Visibly shaken by allegations of wrongdoing at his alma mater, former North Carolina State star Thurl Bailey of the Utah Jazz says he remembers the day when coach Jim Valvano lectured the team on how there would be no freebies passed out among them.
"One of the things definitely that was stressed when I was there was `Hey, no handouts here,"' said Bailey after Utah's NBA game with the Charlotte Hornets on Monday."I think it's absurd that all these accusations . . . things about drugs and money. It's ridiculous," Bailey said.
"I don't believe any of that stuff I've heard," Bailey said.
Valvano is the focus of allegations printed on the cover of the upcoming book, "Personal Fouls." Among the charges on the cover, excerpts of which were published last Saturday by The News and Observer of Raleigh, were that positive drug tests were kept secret, grades were altered and one player even played below his capabilities in an NCAA tournament game to avoid a future drug test that might hamper his professional career.
The cover did not name a source for the allegations.
Bailey was a member of Valvano's 1983 national championship team. He said he spoke with his former coach by telephone on Sunday.
"He definitely sounded depressed. But you know Coach V, he's a tough guy," Bailey said. "I just wish the best for him."
Bailey said he was sure that the book would sell based on the allegations, but added, "It's a shame that it has to cost other people their reputations, and the heartaches of their families."
Bailey said on his first day with Valvano in the fall of 1981, the coach told him and his teammates that they would have to earn their own way. He said if they didn't go to class and flunked out of school, they would not play. He said Valvano should not be blamed for players not getting their degrees.
"Nobody got anything," Bailey said.
In the meantime, Bailey said he remained confident his former coach would be cleared.
"I'm praying for him and I hope that things are going to work out and I'm sure they will," Bailey said.
Other former NCSU players also denied the allegations and said that while they talked to the author, Peter Golenbock, they didn't discuss the issues in the book.
Kenny Drummond said he was almost certain he had talked to Golenbock but had been unaware that Golenbock was writing a book critical of the N.C. State program and Valvano.
Drummond, who now plays for High Point College and was playing in a tournament in the Bahamas during the weekend, said in an interview with The News and Observer of Raleigh that he had talked to a man he believed to be Golenbock.
"If he said anything about me (in the book) that I didn't say, I'll find him," he said.