(SP)- The University of North Carolina athletics department confirmed today that Tar Heels players are being offered three credits for the team’s trip to Memphis, Tennessee, this weekend for the Sweet 16. North Carolina arrives in the city on Thursday and will play Butler on Friday with another game on Sunday if they advance.

“Memphis is one of the most culturally rich cities in North America,” said UNC director of athletics Bubba Cunningham. “Education is about the classroom, but also the life experiences you have and we think it’s only fair to compensate our basketball team with academic credit for the trip.”

While the Tar Heels’ time in Memphis will primarily be spent at the team hotel and the FedEx Forum, with little time for museums or local culture, head coach Roy Williams feels the trip will still be enriching.

“I think our meals at the hotel are catered by a local outfit, so I’m sure they’ll be very, you know … Memphis-y,” he said. “And just the general vibe of the city will surely be on display for the players to see when they travel from the hotel to the arena on the team bus. That’s something that will stay with them forever, both figuratively and literally on their course transcripts.”

UNC players will not just be limited to three credits this weekend, however. If the No. 1 seed wins its region and advances to the Final Four, the university will also offer six credits for Net Cutting.

“Net cutting is a very specialized craft dating back decades in basketball,” said Williams. “It’s an art. I hope we haven’t reached the point in this country where we say learning an art isn’t valuable education.”


Also see … Now That Duke is Eliminated, Who Should You Hate in the NCAA Tournament?: A 16-Team Guide

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