Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Nazi Flight Attendant of US Airways

US Airways flyers beware. There’s a flight attendant who roams the aisles of Wisconsin Air, flying under the US Airways banner, with whom you do not want to come in contact. She steals personal property, and she threatens passengers, both against company policy. This is a true story, and the only reason there’s no name or badge number mentioned within is because she broke that company rule as well, not supplying an inquiring passenger the information necessary to file a complaint. “You have the flight number,” she said, offering no more than a gotcha grin as she literally marched to the front of the plane.

It was this past Tuesday. I was on my way from Syracuse NY, to where I had flown earlier in the day on business, to the Raleigh-Durham International Airport. Booked through US Airways, the flight up was RDU to DCA (Washington Reagan) with a connection to Syracuse, Hancock International. I departed at 8:20 a.m. from Raleigh; arrived in Syracuse prior to noon. The return—Syracuse to Philadelphia to RDU—was scheduled for 6:35 p.m., giving me just the right amount of time to visit the customer near downtown. Matter of fact, the meeting went so well, it concluded early and a business associate and I found ourselves in the only bar in a pitiful wing of the Syracuse Airport, a wing only occupied by US Airways, possibly only by those affiliated airlines US Airways employes to move its customers into many small destinations.

Neither of us wanted more than a snack, our first meal following early morning breakfast, and a Coke or Pepsi, whichever is the official soft drink of that port. Each of us enjoyed the carbonated fountain drink served over ice in a 12-ounce clear plastic cup. Matter of fact, we each had one complete refill, not right for my weight but okay because of my recent loss of 10 pounds. (Amazing what a dramatic reduction in alcohol intake does along with just enough food to fill my stomach.) We discussed the client meeting and plotted strategy, waiting for our flights, mine at 6:35 p.m. and his shortly after 7:00 p.m. It was just before six o’clock when I asked the bartender for another hit of Coke or Pepsi, whichever the official drink is, stopping the pour just past the halfway mark on the plastic cup, now something I owned. My property; bought and paid for. I owned the drink and was transferring it to my body but I also owned that cup and the ice there within.

It was just a few steps to Gate 8 where boarding commenced shortly thereafter. With soft drink in hand, I presented my boarding pass to the gate agent who welcomed me to the flight and who said nothing about the liquid pleasure I was toting. Down the ramp and onto the CRJ, Flight 3677, and right past a pleasant flight attendant, who welcomed me and the other passengers. As it turns out, looks and demeanor can be deceiving. As it turns out, if there’s a wicked-witch of flight attendants, a Nazi of the Air Wisconsin/US Airways airways, a head-case who wants to be a general but obviously is no more than a private with an attitude, a bad-ass-don’t-get-in-my-way attitude, it was this lone flight attendant, described by one female traveler on that flight as a “bitch who is obviously having her period.”

As the passengers were settling in, taking seats, stowing luggage overhead and underneath seats, the flight attendant tried to make announcements, obviously pissed she was only talking to some of the passengers. The others, as usually, were paying her no attention. She asked for consideration three times, the third as if she were standing in front of a third grade glass of students, nearly yelling and demanding consideration and respect. As her voice grew stronger, more people turned towards the front of the plane as she waited for the remainder to do the same. Finally, with complete quiet all around and a stunned cabin of customers, she made her detailed announcements as if she were staring in some Oscar winning role, demanding respect. It was not necessary.

Then she started down the aisle with deliberate movement, looking left and right, demanding that if you were not wearing it, stow it, either overhead of under the seat in front of you. The lady next to me was fishing through her pocketbook in search of God-knows what and the flight attendant said in a no-compromise tone, “That purse goes under the seat in front of you.” And she stayed there until it did. She stopped at the exit row, directly behind me and lectured on exactly what to do in an emergency and asked one person to repeat what she had just said. She even asked another US Airways flight attendant who was on the plane for transportation to another location to move from the rear of the plane to the empty seat across the aisle and one row back from me. “If we have an emergency,” she told her, “I’d like someone with experience in this row.” I wondered if that second attendant had actual experience necessary and then hoped not.

After sweeping the remainder of the plane, she started back to the front and stopped at my seat, 7C. Originally, I had been assigned to 7D. But a 53-year old women and her new-born baby (yes, 53-year old new mother), assigned to 7C, were in my seat. The flight attendant, to her credit, switched our seats because of three oxygen bags on the 7D side of the aisle. She lingered over me a moment and demanded that I relinquish my cup of ice. Now, so as to not have conflicting stories, here’s the email I sent Tuesday afternoon to Air Wisconsin, at the request of a person there, outlining what happened:

I was sipping the drink, nearly completed, crunching the ice which helps my cough, especially when my throat is dry. We were taxing toward the runway when the flight attendant approached and said she would take my cup for me. I told her that she didn’t need to do that. I was not through with it. She said that I did not understand, that she was going to take it due to rules and regulations. I challenged her on that, asking for the rule and regulation, saying it could not possibly be an FAA rule or regulation. She said I could look it up later on the Internet. I then again refused to give her the cup—which was my property—and she said if I didn’t she would ask the pilot to return to the terminal/gate and leave me there. She then demanded that I give her the cup. I was stunned at what she was saying. Then, she actually reached down and took it from me. I asked for her name and badge number. She refused saying I had the flight number and could call the airline to get the information. I then turned to another US Airways flight attendant who was on the plan to catch another flight or go home and who was seated a row back, across the aisle, to ask her if what just happened was right. She started telling me about picking up service items, but I quickly told her that the cup was mine, not provided by the airlines and that I could keep it as I had done on many other flights. She stood by the active flight attendant, saying I was wrong. I started to challenge her on her statement when the active flight attendant returned and asked if I was arguing with the second flight attendant. I told her I was not arguing, that I was asking questions about what had just happened. The seated flight attendant confirmed that to the active flight attendant who then turned to me and said, “I do not like your attitude. Any more from you and I will have the plane return to the gate and have you removed.” She then moved forward to the front of the aircraft and began talking on the communications line, but I do not know to whom she was speaking. There were no more confrontations the rest of the flight. Nothing was said when I departed the plane.

Continuing in the email: After departing flight 3677, I headed for my connection, US Airways flight 1759, stopping at a yogurt stand, buying a six-ounce cup of yogurt. I boarded the plane with the cup and a plastic spoon, and at no time during the flight did any flight attendant demand the cup. One asked me late in the flight if I wanted her to take the cup; I declined; she said I must really be nursing the yogurt and moved along. I retained the cup until I exited the plane.

Point proven. So, much of the day Wednesday included trying to contact US Airways but without success. I was told to write an email, to send a letter to corporate, but that I could not talk to anyone at anytime unless I received a return telephone call. It’s nice to know that a company that wants my business will not answer my calls. That’s US Airways for you. Bum organization if you ask me.

I also called the Syracuse Airport police department. An officer told me I could not charge the flight attendant with theft or communicating a threat. I was also told by Officer Finney with whom I talked on the telephone that if I wanted the telephone number of the police chief I could call directory assistance or look it up on the internet. She also wouldn’t spell her last name or give me her badge number. My guess is she might be related to that flight attendant. Sounded like it anyway. When I told the police officer that because of her attitude I would consider no more travel to Syracuse to spend money there, she said she didn’t care. I did talk with a concerned lady, at the Syracuse Airport authority, who was appalled at the attitude of the police officer, concerned about the flight attendant and would talk with her boss about it.

In calling Air Wisconsin, I talked with Julie Hemingway who was extremely nice and concerned. She listened to my story and then spoke with Mr. Bill Palmer a managing director for training of flight attendants. When she called me a little later, she confirmed what I knew all along: The cup was my property and the flight attendant should not have demanded it much less taken it from me. Also, the flight attendant is required to give me her first name and badge number. I was told by Ms. Hemingway that she will be reprimanded for these actions. I suggested firing her was a good solution. Ms. Hemingway also asked that I send an email outlining everything, which I did.

In the email, I continued with:
—I am asking for an official apology from US Airways, Air Wisconsin and the flight attendant. (This is not one blanket apology; this comes from three people.)
—I want Mr. Palmer or another Air Wisconsin official to tell me in an email that the stealing of the cup was wrong, that I should have been allowed to keep the cup for as long as I wish.
—I want Mr. Palmer or another Air Wisconsin official to tell me in an email that the flight attendant broke company rules and regulations by not providing at a minimum her first name and badge number.

I was simply trying to get home Tuesday evening and had to deal with that woman, the flight attendant from hell, the one who steals, threatens and refuses to follow rules and regulations as outlined and required by her employer. It has caused me reason for pause when it comes to scheduling flights with US Airways and Air Wisconsin, though AW can rectify this with me by providing me with what I am asking.

I await the response in writing and will continue this story one way or another. I promise Air Wisconsin that I will gladly publish its response, but will also publish it's lack thereof.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Wolfpack Football: 7-5 Overall; 3-5 ACC

With just a little over two weeks before the opening game, it’s time to predict how NC State’s football team will compete this season, the fourth of coach Tom O’Brien whose troops for the past three years are 16-21 overall and 9-15 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The closest the Wolfpack has come to a winning season under O’Brien was in 2008 with a 6-6 regular season and a 4-4 conference slate. But, State lost its bowl game that season.

Even though NC State fans, self-included, are absolutely without a doubt THE most optimistic college football fans anywhere and everywhere, a quick look at the schedule with five Sports Illustrated top 25 teams—#10 Virginia Tech, #13 North Carolina, #14 Georgia Tech, #18 Cincinnati, #25 Florida State—on board, there’s a good chance the O’Brien-led Wolfpack will turn in a repeat non-winning record performance in 2010.

The writers at SI predict an ACC record of 3-5 and an overall 6-6 mark, and, looking over the line-up of opposition this fall, it’s easy to agree, giving State conference wins over Boston College, Wake Forest and Maryland and non-conference wins over Western Carolina, Central Florida and East Carolina. If the Sports Illustrated prediction holds, the silver lining to the cloud is that Athletics Director Debbie Yow does not get a bonus for the Wolfpack placing sixth or better in the league. The Pack would tie for third in the Atlantic Division but four teams from the Coastal Division would have better league marks, so, assuming a combined league and not a Divisional finish, State would tie for seventh. Of course, that’s just the sub-plot to football (and basketball). If you’ve forgotten, check out Ms. Yow’s contract on the July 2 posting in this space.

Anyway, instead of looking at personnel—which if this is Tom’s fourth season, it must be that he now has four sets of recruits and only a few red-shirted seniors are left over from Chuck Amato—I’m going to focus on the schedule and show how the Wolfpack could do a lot better. By the way, one current assistant coach told me that many of Chuck’s players were just not the caliber necessary to compete at NC State. Whatever.

On the other hand, in Sunday’s The News & Observer, there was a story about NC State’s secondary, an article which started out with a play sophomore cornerback CJ Wilson made on the first day of practice this summer, stopping a back-pedal coverage of a receiver to step in front of the intended pass-catcher and coming up with an interception. Wilson told the reporter he would not have made that play last fall. Quote from Wilson: “I didn’t watch enough film. I was young. I wasn’t in the film room as much as I needed to be. I was inexperienced.”

Okay, he was a freshman but where the hell were the coaches, demanding Wilson and other get into the film room, to learn to be better. I’m not a professional at coaching, just a sideline observer, but I do believe that if anyone needs to be hand-held into the film room and into the weight training room, it’s freshmen first, followed by sophomores and then juniors and seniors, the latter two knowing better than to stay away. “I was inexperienced.” Give me a break.

But I digress. Let’s take a swing through the 2010 Wolfpack schedule in a different way:

Should win games but relaxing will not be good games: Sept 4 Western Carolina at home; Sept 11 at Central Florida; Oct 10 Boston College at home; Nov 13 Wake Forest at home; and, Nov 27 at Maryland. Even though these are considered the “easy” games, and even though NC State has more and better talent than each of these five, the Wolfpack needs to play its best football for these five games, no let-up because a little slip here and there will create a disastrous season: 5-0 overall; 3-0 in the ACC.

No chance games: Sept 25 at Georgia Tech; and, Oct 2 Virginia Tech at home. Two games against two programs that are far-above what’s happening at NC State right now. Georgia Tech’s offense will create havoc on State’s defense; Virginia Tech offensive ground game will create havoc on State’s defense. 0-2 overall and 0-2 in the league.

Toss-up game: Nov 6 at Clemson. This could be close with State winning or a runaway with Clemson on top. I’ll go with the latter because of the excitement coach Dabo Swinney’s got going with his program and his fans. A little charisma goes a long way in Death Valley. It would do the same in Raleigh. 0-1 in over and the ACC.

Two games which maybe the most important to the program this year: Sept 16 Cincinnati at home; Oct 28 Florida State at home. Both of these games are Thursday nights; both are on ESPN; these are the two most important games on the schedule by far because of the significance of winning in front of a national television audience. There’s a chance NC State could win both, at least the game against Cincinnati. If the cards fall correctly, the Wolfpack will be 2-0 heading in the Cincinnati game and riding a wave of something, maybe not excitement, but just enough to play well enough to win that game. The Florida State game is a different story. Seminoles are too tough this year. 1-1 overall; 0-1 in the ACC.

Two games of most importance to the fans: Oct 16 at East Carolina; Nov 20 at North Carolina. I recall beating East Carolina in Carter-Finley Stadium a couple of seasons ago, and one of those purple clad people making a ridiculous remark that went something like this: “You State fans kill me. If there’s just one game you want to win each season it’s against East Carolina.” She needs to get a life. There is at least one other game of a little more importance than East Carolina, and if you ask me, every game on the schedule is more important than the East Carolina game, a game scheduled for NC State by the North Carolina General Assembly with threats of appropriations being pulled from the NC State campus. NC State should win this one in Greenville; State would always beat East Carolina. On the other hand, the three-game winning streak against North Carolina will probably come to an end as the Tar Heels have a wonderful team filled with professional athletes…oops…football players who accepted something from agents. No sour grapes here. If State had players the agents wanted, the Wolfpack might be better: 1-1 overall; 0-1 in the conference.

Final record: 7-5 overall; 3-5 in the ACC.

The key, then, to a winning season, to give Debbie Yow a reason to rejoice because she will not have to deal with a coach on a four-season non-winning record run, is beating Cincinnati and doing everything else that’s obvious. There’s no incentive in Yow’s contract for the football team going to a bowl game, but I believe there is for O’Brien. And, with wins over Western Carolina, Central Florida, Cincinnati, Boston College, East Carolina, Wake Forest and Maryland, according to contractual agreements, he’ll deserve the bonus. State fans will rejoice, buy tickets to a bowl game and call the season successful.

From where I sit, NC State could and should do better every year. But then, I'm one of the most optimistic college football fans ever.
Thanks to the two or three loyal readers who wrote last week to ask me where I’ve been. Well, my day job has been extremely busy and this writing gig has taken a back seat. I’ll post when I post and let you know when I post. Thanks for reading. I welcome your comments.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

What Makes For Interesting Reading?

Question: Can you lose something you do not have now and have never had previously?
Below my last post, the one about the writer from The News & Observer who wanted my sources for athletics department personnel who favored the Judge in the case about whether cheerleading is a sport for Title IX reporting purposes, are two comments, one from BobLee of and one from my nephew Jordan. No not nephew Jordan, the son of my younger brother, but nephew Jordan, the son of one of my brothers-in-law.

When BobLee speaks, it’s simply hard to take him seriously, though in many respects he has some serious responses to serious questions and some humorous answers to not so serious statements and some serious answers to stupid inquiries and some funny, tongue in cheek and (as nephew Jordan said) sarcastic returns for those who are dead serious about what they speak.

In response to the cheerleader post, the unexpected second in a series of one scheduled post, BobLee covered, as nephew Jordan, the one who lives in North Carolina and not the one who lives in South Carolina, pointed out lots of subjects in just eight sentences. (That’s a low number for total subjects in the fewest lines for BobLee.) And, nephew Jordan could not determine if BobLee is simply brilliant in his effort or totally bizarre. I’m here to tell you, nephew Jordan, BobLee is both and anyone who reads his stuff should remember that going in.

Nephew Jordan, an educated soul who matriculated at UNC-Chapel Hill (see post of July 30: “How About Another Beer?”) is confused. He thinks what BobLee said is funny but can’t determine if BobLee is using a “clever compliment which adds to the conversation, or just lousy sarcasm.” Well, nephew Jordan, use your educated mind to understand this: when confused about the difference between causation and correlation, remember that beating a tom-tom during an eclipse will always bring back the sun.” Or this one, as Jim Valvano used a lot (though he may have gotten it from Vince Scully): “Statistics are used like a drunk uses a lamp post: for support, not illumination.”

That BobLee likes the designated hitter rule means he hates managing baseball, at least that’s what I think. Not sure about nephew Jordan on that one. But that’s not the point here, so let’s move on. Eventually I’ve got to get back to the first line of today’s story.

BobLee, though he has a serious side, is always trying to be funny through sarcasm which is easy for an elder statesman to do, and nephew Jordan is just a year or two removed from that college degree ceremony, and he’s tries to show a serious side to what he says and writes. In his response to BobLee, I can tell he’s not trying to be humorous. He’s asking legitimate questions though he probably would have refrained from answering at all if he had perused just one of BobLee’s postings. (Did I give you that website:

At the end, nephew Jordan, the one on the in-law side, sums his thoughts in a similar fashion to a good friend who knows the other nephew Jordan, my brother’s son, and not this Jordan. That friend will toss out all sorts of hypotheses; he will make many statements as he tries to get to the end of what he wants to say, and then he say, “My point being…” followed by a rehash and summary of what he just said in which he also tries to draw to his listener to his way of thinking with, “Don’t you think…” Good technique, friend. When you answer “no” he ends the conversation.

Nephew Jordan does it this way: “The question then is: Does the way readers interpret a writer’s ‘intent’ determine whether or not it is interesting writing?”

Actually, I think nephew Jordan is looking too deeply at the intent of a writer and what is written. The only way to tell is by knowing the writer and asking the intent. Many writers have no intent except to fill space. Others intend to embarrass; some intend to report the results but fall into opinion when such is actually inappropriate. I wonder what nephew Jordan’s intent was when he asked that last question. Maybe he would like a philosophical reply from me, or better yet from BobLee. I’m sure, if he’s gotten this far in reading today, BobLee will add a comment to today’s post as well as beneath nephew Jordan’s inquiry about BobLee in the previous post.

So, with writer’s intent on our mind, let’s take a brief look at a Sunday Op-Ed (for those unknowing, that means opinion pieces on the page opposite the primary editorial page of a newspaper) piece in The News & Observer. It was written by Ellis Hankins, executive director of the North Carolina League of Municipalities, and David Thompson, executive director of the NC Association of County Commissioners, not the more famous DT who played basketball at NC State in the 1970s.

The subject of their OP-Ed story is about taxes (anytime those two write, it’s usually about taxes) and the desire by the State of North Carolina to collect sales and/or use tax on items purchased via the Internet, items which are not taxed at the sale. Here’s part of the Op-Ed piece: “Every time you or I order a book from Amazon, we owe a use tax that is the same as the sales tax. The difference is the method of collection. If a seller such as Amazon does not collect the sales tax, the buyer is supposed to pay the use tax on items purchased out of state for use in the state. But many do not pay the tax, and that burden just gets shifted elsewhere. North Carolina and its cities and counties are losing about $190 million annually from this failure.”

Back to my original question: Can you lose something you do not have now and have never had previously? Mr. Hankins and Mr. Thompson are obviously smart people, but if there was no $190 million to begin with, the state, cities and counties cannot lose it. In other words, only if it has been collected up front can it be lost through bad investment or misplacing the cash or buying real estate at the beach for personal use. In actuality, many items may be purchased over the Internet without payment of sales tax, and those individuals who make the purchases and do not submit a use tax, may be skirting the law, but the tax due is not lost. It was never gained; it should never be part of a budget which bets on the come. Understand is as selling, my profession: Nothing sold until it is purchased.

So, nephew Jordan, what is the “intent” of what I wrote today? Do you have any idea or are you reading just to further your education? And, BobLee, any thoughts? I would hate to lose statements from each of you, but then, you may have them and never submit. Therefore nothing is lost; but then your knowledge on me is not gained either. So there. My point being…

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Rah, Rah For The N&O's Leah Friedman

The nerve of a newspaper reporter who wants me to name my sources! Especially in an email inquiry and request. Especially from a reporter from The News & Observer, the local king of not revealing sources for fear of not getting more information from those who kiss and tell.

It was last Friday at 3:27 p.m. when the email hit my “Inbox” of Outlook. It was from Leah Friedman, who also goes by the pen-name, The Triangle Troubleshooter, though her columns are signed, and many times she clarifies situations, while many times she actually helps a person in need of resolution. But, she’s also a reporter, assigned to various topics, sometimes news, sometimes, well, fluff.

The email was about the…well…here it is: My name is Leah Friedman, and I'm a reporter with the News & Observer. I am writing a story about the recent cheerleading court decision out of Connecticut, and I've been told you blogged about it. I'm wondering if you know anyone involved with NCSU athletics who agrees with this decision.

I started to answer in writing, to tell her, yes I do know of some directly and indirectly connected with the NC State University Department of Athletics who are on the side of United States District Judge Stephan Underhill who ruled for purposes of reporting under Title IX that Cheerleading is not a sport. But instead of writing, I decided to call her, to talk handset to handset. The conversation was short and pleasant and resulted in just what I thought.

“What? Are you going to rehash the story (which ran in The News & Observer, Wednesday, July 22)?” I asked.

“Oh, we never rehash stories,” she said which made me laugh. She said she was assigned to write a story from the local angle, and when she submitted her article, it had no quotes from anyone who favored the Judge. Initially, her editor rejected the story and wanted more. She said, in so many words that it would be nice to have someone at NC State, someone in the Athletics Department, who agrees with the decision. “So, I’m asking around. I was told you blogged about it and may know someone there who would talk with me,” she said.

My laugh grew louder, though only inside, not outwardly so she could hear. Here was a reporter asking someone to name a source. I failed to ask her if she would ever do the same for me in return, but I knew the answer would be negative. Newspapers and their reporters think they have the only right to sources. They think they are entitled to know more than everyone else, to get to sources and never tell who those informants are. Hell, reporters will rot in jail before telling the courts, even if it means by revealing a name or two a case could be won and a criminal would be brought to justice. So I knew that if I did her a favor and let her create a little more controversy about NC State, there’s little reason to think that if I needed a name later in life she would agree to return the favor.

So, she had no one for her rehash of the subject, at least from inside the NCSU Athletics Department, who agreed with the Judge, but she found plenty of people, obvious people, who disagreed with the Judge who wrote: “Competitive cheer may, some time in the future, qualify as a sport under Title IX. Today, however, the activity is still too underdeveloped and disorganized to be treated as offering genuine varsity athletic participation opportunities for students.”

Yes, I blogged about it a few days ago, the day after the ruling, the same day the story ran in The N&O which would have been the opportune time for The N&O to write a sidebar with a local flavor. In my blog, I noted that in this case, the Judge was upset at Quinnipiac College for substituting the “competitive cheer” squad of 24 girls for a nine-member girls’ volleyball team all in the name of meeting Title IX requirements. It was one of the many ways Quinnipiac was cooking the books, lying to the feds to make sure it was in compliance with equal opportunity for all. It was using, and still wants to use, the cheerleaders to make quota, and for that the cheerleaders should be insulted.

So, Ms. Friedman took off locally, asking the question: Is cheerleading a sport. As written in her rehash of the subject in The N&O, she got answers from:
—Harold Trammel, the Wolfpack’s cheerleading coach: “If you look at what we do, it's hard not to categorize us as a sport. It takes a lot of athletic ability to do what we do.” No doubt.
—Kaylee Allen, a current member of the State squad who said, in pointing out how hard they work on their “game” but whose reasoning is not very deep in thought: “We compete to win a title, and all other sports compete for a title as well.” Duh!
—Whitney Rigsbee, a former Appalachian State cheerleader who was equally deep: "We are very organized. We have coaches and trainers.” Double duh!

In reality, many university and college athletics departments and high schools treat cheerleading as a sport, a team sponsored by the department with coaches and trainers. And, in reality for liability reasons, it’s good to give the Pep Squad some organization, leadership and medical attention. I recall when I was in college we had well-balanced cheerleading squad of some but not all good looking woman and most out of shape men who tossed back a beer or two prior to the football and basketball games. They all did their flips and built funny off-balanced pyramids. But at one basketball game, during halftime, the squad decided to put on a show that should have been reserved for the professionals: The Wolfpack gymnastics team. In the midst of the tosses and tumbles, one of the men got a little aggressive with his approach and when he leaped over a small human mass, he overshot the padding laid out on the Reynolds Coliseum floor and landed on his mouth, chipping a tooth or two. Direction for him was quick. I believe it was off the squad.

I agree today’s cheerleaders work hard, are in shape, are organized, compete for trophies, and are much different than the cheerleaders of years gone by. But cheerleading as a sport still doesn’t fit with me. It’s an ancillary part of college athletics, not a primary sport for competition sake or for Title IX reporting. And, I do know people in several college athletics departments, not just NC State, who agree with me and with Judge Underhill.

But there’s no way whatsoever that I’ll share those names, those sources with Lead Friedman who did a fair job of rehashing a story that was at least 10 days old. I hated to rehash it here today, but at least I came up with a different angle, thanks to that email request for my sources who agree with me. Write me again.