62 The History of Wake Forest
During the 1986–1987 academic year,
the Athletic Department received con-
stant criticism, regardless of wins or losses
or positive publicity. Letters suggesting
that the University deemphasize athletics
steadily flowed into the President’s Office.
President Hearn made time to answer them,
although he would often send the same let-
ter. On August 15, he wrote to Fred Craven
of Concord:
. . . we are justly proud of our record.
Wake Forest is one of only sixteen schools
(called ‘The Sweet 16’ in an article in the
Philadelphia Inquirer) which have never
had a sanction or a reprimand from the
NCAA. In addition, we have had the only
mandatory drug testing program in the
Atlantic Coast Conference for the past
two years. What other schools are doing now in response to crises [in ath-
letics], we have been doing based on the simple belief that it was good and
prudent policy.
Chip Rives, a junior football player, along with mentor and co-founder Robert
Egleston (’78), started Santa’s Helpers, a charity to provide toys to underprivileged
children. Rives had read a story in Parade magazine about a project that delivered
gifts to underprivileged children. As a result he convinced some of his fellow ath-
letes and other students to donate money to buy non-violent toys. Then, dressed
as Santa and his helpers, Rives and his companions delivered the toys they had
bought.
The Pruitt Center was completed in the summer of 1986, named in honor of
Mark C. Pruitt (’86), who was killed in a water-skiing accident in the summer of 1985.
It housed new football offices and meeting rooms that adjoined the Indoor Athletic
Complex and was state-of-the-art, with separate offices for coaches, a staff confer-
ence room, and a modern learning/education center for all student athletes called
DEACS (Deacons’ Educational Assistance and Counseling Services). When the facil-
ity became operational in mid-July 1986, University academic/athletics counselor
Gilbert McGregor (’71) took delight in showing it off. Students made good use of it.
Besides being concerned about winning athletic teams in the ACC, students
showed their sense of humor about sports, especially basketball, as revealed in an Old
Gold and Black article on the names of intramural basketball teams. Names included
the Potato Teams (We Love Our Spuds, The Couch Potatoes, and Potato Tuberworms),
the We’re-No-Good-and-We-Know-Its (Have Nots, Has Beens, Brick Boys, The
Handicapped Hoops, The Clueless Crew, and Aaaahhghh), the We’re-Awesome-and-
We-Know-Its (Phi Samba Jamma, Jabba Jammers, Dunkensteins, and Lords of the
Muggsy Bogues
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