The NC State’s Men’s Basketball team lost to UNC today. It wasn’t a great game, and there was definitely a large discrepancy in both talent and desire. This post, however, isn’t about the frustration of being an NC State fan. That’s chronicled well in the hearts and minds of Wolfpack nation. This is instead one fan proclaiming his embarrassment that the men’s basketball team did nothing to commemorate the late Kay Yow.
When Kay Yow passed away last Saturday, I think that there was an immense level of shock throughout the population of people who have ever had anything to do with Kay Yow in one shape or another. Over the course of my 24 years in North Carolina, I was a fan, journalist, and disciple of Kay Yow’s career and philosophy. I read everything that I could find about Coach Yow, watched all of the multimedia pieces compiled by NC State’s Technician and the Raleigh News & Observer, and watched all of the specials which were played by the various TV networks. Just listening to the women’s game on PackPass this past Thursday, I knew that the weight of losing their coach, and wanting to win their first game back in her honor, was too heavy for these young student-athletes. Clearly, the reach was much larger than one basketball team.
Unfortunately, the reach did not include the men’s basketball team. I was more embarrassed by the fact that there was nothing more than a small black patch on their jersey’s to commemorate her memory than by the performance which was put forth against rival UNC in the match today. Kay Yow’s presence on this campus pre-dates everyone on that staff except for Associate Head Coach Monty Towe, and not even a pink ribbon. Going the full monty and wearing pink jersey’s in Yow’s honor may be asking too much for a group of young men, but imagine this scenario.
The men’s basketball team wears the pink jerseys, and regardless of outcome, auctions off the jerseys with all proceeds going to the Kay Yow/WBCA Foundation. There are only 12 of them, and they were worn in an NCSU/UNC game. How much money could that have fetched?
Let’s say the problem was that wearing a color jersey at home would lead to the team getting fined $100k. Have the Wolfpack Club start a fund to pay the fine, and then, on top of that, convince some donors to challenge the student population, young alumni, the alumni association, etc. to come up with certain percentages of that money, and they will match that percentage as a donation to the Kay Yow/WBCA Foundation. As an example:
if Student Government can organize and raise $25k, which is about $1 per student on campus, then the Vaughn family would have donated $25k to the Kay Yow/WBCA Foundation.
But no, none of this will come true because a simple black patch with white letters spelling out Yow on an illegible corner of a jersey is enough to honor a woman who was THE face of those who do not give up. Today the student section was pink, Wolfie wore a pink jersey, and the coach of the opposing team wore pink shoelaces, but the NC State Men’s basketball team didn’t realize that pink for one day would be a fantastic message to send for a generation of fans who need to remember and grieve when giving up is more difficult than it has been in a long, long time.