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Upstairs Downstairs
Alexander Wolff
October 14, 1991
Athletic dorms have been legislated out of existence—they must close their doors by 1996—but many coaches, especially in the South, believe that the dorms are the best way to supervise players and produce winning teams.
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October 14, 1991

Upstairs Downstairs

Athletic dorms have been legislated out of existence—they must close their doors by 1996—but many coaches, especially in the South, believe that the dorms are the best way to supervise players and produce winning teams.

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Most of the faculty was delighted. On the other hand, you could read the displeasure of Sam Jankovich, the athletic director at the time, in his "No comment." And almost to a man, the Hurricanes themselves decried the decision to take away the system that—in contrast to that of their counterparts at Tennessee-was all they had known. "Nothing against the regular students or anything," said fullback Stephen McGuire. "It's just, we're like brothers."

Foote points out that he made his original decision to retain the dorms because of a housing shortage on campus, and concedes that he probably should have acted sooner. "Part of being a college student is learning how to manage the treasure of freedom," he says. "It's true, there is more control if you have them all in one place. But the point of education is not to control but rather to create an environment that is rich in the opportunity for personal growth. Part of that is to make mistakes, to stay up too late or to fail an examination. And to face the consequences."

Jankovich and coach Jimmy Johnson, the two figures on whose watch the aforementioned excesses occurred, are now both in the NFL, where the business at hand is not to provide an environment rich in the opportunity for personal growth but to win football games.

Billy and Kay Brewer want it understood that their decision to move out of Kinard Hall over the summer doesn't mean that they've wavered in their belief in the value of a football dorm. It has to do, rather, with Billy's light sleeping habits, to which a carload of frat boys and a certain mockingbird can attest, and with the realization that there is such a thing as knowing too much. "I hear them when they roll over," the coach says. "I hear them in their rooms. Sometimes I hear more than I want to hear."

We are happy to report that, after several months of looking, the Brewers have found a four-bedroom, ranch-style house on seven acres on the south side of town. After all, 1996 will be here sooner than we think. And with all the problems facing college sports, it would have been a shame to have to add a homeless coach to the list.

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