cynthia Garvey went to Michigan State, not North Carolina State. Both schools will recover.