A two-page flyer at the front desk of the media hotel, put out by ``Friends of N.C. State University,' proclaims support for Wolfpack coach Jim Valvano.
Valvano has been under fire since allegations surfaced last week that former standout Charles Shackleford and three other players were involved in point-shaving. Lawyers are currently working to negotiate a possible end to his contract.The inside pages feature photographs of Valvano and a list of his accomplishments. Among those accomplishments are recruiting Terry Gannon, the only two-time academic All-American in ACC history, and serving as athletic director for three years without pay.
The back page says ``We want Jim Valvano to remain as head basketball coach at N.C. State. Don't let the media run our university.'
Also included are the addresses and phone numbers of various trustees, interim chancellor Larry Montieth and the president of the N.C. State student body.
Meanwhile, it's spring break at State and the Wolfpack players have been busy.
Before coming to Charlotte, they spent time circulating petitions trying to keep Valvano as their coach.
``We shouldn't be doing that,' said Chris Corchiani. ``We should be enjoying our spring break.
``We're trying to get support for Coach Valvano from the lower levels at school because he doesn't seem to be getting it from the upper levels. If the administration cares so much about the players, they'll do something for us.'
The idea was a team effort and the players circulated the petition among faculty members. They were unsure what effect it might have.
With Maryland facing NCAA probation in 1991 and 1992, transferring is not out of the question for some players, including sophomores Walt Williams and Jerrod Mustaf.
If the Terrapins fail to make this year's NCAA field and the two stay, that would mean they would play their entire careers without having reached the post-season tournament.
``There's going to come a time to address that,' Williams said Thursday. ``It's something that I'll have to consider after the season.'
Mustaf said he would consider his options after the season.
Although the ACC's problems of the last few weeks have been told and retold in the media, Clemson's Cliff Ellis and Wake Forest's Dave Odom said they have not been embarrassed in any way.
``I'm not embarrassed by this league,' Ellis said. ``I'm not embarrassed by the coaches in this league. They (N.C. State and Maryland) are class institutions going through hard times. But we'll get through it.
``We had problems of our own in football (the ongoing NCAA investigation) but the basketball program literally lifted the smoke away from Clemson. There hasn't been a negative word about us.
``Our administration should appreciate that.'
Odom said he ``wasn't embarrased at all.'
``In fact,' he said, ``the reverse is true. When one of our schools runs afoul, the group really pulls together.
``I'd be embarrassed if those things were premeditated. That would be an embarrassment. I don't think that's what happened.'
Georgia Tech's Bobby Cremins is still amazed at what Dennis Scott has done this season.
``In the first part of the season,' Cremins said, ``it was a joke. The first 15 games, he was just at another level. He's slowed down a little bit, but he's had an incredible year.'
In his first 15 games, Scott averaged 28 points, including a high game of 42 points. He also went over the 30-point mark six times on his way to a school record 13 30-plus performances.
In the past two seasons against teams ranked in the top 20, Scott has averaged 26.8 points, shot 45.5 percent from the floor and 78.3 from the line. But this season his averages are 31.1 points, 6.6 rebounds, 48.1 shooting and 41.2 from three-point range.
Ralph Kitley said the spill in which he and teammate Derrick McQueen became involved in the opening game had been a frightening thing.
``I thought I might be really hurt when it started happening,' he said. ``When (Marion) Cash was getting close to the basket, I thought he was going to shoot. And I went up to block it and he passed off (to trailing Sean Tyson, who slammed the ball home). So, I was the only one in the air.'
Kitley said that McQueen collided with his legs. Kitley crashed into the goal support with Cash pressed against him.
Kitley came away with bruises and soreness that still was troubling him after the game.
``But I'm all right. It was scarier watching them work on Derrick. The way they wrapped him up and put a collar on his neck, it looked a lot worse than it probably is.'
McQueen was taken to Charlotte Memorial Hospital, where he was diagnosed as having a mild concussion. He stayed overnight for observation.
Virginia's Terry Holland still can't believe that his team is not considered a certainty for the NCAA tournament. USA Today on Friday published a list by one of their writers which did not have the Cavaliers making the 64-team field.
``It's hard to believe we're not mentioned as a team that has a spot locked up,' Holland said shortly after his team dispatched North Carolina Friday.
Holland said a good gauge every year is whether a team wins six or more games against other teams in the field.
``Last year,' he said, ``there were 20 teams in the 64-team field that won six games or more against the field. Of those 20, 14 made the round of 16.'
The Cavaliers already have won at least six games against other teams likely to be in the tournament and also beat N.C. State, which would have been if not for NCAA probation.
``I've seen the names of a lot of teams who haven't played six games against teams like that, much less won them,' Holland said. ``I doubt we'll be left out because the committee does a good job of rewarding teams that play difficult schedules.'
Virginia has beaten North Carolina and Georgia Tech twice, Houston and Duke. All should make the field. The Cavs also beat Villanova, which is considered on the bubble.