Auctions tend to turn up some interesting items for people to buy, ranging from your standard items to those that are extremely valuable. So where would a recruiting letter that former North Carolina head coach Dean Smith sent to a young Michael Jordan fall? According to Comcast SportsNet Chicago, the letter’s up for auction after a man found it in a storage locker he’d purchased.
The opening price for the letter, with the auction being handled by the same group that sold a valuable Honus Wagner baseball card for $2.1 million? $5,000. The letter, written by Smith to Jordan back in 1980, reads as follows:
Our staff surely enjoyed visiting with you and your family there at your beautiful home. It was a delightful evening and one which we were able to use to get to know you better. Hopefully you felt more comfortable with us and that you will consider the University of North Carolina for your college education.
If there are any questions which came up following our departure, please tie me a collect call and I will be happy to discuss them with you. Otherwise we may give you a follow-up call before too long just to touch base.
We do think you are a tremendous young man and are impressed not only with your obvious basketball talent but the way you have been a leader at school and done well adacmedically We look forward to following you closely this year and hope to see you frequently in Chapel Hill.
I am writing your parents separately since they were so very hospitable to us. Enjoyed seeing you, Michael, and hope that beginning in September 1981 I can be your coach.
Dean E. Smith
Dated: Aug. 12, 1980
There’s also a photo of the letter in the link provided above, and it looks to be in pretty good shape for something that was written more than three decades ago. It will be interesting to see just how much the letter fetches in the auction, with Jordan’s “flu game” sneakers fetching a record $104,765 last month.
One of the biggest storylines of Saturday’s college basketball schedule had everything to do with a team that no longer matters in the championship picture.
Less than 24 hours after being informed that the school would be imposing a postseason ban that will leave the Cardinals out of the ACC and NCAA tournaments, No. 19 Louisville tipped off against Boston College, and they did so without leading scorer Damion Lee, who is battling a knee issue.
How would the team respond to the decision — the despicable, shameful decision — that the university’s president made?
Well, it seems.
The Cardinals jumped out to a 19-2 lead in the first eight minutes and cruised to a 79-47 win over an overmatched Boston College team in the Yum! Center.
And head coach Rick Pitino, after the quote, said exactly what everyone is thinking.
“We should be penalized, no question about it,” he said. “But not this team. But the NCAA didn’t make that decision. We made that decision.”
He’s totally right. The school sacrificed the season — and the only shot that a pair of fifth-year seniors would get to play in the NCAA tournament — to protect the school, the brand and the bottom-line moving forward. Like I said earlier, it’s despicable.
But credit the Cardinals for responding.
Because they still have something on the line. They’re just a game out of first place in the ACC, and while an ACC regular season title isn’t a shot to play in the ACC or NCAA tournament, it’s still a banner that would probably mean more to Damion Lee and Trey Lewis than any league title has meant to a Louisville player before.
Oklahoma State’s star point guard was not in the lineup on Saturday against No. 13 Iowa State.
Evans injured his shoulder in the Cowboys’ loss at Texas Tech on Wednesday and was ruled out of Saturday’s game.
According to the school, his official status moving forward is questionable. The Pokes are just 11-11 on the season and likely need to earn the Big 12’s at-large bid to get into the NCAA tournament. It makes sense to let him get healthy.
Evans was averaging 12.9 points, 4.9 assists and 4.4 boards this season, but he had been arguably the best point guard in the Big 12 during league play, averaging 15.6 points and 5.6 assists.