I was a Debbie Yow fan. I still am.
Say what you want, but Debbie Yow was fierce. She was a fighter for this University, but she also was very pragmatic and transparent. She welcomed conversation with the fans, media and wasn’t scared to get on Twitter and voice her opinion.
Yow didn’t have some PR firm running her account. She didn’t hide behind vague coach-speak. She told it like it was. She rubbed some the wrong way, fine, but in my opinion, those people were little softies who get nervous around people with a spine. She wasn’t just a hard-nosed leader, she was a success.
In 2018 she had moved NC State all the way up to 15th nationally in the Director’s Cup (basically a ranking for Athletic programs based on all sports).
Prior to Debbie Yow, NC State’s highest ranking was 32nd in 1994. She took over for a program ranked 89th! In just 6 years she had them ranked 15th. The next year they were almost just as good, ranked 26th, and they continue to shine, finishing 23rd this year (should have been 18th). New AD Boo Corrigan is getting the credit now, but these are mostly all coaches that Yow installed.
So why am I setting up this piece by propping up Debbie Yow? Well, because some of you have attention spans of mice, and likely forget the type of success Yow brought to NC State. And thus, you will likely delve into some weird argument about her word not mattering because she’s not the AD, yadda, yadda, yadda.
Anyways, in classic form, she responded to NC State fans who called for her opinion after the UNC loss. Here is what she had to say…
During my 9 years at State, we hired 17 head coaches. One was a mistake and he left years ago. Coach Keatts deserves a reset, now that the ncaa issue cannot be used against him in recruiting. Yes, I believe in his leadership.
— Debbie Yow (@gopacknow) January 29, 2022
So Yow is batting 94% on her hires, and she’s publically backing Keatts, pointing out how the NCAA sanctions have hurt him in recruiting. Something I’ve touched on quite a bit, including in this piece.
But then, the legendary JanJones chimes in and GOES ON THE RECORD to refute Debbie Yow’s claim.
Oh wait, you don’t know who JanJones is? No, neither does anyone else outside of the 144 followers they have on that account. But hey, don’t worry, just because you are an irrelevant Twitter troll doesn’t mean Debbie Yow doesn’t have time for you. She responded…
I was in discussions jointly w Coach and recruit families while still at State. The (unreal) 4 years wait for resolution mattered in recruiting. As one Mom told me “My son wants to play for Coach Keatts, but others say u will not be in NCAA tourney.”
— Debbie Yow (@gopacknow) January 29, 2022
She’s questioned again… She responds again.
Yessir. Discussed specifically. (Tweets often do not allow for details). Not surprising strategy. But the length of time to reach resolution of the issue was a surprise.
— Debbie Yow (@gopacknow) January 30, 2022
And for those of you on the edge of your seat wondering how JanJones took the direct response. As you guess, JanJones stood down…
Thank you for clearing that up. I didn’t realize that.
— JANJONES (@JANJONES7) January 29, 2022
But Debbie Yow did not let it go. She was still thinking about it when she went to bed. She was thinking about these people’s complaints and wondering if they had a point, and if so, what that point really was. The next morning she responded with this…
After sleeping, this what I see: Agreement: we played beneath our ability, that injuries matter, so does the now-settled ncaa issue, in general. Divergence of opinion: The “why”we played poorly and the course for the future. Appreciate y’all. Go Pack.
— Debbie Yow (@gopacknow) January 30, 2022
OMG! A woman of the people, folks.
I will say it to anyone that will listen. We didn’t know what we had in Debbie Yow. I true leader, not drunk with power, just someone who loves NC State and wants the best for them.
That’s why, when she speaks, I listen.
The tables were literally turned 5 years ago, when Keatts came in and took a 4 win team in the ACC and turned them into an 11 win team the next year. Meanwhile, Dave Doeren had an 0-8 ACC season under his belt, followed by three straight 3-5 ACC seasons. They were calling the guy “Donut Dave” for the 0-8 season. They were all over Yow for the hire. He eventually turned it around. Now NC State fans praise Yow for the hire.
See how it works.
If there is anyone I can trust on whether or not Keatts really has what it takes to make it in the ACC, it’s Debbie Yow.
For me, you have to earn my trust. You have to earn the right for me to take you as a credible source. Yow earned it with me, and if you were paying attention, she should have earned it with you.
She says to stay the course. Let him reset with the full ability to recruit. Without sanctions hanging over his head.
Look, the truth is, no great player from outside of the state is ever going to pick NC State over a current powerhouse because of the name. They are going to have to be wowed by Keatts, or the culture he’s instilled. And if there is one red flag, they’re gone. That’s how thin the margins are at NC State right now. That’s what 20 years of subpar basketball gets you.
Well, that red flag has lifted. It’s gone. So listen to Debbie Yow and simmer down for a minute. Let’s see what the guy can do with a level playing field.
She believes Keatts is the guy for the job or she wouldn’t be jumping on Twitter to defend him. Who are you to question her? JanJones?
Money Ruins Everything, Even the Legend of Tommy White
The world of college sports is WILD right now. In just the last year, any athlete can transfer penalty-free and everybody can get their bank accounts padded. The problem is, my head is stuck in this double-edged sword scenario; For far too long, universities have been crooks, abusing students by using their likeness and misleading them into bad situations.
But now, “innocent” athletes are being made into the crooks.
Don’t Go Tommy…
There is obviously more to every story than what’s spread around Twitter. Maybe coaches, playing time, position, change of scenery, whatever it may be, played a factor in their decision to leave. In the case of Tommy White, it seems to be a series of objections.
TRANSFER UPDATE: @NCStateBaseball freshman sensation slugger Tommy White, who set the NCAA record for home runs in a single season by a freshman, has entered the transfer portal this morning. Wow.
— Kendall Rogers (@KendallRogers) June 2, 2022
What we know for sure is, there was a line of schools sitting on a whole pile of cash (and let’s be honest, better ballparks) just chomping at the bit to sign him a check. Which turns this into a personal question for every reader, “You get hired by Company A. One year later Company B shows up in your email saying that you can work remotely, have all these extra benefits and oh yeah, how about a 40% raise?” Every. F*cking. Person. Would. Take. The. Deal. I don’t think Tommy’s a bad guy at all. He’s a really good baseball player that is seeing things elsewhere that look greener. Just like every one of us would do.
It’s a super tough pill to swallow in the case of Tommy White. He can’t say he didn’t feel the love. When WPN latches onto you as a legend, you’re set for life. Tommy Tank shirt sales were crazy, he was the lead convo on social daily, people in Raleigh loved Tommy and showed it. All that to say, Tommy, you need to show up to exit interviews. Some level of professionalism (and frankly respect), no matter how upset, needs to be shown.
There are going to be people on social media that will vilify Tommy White. Others will go after Boo (more on that later), Avent and others. The NCAA will once again get their steady stream of hate, although we can tell you with certainty, the chances of transferring weren’t all on missing out on the Tourney.
And this is now the world we live in. The NCAA has minimal oversight. Programs are going to be crowned champions because their wallet was much, much deeper than State’s. Players will forgo relationships, support and fans for money and the promise of more.
Here is when I rile a few folks up…Give a lot of praise to Doeren, Moore and some to Keatts, as well. The 2022 football team is returning just about everyone, which after this week is beyond impressive. Wes Moore has gained far more than he’s lost each and every transfer period. And Keatts? He has done well building back up the roster and brought BACK a top-20 NBA pick.
All I ask is this…Support these programs and the players while they’re here. Don’t go bashing and calling out athletes if they go elsewhere (seriously, you clowns). Understand that State sports is on the rise, across the full spectrum of teams. We’re the underdogs and always will be.
At Final Four Media Day, Multiple NCAA Committee Members Acknowledge NC State’s Situation
Friday night, UCONN faces off against Stanford. It should be NC State and everybody knows it.
At media day Thursday, here is what various members of the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee had to say about NC State’s situation in Bridgeport;
Oh my God you guys hahahahaha You thought NCAA would show sympathy?! hahahaha You thought they’d admit skewing the odds in the favor of a national powerhouse program?! hahahaha
NC State almost pulled off their biggest win since 1998, with 9k UCONN fans and multiple refs on their back. Add in what happened in Omaha, San Diego and even simple eligibility concerns in football, it’s been a rough year for NCAA beating up on State. Which is saying something because of the last, I don’t know how many years.
We could have literally wrote 15 April Fool’s Day jokes…which is in and of itself, an absolute joke.
Once again, from the bottom of our hearts, we hate you NCAA. You have let NIL become a runaway train, made transferring too easy and held no consistency in any judgement calls.
NC State Ok’s vintage-inspired apparel line from Indiana company after shutting down Alum with same idea
Let me start out by saying how excited I am to see Homefield Apparel finally drop a vintage-inspired NC State line tomorrow.
Dropping 2/12 at 12pm Eastern. pic.twitter.com/JOQctO6aam
— Homefield (@HomefieldApparl) February 7, 2022
I’m a big fan of their stuff, and I’m 100% sure I’m going to be picking up a few pieces at noon when it drops.
But I can’t let this slide without telling you guys the story about the apparel company that never was. The story of State Print Co.
About 6 years ago, a friend of mine (who asked not to be named in this piece) pitched me this idea. He wanted to start a vintage-inspired college apparel line. He wanted to go the route of creating cool-looking, non-branded college apparel that simply implied the fandom instead of having NC State written all over it (so he could get started before going the licensure route). During that time, it was the primary business model of BreakingT, which was an emerging company doing this for pro-sports.
My friend wasn’t just a great designer, he was also an avid Wolfpack fan. He studied design and graduated from NC State. He was taught there to use his design skill to become an entrepreneur. So he did just that.
He started State Print Co. and launched with a few neat designs. If you remember, the guys at Pack Insider (I introduced them) tweeted out these designs and a link to the new company.
— Pack Insider (@PackInsider) September 19, 2016
It wasn’t less than a few days later that NC State put the kibosh on this. They reached out to State Print Co. to let them know they wanted the designs removed from the site or else there would be a cease and desist.
The cease and desist would be based on the fact that he was using NC State’s color (red) and was portraying a wolf. Forget that the Wolf didn’t look anything like Tuffy (or anything else State had at the time) and the University’s name wasn’t used anywhere on the shirts.
Our friend, despite having ordered a good deal of the shirts that had almost sold out in two days, removed the designs as requested. He then laid out his business plan to NC State’s Trademark and Licensing group. He explained that he would go through the proper channels to get licensed, and had a number of vintage style designs that remade/rethought 1983-era NC State apparel that he would be able to use when licensed and would become the cornerstone of the company. He also showed them some fresh takes on themes he thought NC State wasn’t exploring.
NC State’s Trademark and Licensing department told him not to even go through the process. They told him they only licensed with larger companies and that he would need to establish something much larger before they even gave him the time of day.
With no other avenues to explore in getting in with NC State, he shut down the company that day.
He has since gone on to make a number of sports logos you’ve certainly seen on national TV and has spent time working to help brand professional leagues and teams. He has made a great career for himself and interestingly enough has been extremely successful working with a large sports apparel company. He doesn’t have anything against NC State (he still loves them), and doesn’t hold anything personal against them, which is why he didn’t want his name mentioned in this piece. However, I like to make waves, and I think this story is worth telling. That’s why I convinced him to let me tell it.
Meanwhile, a year after this all happened, Connor Hitchcock created this shirt for Indiana University fans, after their 2017 pinstripe bowl loss to Duke.
— Hoosier Proud (@Hoosier_Proud) August 31, 2017
The shirt saw major success and despite using the team color and referencing their game vs. Duke, it wasn’t halted by Indiana. In fact, it went on to sell like crazy.
That shirt was the jumping-off point for Homefield, a vintage-inspired college apparel brand. They started without licensure making shirts that referenced their favorite team (it wasn’t even their Alma Mater) and 5 years later they are a national brand that has gotten a ton of accolades.
And now, they are finally launching their NC State line. Yep, that’s right, NC State has licensed with the Indiana-based company that is doing exactly what they were pitched 6 years earlier by a homegrown designer who wanted to make NC State the cornerstone school in his apparel company.
Now, fine. Homefield is huge now. They have a massive social following and are licensing with over 100 schools. They are a great brand that I personally support. But they started with a single shirt that was unlicensed, and they used that to catapult them to what they are today.
The point I’m making is that NC State had the chance to do this exact same thing with a designer that their school helped create. The school that told him to use his design to become an entrepreneur had the chance to put their money where their mouth was. They had the chance to have a company like this be credited to their University’s design school. But they didn’t have the foresight. His own school big-timed him.
Sure, he could have kept pushing. He could have built the company into something large and then came back to NC State and tried again, but he didn’t. Maybe Homefield deserves it and maybe he wouldn’t have gotten to the level they have.
We’ll never know.
What I do know is that NC State missed an opportunity that day. They missed a chance to invest in one of their own.
I love this university. I graduated from NC State a long time ago, but I am still loyal to my school. I never miss a game. I support them in every way possible. Hell, I get paid jack-sh*t writing for the guys at PI, simply because it’s a passion of mine (JK guys, the pay is good, don’t fire me.)
But this story always reminds me that college sports is a business. And loyalty usually only flows one way.
That said, you know my a%# will be logged on at noon tomorrow to pick up everything NC State that Homefield can drop on me. I’ve already alerted my wife to the $200 that will be missing from our account.
However, I just wish that my school would have had the foresight and trust in their own, so that I’d be logging on tomorrow to get these shirts, not from Homefield, but from the NC State alum-run State Print Co.
Wolferetti: Hubert Davis says UNC can’t win because they are “playing against better players”. This is not satire.
Ah, the joys of watching a first-year head coach.
No, I’m not talking about a coach who is in his first year with a new team. I’m talking about coaches who are thrust into prime-time jobs with zero prior head coaching experience. You know, guys like Hubert Davis.
What I love is that they really aren’t used to the media yet. In a generation where coaches rarely make missteps and are usually pretty bland with their comments in order to stay out of trouble, the new first-year head coach can be counted on for an eyebrow-raising quote from time to time.
Hubert Davis seems like he just had his.
This past week wasn’t very good for the Heels. They lost to Miami by 28 and then they lost to Wake Forest by 22. Yeah, that’s two losses by a combined 50 points. But it wasn’t until I read this WRAL piece where Davis gave his reason that it really turned my head.
“You’re playing against better players,” he said. “Williamson, Williams, and Laravia were the best players on the floor and it wasn’t even close.”
He went on to say…
“When I was in the NBA I did all the things. I did the scouting report, I denied one pass away, I was in a defensive stance, but at the end of the day Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and Allen Iverson were better than me.”
You can’t make this up. Poor little UNC just can’t get enough talent to beat Wake Forest.
“We just don’t have the athleticism and the ability to be able to break down defenders,” he said “Wake Forest was switching all ball screens one through five. We couldn’t get by them. We couldn’t create a shot.”
Don’t you just feel bad for Hubey? He finally gets his dream job, and he’s left with a bunch of scrubs. You can’t expect him to win with these guys, who do you think he is? Roy Williams?
Last year UNC started a lineup of:
Caleb Love – 5 star PG, #2 PG nationally
Kerwin Walton – 4 star SG, #21 SG nationally
Leaky Black – 4 star SF, #17 SF nationally
Garrison Brooks – 4 star PF, #32 PF nationally
Armando Bacot – 5 star C, #6 C nationally
This year, not much has changed…
Caleb Love – 5 star PG, #2 PG nationally
RJ Davis – 4 star SG, #7 CG nationally
Leaky Black – 4 star SF, #17 SF nationally
Brady Manek – 4 star PF, #27 PF nationally
Armando Bacot – 5 star C, #6 C nationally
Based on recruiting, they have a better rated starting five this year. So saying you don’t have the talent seems a little insincere. They also are getting better production out of the two players they have brought in, than the ones who were in those spots last year.
Kerwin Walton averaged 8 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists last season as the starting 2 guard.
RJ Davis is averaging 13.4 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists this year as the starting 2 guard.
Garrison Brooks averaged 10.2 points and 6.5 rebounds last season as the starting power forward.
Brady Manek is averaging 12.9 points and 5.7 rebounds this season as the starting power forward.
Thier core of Love, Black and Bacot are all back. Sure, they lost some depth to the transfer portal, guys that they counted on at the tail end of last season, but this is not a team void of talent by any means.
But he can say what he wants to say and UNC fans can live in a delusional world where they’ll back whatever he says despite evidence sitting right there on the internet (for now).
But maybe, just maybe, UNC isn’t being coached all that well. Maybe all those 4 and 5-star kids aren’t being put in the right position to get the most out of their ability. Maybe Davis isn’t quite the motivator that Roy was. UNC has gone through stretches of looking lethargic. They don’t seem to have great chemistry. They just kind of look lost.
But Davis isn’t going to take that blame. He’s going to pass it off to the fact that they just don’t have the talent despite having starting lineup of all 4 and 5-star kids.
Hey, maybe Davis can turn to his bench, where he has…
D’Marco Dunn (6’4, 4-star SG)
Dawson Garcia (6’11, 4-star C)
Anthony Harris (6’4, 4-star SG)
Puff Johnson (6’8, 4-star SF)
Dontrez Styles (6’7, 4-star SF)
Kerwin Walton (6’5, 4-star SG)
You get the picture? Davis and UNC are flush with talent. He just doesn’t know how to use it and is deflecting so the Tar Heel fans don’t turn on him. The only problem is, those deflections only work for so long. So either he needs to turn things around fast, or come up with some new excuses.
And how dare I talk about UNC (12-6) while NC State is sitting at 10-10 on the season?
Well first off, my column, my rules. And secondly, some people here are so giddy to criticize Keatts that they fail to look around and what else is going on around them. Keatts has had potential NCAA sanctions over his head since he got here, which has stunted his ability to recruit. His starting lineup is Seabron (3-star), Smith (4-star), Morsell (4-star), Hellems (3-star) and Dowuona (3-star).
Do you hear Keatts crying about his talent? Do you see NC State looking lethargic when they take the court? Do you the Pack dealing with chemistry issues? The answer to all three is NEVER.
So, be thankful you don’t have a coach who is going to throw his kids under the bus for the sake of his job, and to all the UNC fans out there who are mad about this piece, just be patient, once you get a lineup of all 5-star kids you’ll FINALLY be able to compete with the juggernaut known as Wake Forest.