Media Sportswatch: July 2017

Joel Bulkley

The latest men’s basketball national championship for UNC was a big event for Chapel Hill, and nowhere bigger than for the Daily Tar Heel student newspaper which sold individual copies of the celebratory issue and back issues helping the paper break even for the first time in years. Sell­ing championship copies accomplished two things. They got a dollar a copy for the paper and probably reduced the number that ended up on eBay.

In past years they had dipped into reserve funds to compensate for declining advertising revenue to publish five times a week. The paper operates independently of student and university funding.

Last year they dropped most Tuesday papers to save money. Starting this fall, they’ll publish only three times a week (M/W/F). They’re publishing only on alternate Wednesdays during the summer.

They’re exploring other options to save funds like finding another location for their office/production space and seeking contributions for special projects, travel, operating costs. I donated my old car to help out. They’re selling it.

The selection of Raleigh as number six on Men’s Health list of country’s most adventurous cities could help boost efforts to turn 600 acres of public land near RDU into an urban trails center, now being called RDU Forest.

Wake County is funding a study to see if it’s a viable business idea. Area mountain bikers, hikers, runners are among the biggest supporters of the idea.
Anchorage was first, Austin second, Madison third. Char­lotte was 33, Durham 49, Greensboro 81 on list compiled by Metroglides using figures on sports and vigorous activity participation, ratio of parkland to city size, etc.

NBA draft projections by USA Today and Sports Illustrated missed the mark badly. Both had only four of the first ten correct. USA had the first three and number six right; SI first two, 7 and 9 right. They had most of the players right but had them going to different teams. The ACC had a big night with 14 players from nine schools selected in first round.

The Greensboro paper was “targeted” by the General Assembly’s effort to force N.C. cities and counties to publish legal notices online to avoid paying to run them in newspapers. It’s called a trial project and covers Guilford County only for the moment. Never mind that not everyone has access to an online computer. Tacked at the end of the bill was a provision to remove newspaper carriers from exemption to workman’s comp so they can now file claims against papers if they’re involved in an accident.

Fox Sports website canned all their writers, editors so now it only has videos. A surprising move considering Fox has millions invested in MLB, NFL and World Cup games and broadcasts.

Chapel Hill News, one of the N&O’s community papers, is now totally irrelevant. Doubt me. Read a copy and tell me what you learned.

Ads for dailies like the Herald and N&O claim they have all the news you want not in print but online. Doubt it. For example, try finding a report on New Zealand winning the America’s Cup or any non-college sports event of note.

Five ACC schools (UNC 5, VA 11, N. Dame 13, FSU 14, Duke 20) were in the top half of Top Power 5 Athletic Programs (65 schools), according to yahoo.com. Five others (Va. Tech 35, Syracuse 39, Clemson 49, Ga. Tech 62, Pitt 63) were in the bottom half. Louisville 28 and N.C. State 32 were in the middle. Rankings were based primarily on Learfield Directors’ Cup results for last five years. Stanford was 1, Fla 2, UCLA 3.

WRAL.com did a story on selling beer at football games not likely at public universities in NC. Meanwhile, UTexas added Corona as school’s import beer sponsor in five-year deal. SI matched football schools with local brews. Here are a few: Clemson and Palmetto Moonshine, East Carolina and Duck-Rabbit Milk Stout, South Carolina and Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka. SI has also added an Eats section.

Credit to N&O for story on Spectrum Cable’s low-cost internet program they often don’t mention to callers signing up for the first time for internet service. Hope every library reference desk has a copy handy.

Basketball documentary “Morgan Wootten: The Godfather of Basketball,” directed by Bill Hayes of Carrboro, opens Aug. 7 at Silverspot Cinema, Chapel Hill. Readers can preview it on YouTube, rent it or buy it online.

Personnel news. Kevin Best of UNC Sports Communi­ca­tions will move to ACC office in Greensboro. Dan Shul­man will no longer due Sunday night baseball games for ESPN after this season but will continue as leading play-by-play broadcaster for college hoops.

Favorite headline and story of the month came from the Washington Post: “These bald eagles are feeding a baby hawk (in British Columbia) because parenthood makes you crazy.”

Carolina sports goheels.com website has a new look.

Free audio streaming of Tar Heel Sports Network game broadcasts for football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball and baseball, as well as weekly coaches’ radio shows was announced by UNC officials.

Updated Way Too Early Hoops Rankings from espn.com for 2017-18: 1 Arizona, 2 Kansas, 3 Michigan State, 4 Ken­tucky, 5 Duke, 6 Wichita State, 7 North Carolina (down from 2 in the initial projections), 8 Florida, 9, West Virginia, 10 Louisville.