Thursday, February 21, 2008

Dick Spangler an out-of-towner? Hmmmm

You never know what you’ll hear in this business, but it’s frequently entertaining. So it was when my colleague Mary Schulken got an email from a reader unhappy with her column noting that former UNC President Bill Friday and former UNC President C.D. Spangler were going to drop by UNC Charlotte to tell the faculty about their reservations on a proposal to create a football team at UNCC.
Among other things, the reader said:
“These Chapel Hill men have no idea what Charlotte is capable of. Charlotte is unique to the rest of the state in many ways. If we wanted the opinion of someone from another part of NC, we would have asked for it. Having men like Spangler come here and look down on us with a patronizing attitude from out-of-town is an insult and a joke."
That’s interesting, isn’t it? Dick Spangler an out-of-towner? Who knew?
Perhaps the reader is from somewhere else and doesn’t know. But Bill Friday himself was reared next door in the Gaston County town of Dallas and knows his way around this part of the state as well as any North Carolinian.
And Dick Spangler, of course, lives in Charlotte, grew up in Charlotte, is the son of a Charlotte builder, built his own businesses into one of the country’s most impressive fortunes in Charlotte, maintains a home in Charlotte, chaired the school board in Charlotte, goes to church in Charlotte, gives money to charities in Charlotte...the whole deal. He has a home in Chapel Hill, too, but he’s as Charlottean as you can get.


metroniner said...

he may live in Charlotte, but Spangler subscribes to the theory of all things flow thru Chapel Hill and Charlotte does not deserve such entities as football. How pompous.

Justin said...

awww another Chapel Hill grad, so cute. It is amazing you recieved an education with the financial burden of football.

Anonymous said...

Yet another pompous UNC-CH grad who thinks that 95% of all state funding should go to their school?


Anonymous said...

Interesting Jack, I wrote the letter to Mary!! Is that the only comment she had, about the error? I recall four different outlined points I gave her, about where the state funding goes and the hindrance the Board of Governors was to ECU when they tried to add a medical school. So Spangler is a native like me - but it doesn't change the patronizing attitude portion of my comments. He may be from here but his university interests and experience are in another part of the state. They are not out to improve our school. Period.

Chris Moore said...

I think that this is taken out of context. The emailer is undoubtedly speaking of Charlotte, the university, not Charlotte, the city. Alumni of UNC Charlotte often refer to the school as Charlotte.

The point of the letter was likely that UNC Charlotte has never received neither the respect nor the funding it deserves. Too often, UNC Charlotte tries to move to the next level, whether it is obtaining a law school, medical school, or football team, only to be told by UNC Chapel Hill or NC State alumni like Spangler and Friday that they should know their role in the state and accept their inferior place within the state university system.

Charlotte grads are proud of the school and its accomplishments. We feel that the school has been overlooked enough. We demand the respect, funding, and ability to achieve in academics and athletics that the other major universities in the state have.

As UNC Charlotte transitions into its next phase of growth, both academics and athletics will play integral roles. It is unacceptable to many Charlotte alumni that yet another UNC Chapel Hill or NC State alumnus comes to tell our school leaders what our place is.

It is time for UNC Charlotte to determine its own fate and decide whether it wants to be a nationally recognized school in both academics and athletics or be resigned to the regional afterthought it currently is.

Anonymous said...

Wow! who would think that the smartest people at the Observer would be found on the sports page?

Really pathetic that you and Mary can't catch a clue. Spangler and Friday are loyal to 1 university and it sure isn't the one in this city.

We all know the UNC System is designed to fund only one (and 1/2) campuses and to make sure the others have bare necessities only.

Of course they don't want us to have football. They don't want us to have a Med or Law scholl either! Wonder why? Sure wouldn't want anyone in this state being affluent and not loyal to powder blue!

Disgusting really! How you condemn for wanting what almost everyone else has while ignoring the inequities of the funding in the state system.

Anonymous said...


Before the spelling nazis attack

Anonymous said...

This may be a record of comments for this little blog.

I cannot wait for his smug little retort to the lowly 49ers from his fairy blue tower.

It is too bad the majority of UNC CH fans dont have access to a compute or they would reply.

Jack Betts said...

To Anonymous, who noted last night that she wrote the original letter: I was mostly interested in the notion that Bill Friday and Dick Spangler would be regarded as outsiders incapable of understanding Charlotte.
And, yes, Mary thought you had a very good point about funding -- a topic she has written about previously. She passed this part of the email along:
"Good morning - I couldn’t resist emailing after reading your praise of the old UNC boys coming to Charlotte in today’s paper. I thought I would give you a few of the reasons to support college football coming to Charlotte and why NOT to listen to the old guard that is attempting to come in and negatively influence the faculty, although the report of the highly qualified committee on the topic should suffice:
"1) If they are truly concerned about the money UNCC has or does not have, then why were we number 16 and number 13 over the last two years in money allotted to us from the state decision makers(we are the 4th largest university in the system)?"

Anonymous said...

Look Didnt SPANGLER the Democrat get BUSH into office ? Well just food for thought here I wonder if he will back Governor McCrory. McCrory isnt a bad Joe Charlotte just inhereted problem childs from D.C. , N.Y. L.A. making Charlotte the BUM MAGNET. Forbes did us in with those cute articles from undercover Reporters livin here under assumed names. Was they afraid to ask People who really live here or did they stuck in a traffic jam.

Anonymous said...

Lets face it Jack this isnt MAYBERRY RFD no more. We are ina fight for our lives over here. Thank God most the rich live in MORROWCROFT with a castle tower and a moat with gators and of course 50 calliber cannons on the fortress wall. Just kidding its not to bad. They need to have OPRAH WINFREY open a GARMENT distro in Charlotte to get People working.

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David McKnight said...

The issue of football for UNC-Charlotte is an important issue deserving of further serious discussion in various public forums such as this one.

Anonymous said...

Four years spent in Chapel Hell is a lifetime infliction that cannot be cured short of a frontal lobotomy. As a Charlotte native exiled to the Triangle for the past 30 years I truly realize the disdain and contempt directed to all things Mecklenburg. It is very real and not imagined as my naive self thought while living in Charlotte.

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