There isn’t much left for basketball coach Dean Smith to accomplish at the University of North Carolina, but apparently there’s plenty to gripe about. John Feinstein of The National portrays Smith in a recent story as an incessant whiner who can’t enjoy his success. Former Maryland Coach Lefty Driesell is quoted as saying, “Dean Smith’s the only man in history to win 700 games and be the underdog in every one of them.”
Feinstein, a Duke graduate, says Smith is suspicious of anyone who doesn’t side with North Carolina. Recently, Smith refused an interview with an Atlantic Coast Conference television syndicate because the crew didn’t include a North Carolina graduate.
Add Smith: A few years ago, after Duke had defeated North Carolina in the ACC tournament, Smith approached Keith Drum, then the sports editor of the Durham (N.C.) Morning Herald, and said, “Congratulations. Great win.”
Feinstein writes: “Smith was implying that Drum, who gets along well with Coach Mike Krzyzewski, was a Duke guy. Forget the fact that Drum went to college at UNC.”
Last add Smith: Feinstein offers some advice: “Smith has won with good kids, most of whom graduate, without any hint of scandal for 30 years. Why can’t he allow that record to speak for itself? Why, at 60, can’t he let go of his childish mind games?”
Trivia time: Who are the only two major league baseball players to have hit at least 100 home runs for three teams?
Balls and strikes: Newsday columnist Steve Jacobson spent some time on the pro bowlers’ tour and found it a difficult life. He reports it costs the average bowler about $800 a week in expenses on the road, if he shares a room and eats fast food. There are 33 tournaments a year, but no home stands. Last year, only 11 bowlers earned $100,000, the minimum salary for major league baseball players.
Add bowling: Except for maybe a 7-10 split, nothing annoys a pro bowler more than the complaints of spoiled professional baseball players.
Jacobson writes: “It’s hard for more than a few of them not to resent the likes of Rickey Henderson, who signs for $3 million a year and later whines that it isn’t enough, when the entire 1991 bowling tour offers $9 million.”
Hey you: Kickoff for the World League of American Football is fast approaching, yet Minneapolis Star Tribune columnist Patrick Reusse reported shortly after February’s draft that some players didn’t know the names of their head coaches:
--Linebacker Ron Goetz, Barcelona Dragons: “Dave Bicknell, the former coach at Boston College.” (Close: The first name is Jack).
--Running back Harry Jackson, Frankfurt Galaxy: “We were introduced to a million people. It was very confusing. To be honest, I can’t tell you the name of the coach.” (Answer: Jack Elway).
--Running back Rick Bayless, San Antonio Riders: “I’m not sure of the name of the coach. Tom Landry is one of the owners. That’s all I know.” (Answer: Mike Riley).
Trivia answer: Reggie Jackson, Oakland, New York Yankees and Angels, and Darrell Evans, Atlanta, San Francisco and Detroit.
Quotebook: Houston Astro pitcher Mark Portugal, commenting before his team’s annual sliding drill for pitchers: “Thank God for guaranteed contracts.”