8,600-seat arena. Air conditioning? Too
expensive. Acoustics? Bad, but we’ll get by.
The hexagonal Carmichael isn’t even
free-standing. Its west wall is the outside of
Woollen, as if it just grew there. The old
wall wasn’t even painted blue to match.
So why does Carmichael rank among
the happiest places a Carolina student ever
set foot since 1965?
From the moment it opened, the men
said goodbye to mediocre, owning their
ACC opponents, and nearly everybody else
who came in, for two decades. … It is
home to a bona fide legend: “eight points
down with 17 seconds to play.” … Since
the women’s team took over, it has 18
NCAA tournament wins there against a
single loss. Janis Joplin, James Taylor, Elvis
Costello and Pink Floyd. Billy Graham,
Bob Hope and Eddie Murphy.
Heat and noise became assets.
And the makeover begins in March.
Carmichael is being expanded to add athletics offices, big lobbies and a women’s basketball museum. The west wall will show few, if
any, traces of the mother gym;TV cameras
will shoot the games from that side, looking
toward the permanent seats; and those slits
of windows at the top of the arena will go
away. The acoustics will be tackled with
technology — it could become attractive
again to artists looking for more seats than
Memorial Hall — and big TV screens and
other gadgetry will make it look more like a
smaller version of the Smith Center.
Always cool, now Carmichael will be
‘A wonderful place to play’
Billy Cunningham ’ 65 helped close
down Woollen. The teams on which he
starred were above average but rarely scary.
Smith needed a breakthrough — he
needed the cast Cunningham never had —
and in the autumn after the Kangaroo Kid
graduated, there they were, getting yelled at
in the Tin Can.
Freshmen Rusty Clark, Dick Grubar,
Bill Bunting, Joe Brown, Gerald Tuttle and
Jim Bostick ’ 69 beat the varsity in the annual
varsity-freshman scrimmage in 1965. Smith
had to hold two more such scrimmages to
get the varsity their dignity back, then he
abolished that format. Not a bad idea,
because a new door was open, and Scott,
Jones, Ford, Worthy and Jordan would be
walking through it.
Facilities mattered long before saturation TV and the recruiting of eighth-graders; asked his first impression of
A $26 Million
pay almost all
the cost of the
UNC has in hand
$17.5 million from
student fees and
$1 million from
repair and renovation funds. It has
asked the state for
$7.5 million more,
considered a formality since that, too,
will be repaid from
The athletics fee,
from which the
funds will come,
was raised by $100
for the 2005-06
school year and by
$50 for 2006-07.
It is separate from
student fees for