Gone south? Where is Terry Holland's oversight?

Ask most Virginians between the ages of 30 and 40 who the governor is, and they'll probably know the answer. (Although they may have had to stop themselves from answering, “Chuck Robb.”)

Formative years are very– well, formative– and some things aren’t easy to let go. Ask many Virginians who coaches UVA basketball, and Terry Holland might be their answer (or their prayer).

Sorry folks, but having ended his coaching and administrative career on a high note at Virginia, Holland took his talents to Greenville, North Carolina, seven years ago. But it seems the man who coached UVA to two Final Four appearances and– as Athletic Director and Special Assistant to the President– orchestrated Scott Stadium’s $86 million expansion and construction as well as the expansion of the aquatic and tennis centers may have left his skills and instincts in Charlottesville.

The NCAA just placed Eastern Carolina University on a one-year probation for academic fraud. A tennis player who worked as a tutor wrote papers and did other academic work for four ECU baseball players, for which she was paid $10 a page, an offense in itself. As ECU’s Athletic Director, Terry Holland can be commended for reporting the violations to the NCAA.

But his legendary good judgment failed him nonetheless. According to North Carolina television station WITN, “East Carolina University students say they're shocked but not surprised by the discovery.”

For the second time in two years, ECU students are not surprised by unsavory goings-on at their school. Last year, students were “not surprised by the arrest of rapper Wiz Khalifa and several of his group members on marijuana charges because they say that's what their music is about.” Students apparently were not surprised ECU booked Wiz Khalifa for a performance in the first place, but seeing how Ludacris had played the school the previous month, why would they be? (I leave it to you to investigate whether either Ludacris’ or Wiz Khalifa’s lyrics should have given ECU pause.)

Just a few months before Wiz’s arrest, ECU made Playboy’s list of the top-10 party schools for the second time. That dubious reputation has led students and faculty to repeatedly voice their concerns in the school’s paper, The East Carolinian. But it’s one thing not to be surprised when a performer who raps about marijuana is arrested for possession; it’s quite another not to be surprised by student-athletes paying to have their schoolwork done for them.

If the students weren’t surprised, how could Terry Holland be floored by the news? (“I was dumbstruck,” Holland answered when questioned about the NCAA’s punishment.) But he must have been, considering how quickly he and the athletic department, once they learned of the situation, dismissed or suspended the offending players. (How they remain students at the school is a question for the administration.)

It seems unimaginable that the man who spent decades shepherding UVA athletics could be blindsided in a much more intimate athletic environment and at a school that may no longer be “Easy-U,” but still struggles with a less-than-stellar reputation.

Terry Holland, we thought we knew you.

And a more specific note about Virginia basketball: rumors are swirling around phenom Justin Anderson after he rescinded his verbal commitment to Maryland. Will he opt for Virginia Tech? Will he come to UVA?

Anderson recently visited Charlottesville, so that’s a good sign, right? Granted he visited the same week he said exams were his first priority, but who cares about a little inconsistency? (At least he’s consistently inconsistent; apparently his defection from Maryland was news to them.)

Watch it, Cav fans, you’re drooling. Anderson still has a year of high school left and is already teetering on the edge of LeBron James-hood. Pull this kid back from the edge before he plunges headlong into the ego-abyss.

Justin Anderson may be a five-star forward, but an invitation to attend the University of Virginia is priceless. As you croon sweetly in Anderson’s ear, don’t let him forget it.
Juanita lives on a farm in Charlotte County with her husband, son, and many dogs.