The ACC School Mount Rushmores: Virginia
The Confidential has been having some fun with league-wide coaches Mount Rushmores. Football and Basketball, plus polls for each of football and basketball to share your thoughts. In fact, it was so sufficiently fun and controversial that we are going to do school-wide Mount Rushmores now. And we will only put three people on the list, leaving you–our readers–to comment as to who should be the fourth. We will not do polls anymore. For today, let’s go with the school that has been with the ACC a very long time: Virginia.
As we discussed previously, these school-wide Mount Rushmores are limited to sports only–players and coaches. That being said, athletes that have gone on to have careers that have furthered their legend are rewarded also. And negative publicity will also be factored in. We do not believe that USC would put OJ Simpson on its Mount Rushmore. It is what it is. Admittedly, there will be a recency bias too. While historical accomplishments are typically quite impressive, coaching college football (as an example) in 1955 was a lot different than coaching today, where coaches rarely get 5 years to make their mark anymore. Similarly, in an era of up to 14 college football games or 40 college basketball games, as well as daunting pressure from the fans and media, today’s game is more challenging. That’s our opinion and we are sticking to it.
The Confidential gives the first spot to Ralph Sampson. The Virginia native was one of the most highly recruited high schools players of all time. And he then somehow improved his stock at Virginia, where he remains one of only two players (Bill Walton) to win three Naismith awards in his career. While at Virginia, the Cavaliers were one of the top teams in the country, including a final four appearance in 1981. He was then a #1 overall draft pick for the Houston Rockets. While his NBA career lacked longevity and true star power, he was an all-star four times.
The #2 spot for Virginia goes to the first female player on the Confidential’s school Mount Rushmores–Dawn Staley. For those who are unfamiliar with women’s hoops, Staley led Virginia to three final fours. She is the career scoring leader for Virginia (2,135 points)–but impressively graduated as the NCAA’s career leader in steals and the ACC’s all-time assist leader. Oh yeah, she also had 700 career rebounds too! Needless to say, she filled up boxscores. Staley may not have had a lengthy WNBA career, but she also had a number of appearances for the Olympic team. She has been both assistant coach and head coach for the United States in international competition as well.
The #3 spot is, as always, a tough one. The Confidential is going to go with wide receiver Herman Moore. Moore was a record-breaker at Virginia, setting reception and yardage records in 1990. Moore then went on to become the Detroit Lions all-time greatest receiver in all categories.
And that leads us to the number four spot. Bill Dudley will not be familiar to this generation’s football fans, but he is in the college and pro football halls of fame. But for his controversial divorce, Tiki Barber might have been beaten out Moore. Buzzy Wilkinson was a dynamic scoring machine for Virginia and the ACC in the 1950s. He declined to pursue and NBA career, costing him an opportunity at further publicity. Dom Starsia has had a very impressive career as lacrosse coach. Anyway, this is where you come in–let us know who should be #4.
Who will be the Confidential’s fourth Virginia Cavalier in its Mount Rushmore?
Other Mount Rushmores: