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Is NC State going to be the odd school out?

The Adam Gold Show / Adam Gold
The Truth Network Radio
July 1, 2022 4:52 pm

Is NC State going to be the odd school out?

The Adam Gold Show / Adam Gold

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July 1, 2022 4:52 pm

Is NC State going to be the odd school out? With USC & UCLA headed towards the Big Ten, could schools such as Duke, North Carolina, Virginia, Clemson, Miami, and Florida State also be on the move to either the Big Ten or the SEC? Where does this leave NC State and Wake Forest? Joe Ovies of The OG on 99.9 The Fan and Chip Patterson of CBS Sports joined Adam for a Round Table discussion on the future of college sports.

Also, Harvest Leroy Smith, the person who beat out Michael Jordan for a spot on the varsity basketball team at E.A. Laney High School in Wilmington, NC, joined the show to talk about those days when he made the varsity team and Jordan did not.

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This is the best of the Adam Gold Show Podcast brought to you by Coach Pete at Capital Financial Advisory Group.

Visit us at This is the Adam Gold Show. I was such a bad human being yesterday, Dennis. You didn't know this because you were busy getting Mr. Miracle tattooed on your right forearm.

Was your right forearm correct? Joe's looking at you like, wait, like you didn't know. So yesterday, Graham Hill, top snooker player from Brighton, was filling in and Joe Obius basically just guided him through it. And I was such a bad human being that I did not give Joe his flowers for doing that because he wasn't even on the air yesterday.

He was like, Dante, I'm not even supposed to be here today. And Joe, you were good enough to do that. So again, I really felt bad about it. So thanks for doing it. No, you deserved recognition. Thank you.

Thank you. It was a work day. It ended up being a work day for me yesterday. My only requirement yesterday in terms of work is I got to be out of here in the afternoon because it's my dad's last day at IBM slash Lenovo. So somebody had to drive him home?

Kind of, yeah. I mean, he's up there in age. Yeah, my dad, you know, started working at IBM at age 20 in Boca Raton, Florida.

That got us up here in 95 in North Carolina. And he finally wrapped his career and he's going to be really bored. And he's going to blow you up. Oh, he already does. He's going to blow me up. He's going to want to hang out. Yeah, well, that's fun.

It's, you know, so yeah. Well, congratulations to, so I was out at dinner with my parents and Kelly and the kids. So yeah, that's why I wasn't technically doing a show yesterday. But I felt great, Adam. I haven't produced you since probably 2005. And I did the same thing I did back in 2005. I hardly paid attention.

I looked at the internet. It was great. So Joe Obvious is here from 99.9 The Fan in Raleigh, the OG, which are you doing a show? You on the air today? You want to go real old school today? It's me and Chris Clark doing the show this afternoon. Oh, look at that.

I don't know who that is. Let's go. Let's go.

And Chip Patterson, my friend who joins us normally on Wednesdays, but we have big, big news cover three podcast moderator. So I will start here and I need to set this up because we're going to start obviously with what happened yesterday. With Southern Cal and UCLA, leaving the Pac-12 at the altar and moving to the Big Ten. We're going to start with the Alliance. And just in case people weren't aware, the Alliance started and we have to go pre-pandemic when the five power conferences, which are no longer, they met and try to decide what to do when COVID was crushing everybody. And they just, we're going to wait.

We're going to do things as a group. And then like two days later, the Big Ten went, we're not playing. Figuring that everybody else, because the Big Ten is the mighty Big Ten, everybody's going to fall in line. Well, Pac-12 did. Pac-12 said, we're not playing. And the ACC, the SEC and the Big 12 went, we're going to wait it out because that was apparently the plan all along to just to kind of wait it out. So we fast forward to what the SEC does. They raid the Big 12 for their two most important schools, Texas and Oklahoma last year. Everybody's mad and now we get the Alliance.

The ACC, the Big Ten and the Pac-12 and Jim Phillips looked into the eyes of George Klyavkov and Kevin Warren. And they didn't need a contract. I guess they needed a contract.

Joe, did they need a contract? I want you to look at me in the eyes, Adam. I am looking at you in the eyes.

Chip, through the screen. I want you to look at the camera. Look at the camera.

I do this all the time. Look at the camera. Look at the screen. Because Chip is alarmingly handsome.

So I look up at the monitor and then I realize I'm not looking at the camera. I think the cutest thing that we tend to do in our business when we talk about college athletics is that we act as though contracts mean anything. So on one hand, let's say they do have a contract with the Alliance. Well, what's that contract going to look like?

I mean, what's the binding thing that keeps the Alliance together? You could probably easily get yourself out of that. The issue is that Jim Phillips said something ridiculous like that.

We looked each other in the eye and if we can't have a man-to-man eye contact moment, then it really shows you what's wrong. Well, yeah, man, you've been working in college. He's a college athletics lifer. That's the most disappointing part. Jim Phillips has been doing this since he came out the womb, I'm assuming, and he didn't have the wherewithal to think, hey, man, they're going to backstab me at any moment. And that's a real failure on Jim Phillips' part. My ninja commissioner would never, he would never allow this to happen.

The ninja commissioner was sort of asleep at the switch, though. He was retiring! No, no, I'm going back further.

Well, I mean... The Big 12 was always going to implode. Texas and Oklahoma should have been pitched too hard five years ago.

Swofford's at the beach chilling out right now, drinking Bud Light Limes. Five years ago. How do you look at the Alliance, Chip Patterson?

The job is done. They didn't need a contract because it was a short-term deal. The deal was to vote out the college football playoff. It was eight to three when it came to the expansion of the college football playoff, and the three nays in the room were the Alliance. It was the ACC. It was the Big 10.

It was the Pac-12. They didn't need to sign a deal because all they really wanted to do was get together for this one vote and stick it to Greg Sankey and stick it to Jack Swarbrick and stick it to, heck, even Craig Thompson from the Mountain West. It was like, oh, man, they just invited me to come be a part of these meetings. The feelings were that that group spent all of that time trying to run through all these different scenarios to pitch the coaches. They showed up at the football kickoff. They were trying to get everybody on board and then to have the ACC, the Big 10, and the Pac-12 line up against it, preventing any college football playoff expansion before the conclusion of the current contract.

Well, then the job was done because we can look at it, obviously, from the ACC perspective across this unprecedented statewide platform. But it is the bad feelings between Kevin Warren and George Klyavkov because the night before those college football playoff expansion meetings, the two of them, the Rose Bowl commissioners, were going out to dinner together. They were new commissioners. They were forging a friendship that was supposed to be, supposedly, allowing these two conferences, which share a lot of the same ideals and ideology, to be able to not let the SEC run away with this thing. So it's really Kevin Warren who's the new ninja here as he knifes the Pac-12, takes the two biggest properties, and then sets up the Big 10 to not only be on par with the SEC with a retaliatory move, but maybe even positions the Big 10 to be the new alpha in college sports. I think they are.

We're going to get to that in a second. I also remember the alliance was about scheduling, which, of course, we all laughed at. But they said it was about scheduling, and the first big schedule announcement in college football that came out after the alliance was Southern Cal and LSU playing a game. LSU is not part of the alliance.

Last time I checked. So good on you guys for coming up with the scheduling thing. Does the Rose Bowl even exist anymore? That we just had two divisions of the Big 10 playing in the Rose Bowl? Yeah, play the Big 10 championship in the Rose Bowl.

Yeah, at this point. It actually might benefit the Rose Bowl in the grand scheme of things. I mean, the Rose Bowl's been, with everything that's happened, it's still been one of the most watched bowl games in college football every single year. It doesn't matter if Washington State's in the damn Rose Bowl. People care about the Rose Bowl, which is why you and I used to talk about this all the time.

I always thought that, like, I get your sugar bowl, it's cute, it's adorable. The Champions Bowl, they called it that for a while, right? But the Rose Bowl's the only one that really moves the needle, and that's the only one that deserves special treatment. National semifinal, Rose Bowl, national semifinal, we should have been done. Yeah, and I'm really looking forward to 2030 when North Carolina and Southern Cal play in a Rose Bowl championship for the Big 10. I'm really looking forward to that. We are going to get to that. Let me ask you this, Chip, because I know you're probably going to be there. What's July 20th in Charlotte going to be like?

I mean, very, very angsty. I mean, it was the night before one of the ACC championship games was when there were the rumors of, like, Georgia Tech going to the Big 10. And, you know, there were the conversations in the press box that were like, okay, well, you know, when did this become a game of risk? You know, when did this all of a sudden become a big land grab? Well, now we're more than a decade separated from all the conference realignment craze of that last wave. And now we very much know what it's about.

It's not about a land grab. It is about creating the type of matchups that will draw the most eyeballs. It's no longer about media market.

It is just about ratings drivers. I mean, we're taking college football, the soul of it off campus and putting it on the screen. We no longer care about a college football fan. We care about a TV viewer whose favorite TV show is college football. Trademark Michael Felder.

He came up with that genius line. I really believe that these are entertainment product moves. We as fans are reacting to this, you know, confused, maybe a little repulsed, maybe a little turned off. But, you know, conferences, you know, ESPN, Fox, like they're used to this moving and shaking. They're used to switching things up.

They are used to breaking tradition in order to be able to make more money in order to be able to draw more ratings. So I I think it's gonna be very angsty. I am very much like my purpose of going has changed. You know what?

I am there to hear what the questions that I want to ask are very, very different. I believe that we won't have another major move before then, but all the questions are going to be lingering from the moment that Jim Phillips steps to the microphone. Every single head coach, especially the prominent ones that speak sort of on behalf of the league or college football. You're Dabo Sweeney, you're Mac Brown, the coaches that have real perspective among the A.C.C. coaches. They are all going to have some thoughts on it. And so to try and collect as much of that as possible, knowing that they're not the ones that make any decisions. It'll be university presidents. It will be athletic directors. They'll at least have given a sense of where things might or might not be headed. And we might be able to pick that up during our time in Charlotte.

But angsty is my overall response. Just quick context for people, because I didn't do this ahead of time. July 20th and 21st, A.C.C. football media days in Charlotte. I do think it is a game of risk, even though we're not acquiring land, we are acquiring property.

Maybe it's more a game of Monopoly than it is a game of risk. Joe, do you even want to talk to a player for two days? I mean, honestly, I don't really love talking to players anyway, but my interest is not about players. The coaches that Chip mentioned, Dabo Sweeney, may or may not say anything anyway.

Mac Brown, that's cool. But I want to talk to administrators. The players can tell us about how all the money that's coming in from television that'll dole out, what is it, like $100 million per school at this point for the SEC and the Big Ten. How it's really helping them with some quality of life improvements for their well-being and things like that. Hey, we're making you travel across country for, I'd rather talk to Olympic sports at this point, not football. Football players, I think, are kind of used to all the travel and being separated from everything else.

I think it's more interesting. I would love to have an ACC kickoff for Olympic sports saying, hey, so, about your travel budget, how's that going to work out for you? Well, I mean, if this creates money for travel budgets. Like, I heard somebody complaining about the women's softball team at Southern Cal having to play wherever, right?

But, I mean, they're not going to drive, they're not going to bus in a van, so they're going to fly. No, it's going to affect them because what we found out in the pandemic is that there's money. There's just money for the things they actually care about and what will happen is that you'll see a lessening impact on those smaller sports because you're going to have more of an arms race to keep football going, too. I mean, Clemson didn't need to cut sports during the pandemic. No, no schools did. None of them did.

They used the pandemic as an excuse to siphon off money so they could put it back towards football, which they cared about. This would be the same thing here, too. You have to look at everything cynically.

All right. By the way, the way that the alliance would have worked, the Unbreakable Vow. They make the Unbreakable Vow. That's a Harry Potter reference? It is a Harry Potter reference because when you break the Unbreakable Vow, you die. That's the truth.

Just die. It's over. Where Jim Phillips' hora cruxes? Not hora. Hor-cruxes. It's a Jewish dance crux. No.

Hor-cruxes. Okay, I don't know. I don't know.

I want the Harry Potter land ones. John Swafford's golf shirt. Probably. Is the ACC salvageable? No. What?

No? It's not. Look, y'all can sit here and come up with all scenarios.

Okay, I'll give you one scenario where the ACC is salvageable, but I'm telling you right now, we have roughly five years left of the ACC. Five. I don't think the number is that long. I said roughly.

Okay? That's a guesstimate. That's probably a best-case scenario. I think it's either salvageable or it's over in a hurry. And the reason why I say roughly five years is because you do have the sliding scale of pain to get out of a contract with the... Yeah, it's an urgent buyout.

This is the same math that every coach on the hot seat has to deal with with their athletic director. It's a sliding scale of pain. It's a sliding scale of pain.

What are you comfortable with? What's gonna hurt me? What's gonna hurt you equally? And then we'll move on from there. Everything will be negotiated. So, it's gonna go one of two ways.

Either Jim Phillips and his college presidents in ESPN can convince Notre Dame to be the third division of major college football. We talk about the Mega 2, the Power 2, etc. It's fine. The mistake... People try to act as though the Alliance made a mistake and blow... Like, I heard Dan Wetzel earlier, and I disagree with Dan Wetzel from Yahoo Sports about it. They should have taken the deal. No, they should not have taken that deal for the college football players.

No. In retrospect, it would have been a better decision. Even in retrospect. Neither was a good decision.

Neither... I agree with you for the most part. My point here is that you could not allow the SEC going Game of Thrones, chaos is a ladder, to completely take over the college football playoff with ESPN and lock that in with one network and one network only. You want to make more money, you do what the NFL does, and you go from maximum reach and you break it up with the various networks that are interested in college football.

You have two, possibly three. You have ESPN, Disney, ABC, and then you have Fox. They're the ones with the money. And you're seeing it play out with the Big Ten and the SEC, right? Apple might figure into that a little bit. The mistake was believing your other conference commissioners.

This is the saligable thing. You convince Notre Dame to come in and be that third division of football that becomes like an AFC, NFC, and a third. You might not be as powerful, but you will at least have teams that can compete on the national level that keep you floating. Clemson, Florida State, Miami, Virginia Tech, Notre Dame. But I don't see that happening because we don't know what the college football playoffs are going to look like. If it's an at-large thing with a committee where you invite the eight best teams, the twelve best teams, and you eliminate conference champions, Notre Dame is never joining you. Notre Dame is never joining you in that situation.

But that's what it's going to be. The ACC is screwed. The playoff could simply consist of teams at that level. Possibly. Which Notre Dame would have to be in a league to be at that level.

Maybe. Jack Swarbrick's part of the one coming up with the new playoff system, so clearly he hasn't seen to the table how they developed this. That may also change as we go forward. Chip, why do you think the ACC is viable? I tend to agree with Joe that the best they can do is essentially convince Notre Dame to be a part of it, maybe add a few other schools, and create a good third option. Right, go ahead and add Navy, Stanford, do the things that are going to speak to what Notre Dame's tradition is, and you hope that the addition, not just of the Fighting Irish, but of these other schools, allows you to create a new contract with ESPN that won't have so much of a gap with what the SEC and what the Big Ten is making.

Maybe you can get to $30 million short of where they are. Maybe. Will ESPN reward the ACC's loyalty for being one of the first to go all in? Well, they sort of did with the Big Twelve. The Big Twelve isn't nearly worth what it was when they had Texas and Oklahoma. They did not cut them, but I would argue that not cutting them, keeping the money status quo, is a drop. Right?

It's a drop. So the move that the ACC can do internally to keep other schools from moving when it comes to the finances is going to be merit-based annual payouts. One of the things that we heard from USC and UCLA was how upset they were that they were getting paid the same as the rest of the Pac-12, believing that even though they were getting these small little checks, they were responsible for a big portion of those small little checks. And it was silly for them to be getting the same cut as some of their other conference members. That still didn't stop Texas and Oklahoma from leaving.

It did initially. Because that deal, the initial deal, that Texas, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State also got extra money to stay in the Big Twelve. Now, eventually, that ran out, and then they took off. Alright, I've got like two minutes left here.

So, quick answers. I'll start with Chip. When the ACC disintegrates, which... because I think I'm really... They could play Lester Brand football. Like, they could be playing... like, the ACC could still exist. It just might not have Clemson. Which four schools leave for the Big Ten? Which four schools leave for the SEC?

Quick. Four to the Big Ten is North Carolina, Duke, Virginia, and Georgia Tech. The SEC is Clemson, Florida State, Miami, and TBD. NC State fans are excited. I'm with Chip on the Big Ten in that Duke and Carolina are a package deal. Virginia makes sense, and you compare them back up with Maryland, and they can be buddies again. And then, yeah, Georgia Tech already has that connection with Atlanta, because the Big Ten still cares about TV markets.

Sure. Big Ten Network calling them a base package. The SEC, as Chip said, I'm with them too. Clemson, Florida State, Virginia Tech, Miami would make the most amount of sense to me. That leaves NC State as the odd man out. NC State actually has the most to lose in this scenario, where they end up playing with the American at some point. And, hey, ECU and NC State can finally be together.

An app? Yeah. And Charlotte?

Yeah. Meanwhile, Wake Forest goes to the ACC Boutique Bespoke Basketball League. Like, the Big East. I think the ACC can survive. They just need to take Austin College money and send it to Clemson. Chip, the ACC is surviving like my hairline, dude.

It ain't happening. Wow. Chip Patterson, thank you very much for hanging out. Joe Obius, you can follow Joe on Twitter, at Joe Obius. He's doing a radio show today. Chip Patterson and the Cover Three Podcast at Chip underscore Patterson.

It's been a blast. Remember the urban legend, I guess, that Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team at Laney High School as a sophomore. It's sort of true. He wasn't cut. He just didn't make the varsity team because somebody else was chosen ahead of him. Wouldn't it be great if we could talk to the person who got Michael Jordan's spot on Laney's varsity team?

Well, just so happens, we can. Harvest Leroy Smith, you were the guy who made the team in place of Michael Jordan. What number did you wear on varsity? Hey, Adam, thank you so much, my man. I wore number 50.

That was a great intro, man. Number 50 would have been even better had you worn number 23. It would have been sweet.

That would have been awesome. All right. So, you know, kind of clear that up. Why did you make the team and that that Michael Jordan guy? Not I tell you what, Adam, I'm standing six eight today. Well, about six, seven and a half, I guess. I probably shrunk an inch or so. But when I was in high school, I was probably six, six, six, seven. So here was this this tall, slender kid and Michael about five, nine, five, ten cylinder as well. And if I was a coach, I would have picked a big guy. Well, so at six, seven, I was like, yeah, that probably was a smart choice to pick the tall guy. He was he was only five, what, five, ten as a sophomore.

Wow, exactly. I mean, he sprouted up, had a tremendous growth spurt over the next 24, 36 months. And the rest is history. We're talking with Harvest Leroy Smith, who who got the spot that Jordan wanted on Laney High School's varsity team. So Michael is famous for holding grudges.

How did how did that play out in your relationship with him if there was one back in high school? I tell you what, Adam, it was not a grudge between us as players, but it truly did fuel his fire. And he tells that story all the time.

It's probably heard over millions and millions of time. But Michaels is and was at the time one of the most competitive people I've ever met. And as a kid, you really didn't know it because you saw it every day. But it translated in everything, especially on the court. So that definitely fueled his fire and not to have made that varsity team that year. And from then on, it was just competitive spirit every single day and everything. Were you guys friends? Yeah, we were. We actually probably lived maybe three miles, four miles away from each other and spent time at each other's houses. And we spent time every day. It was about four of us that really stuck together. We we actually called ourselves the dude crew.

OK, we were together a lot. And like I said, only one way we knew how to practice in the play. And it was to play extremely hard. And I have to give Michael a lot of credit for that because those practices were very intense. And and he pushed us even then.

Like I said, as kids, we didn't know we didn't know what was going on. But you could see that that spirit started to develop in him and in his character. Did he know that you got his spot or was it just here's the team, you made it?

He didn't. You know, our coach at the time, Clifton Heron, he saw us as ninth graders at a basketball camp and said, hey, I want you both to come out for the varsity next year when you get to Laney High School as high schoolers, as sophomores. And we knew there probably was just one spot because they had a stack team that year as we were coming in. And and again, we were battling and we we thought both of us were going to make that team. And of course, you know, the story tells we ran to the board and we looked up and found our names and my name was there. And and Mike's name wasn't. And that's when everything started.

So everything started. So what happens next at that point when you make the team? He doesn't. Does it alter your relationship? Does does anything change?

You know what? I'll tell you what changed because he was playing on the on the JV, of course, and dominated. And I was on the varsity and I set the bench a lot. So in my mind, I wanted to play with the JV because, you know, I knew I was going to get some playing time. And it was cool being on the varsity as a sophomore, what, 16 year old person and that whole thing. But I wasn't physically developed enough to play and all that type of stuff. But we still hung out as friends and we still you know, we knew Michael was coming.

But it was just a matter of time before, you know, that that whole thing exploded and he just took off. But it didn't alter our friendship. You know, of course, we spent less time together because I was on the varsity. He was on the JV, so forth and so on.

But, you know, we supported each other. And I'd watch the JV games and and lament the fact that I wasn't playing on the varsity and watching all my friends that I came in with play on JV and do really well. Before I get back to to Michael, I mean, what was your future like in basketball? Where did you go after Laney High School? And I believe when we were talking at the NSMA awards this this past Monday, you did play professionally.

So what was your your career like? Yeah, you know, I left Laney High School at 81 and I was a four year athlete at North Carolina Charlotte. Captain, the team, my senior year, I always tell everybody I was the building foundation part of their success. Because I came between that 70, that great 1977 team of Cedric Maxwell and those guys when they went to the Final Four. And I always call it the bell curve year. So you have the ups and then you have the down period.

You're building blocks. I was a part of that time period at North Carolina Charlotte. My freshman year, you know, we we the first half the season, we were like 10 and one, I think. And we were actually ranked in the nation.

I think in the top 25, top 30, whatever it is, came home Christmas time. And then we hit a skid after Christmas. We finished that season at 15 and 12. And that was under Mike Pratt.

And then the next three years, it was the rebuilding bell curve years. Right. It was it was it was character building.

Let me just say that. But I graduated with a degree in psychology from North Carolina, Charlotte. And then I went overseas. My coach that came in after my sophomore, junior and senior year was Jeff Mullins.

Oh, how whistle and Jeff Mullins and was was very kind to me. You know, make sure I finished school and also connected me when his agents her brutal and got me overseas. So I went to England and played, played in Germany, played in France, played down in South America and finished my career professionally in Japan.

Two years in Tokyo. So it was a blast, man. I had a great time, saw the world, got to play, you know, sport, get paid for that. I would pay a play for free. And matter of fact, I pay now to play full circle. You paid. Now you're you're teaching kids, too.

I want to get to that real quick because I don't we don't have a ton of time left, but I want to get to that. What do you mean you pay to play? You know, you got to pay a little fee to play in these men's leagues.

Now, this is OK to pay for the uniform. OK, then that I understand. So, yeah. All right. So talk to me about what you're doing with kids.

I know you're out in Winston-Salem. You're you're like instructing kids. You're teaching kids how to beat Michael Jordan out for the varsity team.

Exactly. I volunteer at the YMCA here and I also have like a basketball skills camp called Hoop World International. And what I do is work with kids in a holistic type of way to help them understand the why behind what we do on the basketball court. Not just so much, you know, all the fundamentals, of course, but why you do these things. And it makes so much more sense when when a player understands, you know, what an in and out move does for them or why you need to keep low as a player and be ready in the ready position at all time.

What it means to have the Mamba mentality and not just these words we throw out, but what that really means and how they how to teach kids how to work, work really hard to achieve your goal at whatever level you are. Like yesterday, I was I was refereeing for five and six year olds for the Y. And I love it because I do these teaching moments while stopping and just say, OK, remember I said you can't run with the ball, not football. And they just look at me like I'm some kind of, you know, just a crazy guy. But I have so much fun with the kids refereeing.

I'm sure also is a teaching moment for parents. We'll leave that alone. Coop World International.

You can find Harvest Leroy Smith there. All right. Let me let me ask you one quick one quick thing before we have to say goodbye. And I don't know if you have a relationship with Jordan today, but how long did your relationship last? And, you know, what is it? What was it like, you know, as he became Michael Jordan to still be able to say I beat you out?

You know what? That it's amazing because I was out of the country for six, seven years. And that whole Leroy Smith, Michael Jordan story was growing and building. Of course, when I was playing, there wasn't a lot of, you know, Instagram, social media, all that type of stuff. So I had to rely on my parents and my friends on phone calls telling me what was going on back here.

And then when I came back home, of course, you know, Jordan was was destroying the league. And we kept in contact like now. We talk on special occasions.

Father's Day, things like that. Momentous times text back and forth in each other. We don't see each other as much as I would like for us to see each other. But the friendship is still there. You know, me being so close now because I just moved back to North Carolina.

That's about 30 plus years in Los Angeles. So now I'm able to get to Charlotte and go to some of the games and things like that. So, you know, it'd be cool to sit down one day and just talk about old times and kind of reminisce. Do you play golf? You know what, I get out there, I swing the sticks, whether you call it playing or not, I swing the sticks. Because that's the way that's the way to hang out with Jordan. Either that or you can fish because I know he's into he's into like big game fishing now as well. Exactly.

Exactly. My friend. Well, I want to talk again. We'll just call Leroy Smith. Well, I know you're I think your mom called. I know your mom probably calls you harvest, but she calls me Lee. They call me Roy. I have all the options.

I always just don't call me late to dinner. There you go. Triple threat position. Harvest Leroy Smith, who beat Michael Jordan out for the varsity at Laney High School as a sophomore. Thank you so much. Thank you, Adam. I do appreciate it, my friend.

So I don't know if we got to the bottom of how Jordan didn't make his varsity team as a sophomore, but I will say this. Harvest Leroy Smith. Good dude. Good dude. Fun to talk to. I met him at the NSMA Awards on Monday and I thought, why not? Let's talk.

Certainly have a little fun on a getaway day for a lot of people. When we come back, the the author of the book Ray of Light, Jimmy Ray, North Carolina guy, was the first black quarterback in major college football. Duffy Dougherty was the head coach, Michigan State. He helped integrate the sport. And we will talk about Jimmy Ray and the impact he had on Marlon Briscoe, who just passed away first black quarterback in the NFL. Next.

We are heading into a July 4th weekend and we're all looking for a break, but I think it's important to tell this story. And we haven't talked about this. Really, we've been caught up in other things this week. But the very first black quarterback in the NFL guy who played at legit quarterback in the NFL, Marlon Briscoe, passed away. And there is a connection between Marlon Briscoe and somebody that we have talked about on this program, Jimmy Ray, who is from the state of North Carolina and became the first black quarterback in college football, essentially at Michigan State. And Tom Shanahan wrote the book Ray of Light. And I think he is a person that we should talk to about just the impact that Marlon Briscoe had and Jimmy Ray had on Marlon Briscoe. And Tom Shanahan joins us on the Adam Gold show. So I'm just going to let you take it from here.

Thank you for your time. Explain the connection, Jimmy Ray, Marlon Briscoe, and how it all got started. Yeah, thanks for having me on, Adam, and for the chance to talk about this.

I think the first point to make is something I emphasize, especially when I get a chance to talk to students, is segregation is recent history, not ancient history. Excuse me, we just lost Marlon, but Jimmy Ray and others are still walking around. They're in their late 70s and they have a story to tell and a story to remember. And now in the 1960s, Marlon Briscoe was the quarterback at Omaha University, which is now Nebraska, Omaha. And they were a Division II program. And Jimmy Ray was the quarterback at Michigan State, the Big Ten out of E.E.

Smith and Fayetteville. And at the time, the only other major college division quarterback was Gene Washington at Stanford. Gene, however, was switched to wide receiver the next year, which was the common practice among Black athletes. So it was very rare to find a coach that would give a Black athlete a chance to lead a team for two reasons. There was a stereotype Black athletes weren't smart enough. And then the other concern was the white players, as these would be crude, obviously, white teams wouldn't follow a Black man in the huddle. Tom Shanahan is joining us here on the Adam Gold Show, author of Ray of Light, Jimmy Ray, Duffy, Daugherty, the integration of college football and the 1965-66 Michigan State Spartans.

You can get it on Amazon. There's even a book on tape, I believe. You know, it's interesting you brought up, you know, switching, getting these guys to switch positions. That happened very recently when Lamar Jackson's coming out of Louisville, as great as Lamar Jackson was at Louisville, even somebody like Bill Polian at this day and age was suggesting that Lamar Jackson need to become a running back, which is the height of disrespect for all he had accomplished as a quarterback at Louisville. Yeah. How much of that still goes on?

I don't think it goes on as much, but it certainly does go on. And there's no worst example of that. Lamar Jackson obviously has proved himself as a quarterback. And then what will always linger about Lamar Jackson is how late he was drafted. Well, he was the last first-round pick, if I'm correct. Yep. And he should have been at the top of the draft.

So it still goes on. The other interesting thing that I realized from that viewpoint, Adam, was both Jimmy Ray and Marlon Briscoe came out in his 1968 draft, as they were quarterbacks but drafted as defensive backs. And another example of a great black quarterback who was forced to switch positions was Sandy Stephen out of Minnesota. But Sandy, if you look at the draft boards, he was listed as a quarterback. And then both the Vikings and Jets told him they drafted him, but they weren't going to play him as a quarterback. Now you go ahead, just six years later, 1968 draft, and both Jimmy Ray and Marlon Briscoe were drafted. And by then, the NFL teams wouldn't list them as a quarterback. They'd list them as drafted as a quarterback. So I think that says a lot, too, about the attitudes of the NFL back in those days. But the interesting thing is that I don't want to mislead people, because Briscoe was drafted, he played quarterback his first year, and then they moved him.

Exactly. About the third game of the year, the starter got injured. And for whatever reason, at that point, Lou Saban, who was the Denver Broncos coach, had waved a quarterback and they were short on the roster. So he essentially had to put Marlon Briscoe in there as an emergency quarterback. And he not only did well, he ended up starting five games and playing 11, and led the team in passing. And his touchdowns and interceptions rate was better than Steve Tenso, the starter who did return and finish the season.

Yet still, the 1969 training camps were about to open up. Saban invites Tenso and a couple other quarterbacks they signed for meetings in Denver before camp opens, and he does not invite Briscoe to join him. Briscoe got wind of that and flew out to Denver anyways and waited outside Saban's office and said, how come I wasn't invited to the meeting? And the end result was he asked for his release, Saban gave it to him, and the Buffalo Bills signed Marlon Briscoe. Ironically, that same year, James Harris, who idolized both Jimmy Ray and Marlon Briscoe, was a draft pick out of Grambling. And then James had the prototypical NFL quarterback size, and he was the backup to Jack Kemp, a switchboard for the wide receiver, this time instead of defensive back. He went on to an all-pro wide receiver career, plus two Super Bowl titles with the Miami Dolphins playing next to Paul Warfield.

Tom Shanahan is joining us here, you can hit him up actually on Twitter, at shanny4055, also to kind of read more of his writing, and he writes really well, especially in this particular arena. What did Briscoe do? Who did he lead to that led to the next guy, that led to the next guy that was given an opportunity? Yeah, well as I mentioned, James Harris told Jimmy Ray years later that when he was at Grambling, and obviously that's a historically black college, so he was allowed to play quarterback. And he would go to the library, he looked up to Marlon Briscoe and Jimmy Ray so much because they were the only black quarterbacks, and he would go to the Grambling library to look up their stats and see how they did, which shows you how old we are. This is long before ESPN, the internet.

And that's how he followed them. And then, you know, James Harris was always proud of Marlon Briscoe, and then Doug Williams came out of Grambling as well, and he was always proud of James Harris. And just continued slowly, definitely slowly, it's not until now that black quarterbacks are accepted as more than just a good running back, you know, a quarterback that could run. Yeah, we still label quarterbacks. I mean, it's still a tendency to do that. And, you know, it's funny because when Josh Allen came out of Wyoming, the truth of the matter is that Josh Allen was essentially playing like the stereotypical black quarterback, but people didn't look at it that way.

Because, of course, he's not black. But that's where we are today. Was there a guy, was it Williams, was it Warren Moon? Who changed the perception? I think Warren Moon would be the guy because he came out of Washington and the NFL didn't want him, went to Canada, had a great career, and then he was finally able to jump back to the NFL, and now he's in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. And Warren Moon mentioned a lot of quarterbacks ahead of him that cleared away. And let me also add that Tony Dungy, he was a quarterback in Minnesota, switched to defensive back with the Steelers, and when he made the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a coach, one of the mentors that he recognized was Jimmy Ray. Look, all I know is that guys like, the NFL has gotten to a place now where they're looking for the athlete who can also play quarterback. We have finally gotten to the point where the best players are playing that position. I don't know that it's not a stigma.

I think there is still a stigma for some people, but the best players are playing. We see it in college and we're starting to see it filter up to the NFL. Tom Shanahan. Shanahan.Report.

Ray of Light, the book about Jimmy Ray and integrating college football. I appreciate your time, sir. I hope you have a good July 4th.

I hope we can talk again very soon. You have a new book coming out, don't you? Yeah, it should be out by football season, and this is a deeper look at how Michigan State and Duffy Doherty led college football, not just by the Michigan State campus, but coast to coast with a number of assistant coaches he had that when they got to their new school, they expanded the recruitment of black athletes. Here's what people don't know and understand. In the 60s, there was a quota. As late as the 60s, there was a quota to keep black athletes on the roster to about a half dozen. Duffy Doherty smashed that with his teams in the 60s. And there's no better example of that than the 1966 game of the century. Michigan State had 20 black athletes, 11 black starters, two black team captains, college football hall of famers, George Webster and Clinton Jones, and then Jimmy Ray in the South's first black quarterback to win a national title.

Meanwhile, Notre Dame only had one black player, the great Alan Page. Oh my gosh, George Preston Marshall rolling over in his grave. Tom Shanahan, I thank you very much. Have a good July 4th. We will talk again very soon, sir. I appreciate the time, Adam. This is the Adam Gold Show.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-13 02:54:17 / 2023-02-13 03:12:16 / 18

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