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V's Wit And Other '80s Items

Today's a good day to look back...

November 1987:

There's the usual talk of an up-tempo offense at N.C. State. "In the fall I always say we're going to play faster. I even drive my car faster and eat faster," says coach Jim Valvano. "Then by the end of the year we're playing half court."

March '86:

"You don't like to play teams with hyphens," said North Carolina State coach Jim Valvano before the Wolfpack's second-rounder with Arkansas-Little Rock.

February 1986:

The morning of the Louisville game, N.C. State's board of trustees had bestowed on Valvano a second hat—that of athletic director, effective July 1. "First thing I have to do," said Valvano, "is a quick evaluation of the basketball program."

January 1986:

How nerve-racking was N.C. State's 80-73 upset of UNLV in the Chaminade Classic in Hawaii? When things heated up late in the game, coach Jim Valvano stood up too suddenly—and fainted. Valvano, who says he has swooned before, was revived almost immediately and stayed on the bench. Even in fainting he apparently maintained his presence of mind. He said later, "I was worried about landing outside the coach's box and getting a technical."

There's also a gem from Manhattan's coach at that link.

January 1981:

Valvano had never been away from home, and it was a dramatic experience. "The first fair-skinned girl I saw, I married," he says. Valvano did, in fact, marry a knockout blonde with green eyes named Pamela Susan Levine. "She saw my big nose and thought I was Jewish," Valvano says. "I saw her last name and thought it was Levini. It was three years before we figured out we had a mixed marriage."

See also: this piece from 4-11-83.

And there's this entertaining item from 1984 about the recruiting process and, more specifically, all the full-of-shit notes that a few high profile prospects received from recruiters.

Detroit: "First run movies are in abundance in the city's modern theatres."

Tennessee Tech: "Cookeville is a fast-growing, scenic city of 20,000 basketball fanatics."

Phillips University: "Enthusiassm [sic], exictement [sic] and anticipation abound in Enid, Oklahoma each year during the basketball season."

Way to sell it, Phillips. You may be stunned to learn that the school went bankrupt in 1998 and shut down. It's sports teams were called the Haymakers, though, which is awesome.

In addition to various goodies like those excerpted above, there's a heavy focus on NC State's recruitment of Chris Washburn. Thanks to the prolific Tom Abatemarco, who probably should have stuck to the spoken word, State sent Washburn 278 messages over a 31-month span. No word as to how much money was included with each letter.