s and .coaches loin media
By NORMAN CANNADA
What happens to an athlete when
his playing days are over?
If you have watched much of the
college basketball season on televi
sion, you might say that they have all
become sportscasters. It is a fact that
there are more athletes and coaches
who spread their wisdom to fans via
There are several reasons for the
fact that former athletes and coaches
have joined the broadcast media. First
and most obvious is the fact that there
are simply more chances for employ-
ment than ever before. In the recent
college basketball season, for exam
ple, both CBS and NBC regularly
covered games. That doesn't include
the local networks or national cable
networks such as ESPN and USA.
But even with the large number of
jobs available in the field now, one
still has to have the knowledge or he
will lose the fan's interest.
"Former players have a credibility
that might not be found in other an
nouncers," said Jim Heavner who
owns WCHL, Village Cable and the
The athletes turned sportcaster,
because of their once affliation with a
certain team, are also more often seen
as biased in their sportscasting. NBC's
Al McCuire has long been seen as an
anti-Atlantic Coast Conference com
mentator, while CBS' Billy Packer has
been accused by UNC fans of being
against the Tar Heels for several years
"They thrive on that kind of talk,"
Heavner said. "It's better for people to
talk about them than for fans not to
even know their names."
On the other side of the coin, the
athletesportscaster rarely has all the
skills that are needed in all phases of
broadcasting a sport. Most of them
serve the sportscasting media as
analyst rather than with the play by
i ! t s n
On s n
S. N SN
Jim Heavner (center) at a Tar Heel game with Woody Durham (left) and Bob Holli
play. There are some exceptions such
as Frank G if ford and Pat Summerall,
but for the most part former athletes
and coaches give their opinions as the
game goes on.
"They rarely have all of the skills,
unless they are trained," Heavner said!
"I'll bet three of them together
couldn't do a very good broadcast
because they don't have what is need
ed." Heavner has had experience in that
area. A few years ago, he hired former
UNC football All-America Charlie
"Choo Choo" Justice to help with the
coverage of Tar Heel football games.
That relationship ended after the first
year because Heavner was looking for
more than an analyst.
"Charlie Justice is a wonderful man,
but his skills were confined to explain
ing what was happening on the field,"
Heavner said. "He couldn't handle a
halftime show by himself and he was
limited in what he could do in the
Although there has been a strong in
flux of former athletes into the broad
cast media, relatively few of that
breed go into newspapers.
The carisma is not as important in
the print media as it is on television or
radio," Heavner said. "Maybe they
can't write as well as they can talk."
Norman Cannada is a columnist for
Women's fennis team gains
consistency in performance
By BOB HENSON
After playing tough competition earlier in the spring sea
son, the North Carolina women's tennis team has gotten
things together and developed a consistent style of play.
Coach Kitty Harrison said the team is just about where
she expected it to be at this stage in the season. "We've
played some pretty tough competition since we began in
January, but the team is coming around."
Since the spring season began, UNC has played six na
tionally ranked teams. The first test came in the Colorado
Intercollegiate Invitational. The Tar Heels played such na
tional powers as Trinity, ranked 4th in preseason polls and
San Diego State, ranked 6th.
Although Carolina was beaten 9-0 by Trinity, Harrison
was still glad for the opportunity to play them. "Trinity
beat us 9-0 but the matches were close," Harrison said. "It
was good the girls got to play against good competition
early in the season." UNC finished sixth in a field of eight
Harrison said the team started to take, form while playing
in the Lady Seminole Invitational in Tallahassee, Fla. The
team finished fourth out of a field of 10.
"It was really exciting seeing the team take shape in
Florida," Harrison said. "I'm really high on them to put it
mildly." Harrison said the entire team never gave up in tight
situations and pulled out matches that were near losses.
One bright spot for Carolina in Florida was the No. 1 '
singles play of sophomore Kathy Barton. Barton, from Cin
cinnati, Oh., won all five of her matches. Two of the wins
were against outstanding players, Lori Mitchell from Okla
homa State and Lee McCuire of Florida State.
Also playing well in Florida was veteran Betsy Heiden
berger. Heidenberger, a senior from Chevy Chase, Md., not
only won all. five singles matches but also won all of her
doubles matches with partner Margie Brown. Brown is a
junior from Kingsport, Tenn. and plays at No. 3 singles.
Heidenberger attributed her success in Florida to a more
relaxed attitude. "I was pleased with my play in Florida,"
she said. "Since this is my last semester of college tennis,
I'm taking a more casual attitude. If s important to take it
seriously, but a loss is not the end of the world."
The captain of the team this year is senior Katharine
Hogan from Raleigh, N.C. Hogan plays No. 4 singles and
teams with Barton at No. 2 doubles.
Hogan views her role on the team this year as one of
leadership. "Since the rest of the team is young, I have to
provide .the leadership," she said. "I just try to keep
everyone calm before a match." -
One of those younger players Hogan was referring to is
freshman Pam McNierney. McNierney, from Lighthouse
Point,. Fla., said the transition from high school to college
tennis has not been too difficult. "I really don't feel a lot of
pressure the older players were all freshmen once and
they've helped me make the change."
McNierney plays No. 6 singles and pairs up with Julie
Kirby at No. 3 doubles. Kirby is a sophomore from Glen
coe, III. and plays No. 5 singles.
Coach Harrison said that one weakness of the team right
now is in doubles. "It's really hard to put doubles together
because the girls just haven't played together long
Harrison said another weakness was a lack of mental
toughness in the fall and early this spring, but added the
team is working to get rid of the problem. "Elizabeth Sharp
(assistant coach) has been working with the girls on a men
tal toughness program to help their concentration."
The remainder of the spring season will not be easy for
the women netters. One highlight on the schedule will be
April 2-4 when the team travels to Austin, Tex. to play in
the Lady Longhorn Invitational. UNC will also host the
NCAIAW State Tournament April 22-25 and the AIAW
Southern Region II Tournament May 6-9. The next home
match will be against Virginia Tech Saturday at 10 am on
the varsity courts. - 5
Bob Henson is a staff writer for The Da7y Tar Heel.
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Kathy Barton returns a backhand baseline shot. She
won ail five of her singles matches in the Lady
Seminole Invitational in Tallahassee, Fla.
Spotlight, March 25, 1982