CHAPEL HILL – UNC coach Roy Williams is recovering well, say doctors at the UNC Hospitals' Center for Skin Disorders, after undergoing an experimental treatments to counteract a chronic skin condition which recently took a turn for the worse.
Dr. Dolph Frejgen, a dermatologist with the Center, said that Williams appeared to be responding well to the treatments which consist of continuously applying a topical ointment to Williams' entire epidermis. With successive treatments, said Frejgen, a protective crust will form over the patient's skin surface. Even without substantive changes to the skin, said Frejgen, the treatment effectively thickens the skin.
Because of the progressive thinning of his skin, a condition known as tergum ieiunium, said Frejgen, it was not advisable to wait until the basketball season ended to begin treatment. Said Frejgen, "If his skin got any thinner, it would be possible that his 'innards,' as Coach Williams would call them, would be have become visible."
Frejgen said that he has accelerated the medication regime in the hope that Williams' course of treatment will be completed by the tipoff of the Duke-Carolina game. "I know I'm not missing it in any case," he added.
As to the origin of the disorder, one noted medical researcher says it is likely genetic but some viral trigger must have set off this most recent episode. A scientist at the Center for Dermatology's research laboratory who works extensively with animal models, Darl Kleinschmidt, said that a careful examination of Williams' skin showed a number of compact lesions that appear curiously similar those commonly experienced by their lab techs.
"We don't know exactly what to make of it, but they look a lot like small animal bites," said Kleinschmidt. "Based on the tooth marks, they seem to be those of a smaller member of the rodentia family. One incident involving rattus polisicus could explain the latest flare up in Williams' condition," he noted. Polisicus, said Kleinschmidt, is noted to carry the R. Knightitus retrovirus, which has given the thin-skin syndrome its common name: B. Knight's Disease.
A slightly agitated Kleinschmidt said the most recent episode could have been avoided altogether if the rats had "stayed in their own [darn] lab."
Friends and fans of the coach are being asked not to contact UNC Hospitals about Coach Williams' condition. The UNC men's basketball office will be releasing regular updates on his injury status as they become available.
* * * *
NCAA to make coach buyouts fairer
INDIANAPOLIS – Following the uproar ensuing after a series of school-imposed sanctions on coaches fired for NCAA-rules violations, the National Collegiate Athletic Association is revising their sanction guidelines to make them "fairer to all parties involved."
The latest brouhaha involved the termination of head men's basketball coach at Indiana University Kelvin Sampson for repeated phone calls made recently to recruits outside the times and limits set by the NCAA. For his offenses, Sampson, who was under sanctions for previous violations of a similar nature several years ago at the University of Oklahoma, and for subsequent similar violations at Indiana, received a $750,000 buyout by the university to step down as head coach.
"Where others have made much more serious violations, with some coaches even paying bribes to high school players in an effort to get them to sign with their schools," said the NCAA's Myles Brand, "it seems patently unfair that some of them have received much smaller buyouts, in some cases, no payments at all for their efforts."
"While we must give credit to Coach Sampson for his persistence in continuing to violate the rules, it is hard to believe that others who have expended much more energy, and incurred much greater personal costs, should not receive commensurate rewards from their schools for their efforts," said Brand.
Brand said a committee will be established to create fairness guidelines for such "separation-agreement" payments from schools to coaches they fire to "ensure such egregious injustices do not occur in the future."
* * * *
NCAA bans Indian in all its variations
INDIANAPOLIS – The NCAA pledged today to take its program to eliminate "hostile, abusive or offensive nicknames, logos and mascots" from NCAA-sanctioned events to its ultimate conclusion.
Following up on its earlier move to force the College of William and Mary to remove two feathers from its school athletic logo, the NCAA has moved to ban all NCAA-related events and meetings from the city of Indianapolis, the state of Indiana and all the campuses of the Indiana University system until each change their respective names to something less offensive to Native Americans.
Gary D. Gaddy, who is, according to some informal genealogical estimates, one-sixteenth Native American, was deeply offended even as a small child when his mom read to him from "The Little Engine that Could."
A version of these articles were published in the Chapel Hill Herald Thursday February 28, 2008.
Copyright 2008 Gary D. Gaddy