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Shakespeare I'm not, but I wanted to say a few words as I leave CarolinaBlue.com as 247Sports' point-man for the North Carolina market.
Many, many months ago when I was approached to help lead a transition of CarolinaBlue.com from Rivals to its new home at 247Sports, I knew it wouldn't be easy. I knew there would be many, many days consisting of long and tough hours, but I was up to the task. I was able to cover some really tough and strange happenings in UNC athletics over the past 18 months. From the unexpected firing of Butch Davis, the stepping down of former A.D. Dick Baddour, the search for a new A.D. in Bubba Cunningham, the search for a new football head coach in Larry Fedora, the announcement of the NCAA sanctions and this past spring in the unfortunate end to a potentially promising hoops post-season with dozens of commitments in between...
However, in all honesty, the work and hours required have taken its toll on me over the past several months. So, recently, I came to a mutual decision with 247Sports to part ways with CarolinaBlue.com which will relieve me of all my responsibility and obligations to them and to you effective today.
So what's next for me professionally?
I honestly don't know yet but I'm leaning towards getting out of the business altogether. For almost the better part of 10 years, I've been working college and high school football and basketball games. I can't remember the last time I went to a game just as a fan. I miss that. I miss not having to get to every game hours early and the requirement to stay hours afterwards. I miss the freedom to potentially not go to games at all if I so choose.
Will I be around the board in the future? It's honestly too early to say. I might drop by from time to time and I might not also. I just don't know at this point.
And who will take over the day-to-day workings of CarolinaBlue.com in my absence?
That question is easy as I leave you in the more than capable hands of Paul Strelow who you have gotten to know over these many months for his outstanding contributions to the board. And you've already gotten a quick taste of the coverage he'll be able to bring with the recent commitment of Johnathan Howard.
I have gotten to know Paul since my time with 247Sports and he's really one of the 'good guys' in this business. He works hard, knows his stuff and I know he'll do right by everyone here. He will no doubt be able to accommodate all of your questions and concerns from here on out.
I also just wanted to say a huge THANK YOU! to everyone who has given CarolinaBlue.com a chance and appreciate you deciding to make CarolinaBlue.com the place to discuss your beloved Tar Heels.
Well Jon, I know I can safely speak for everyone and say a huge THANK YOU, to you for all your hard work and effort you've put towards us and Carolina Blue. Reading the articles and discussing our beloved Tar Heels has been an absolute pleasure. I wish you nothing but the best in everything you have ahead and know you'll have continued success in every way. You're always welcome and if you're ever coming as a fan, drop a line on here and we'll set it up to have you at our tailgate. Thanks Jon!!
Good luck to you in the future Jon. You will be sorely missed. I can understand your reasoning behind your decision. I will pray you find whatever it is you are looking for in the future. I hope you will stop by and say hey from time to time. Good luck,
First off, I want to wish Jon all the good fortune he can handle. He was one of the first guys I met on the road when I joined the 247Sports network, and I’d like to think it’s been pretty obvious by my appearances over here that I both appreciated his help in covering the Carolinas as well as enjoyed his work. He broke a lot of recruiting scoop in this market, no easy task.
I'm getting verklempt just talking about it.
A little bit about myself … I’m a North Carolina native, born and eventually raised in Catfish, N.C. (let’s say between Hickory and Statesville, for anyone outside the 3-mile area). Graduated from UNC’s journalism school in ’97 after four years in E-haus. Part of a lineage of UNC grads, and my younger brother, Bret, covers the ACC for the Fayetteville Observer.
Heck, I grew up with my favorite basketball player being Jimmy Braddock, and that’s why I wore No. 24 through my illustrious youth league, high school basketball and then intramural career. Bonus points if anyone remembers who he was.
After spending a brief stint as a DTH assistant sports editor, I landed at the Statesville paper out of college, then moved to Spartanburg (S.C.) three years later to cover South Carolina for that paper. Five years later, I matriculated up to cover Clemson for The (Columbia) State, this state’s equivalent to the Charlotte Observer.
I joined 247Sports two years ago to provide Clemson team and recruiting coverage. Father of four, and with a wife and in-laws who graduated from South Carolina, am engaged in the lifelong competition to dictate which school our children envision when they hear “Carolina.”
Frankly, my fandom for the Tar Heels disappeared when I got into the journalism biz (OK, save for the annual Duke/UNC series). But I’m looking forward to getting reacquainted with the program in concentrating on recruiting coverage going forward.
And Jon, don’t be a stranger.
This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by Paul Strelow 19 months ago
Jon is, very simply, one of the best.
All I can say is thank you and best of luck with you next adventure! You will be missed. And, I can +1 all the above comments. You definitely deserve all the kind words and praise.
Hope to catch you at game sometime as a fan!
Jon...you'll definitely be missed. Your move from Rivals is the reason I came to 247sports...and Rivals has not been the same since you left. Your presence will be missed...but thanks for leaving us in good shape with Paul. Good luck!
Jon, hate to hear the news, but wish you luck in the future. Best of luck with whatever you choose to do.
Follow me on Twitter @RainesBrothers
Very sad to see you go but understand one must move on. Paul, look forward to having you on board.*
* I grew up in Salisbury and travelled extensively to Hickory and Statesville but never heard of Catfish.
I'm not sure most of the people who live there now even know it as Catfish. It's not really the legal name of the area anymore. Kind of a no man's land with a Claremont mailing address and Catawba phone number.
Jon, hate to see you go. You really held it down for Carolina and the fans! Good Luck to your future and we wish all the best! Go Heels!!!!
The Atlantic Coast Conference: A Tradition of Excellence... Then, Now and Always
Really sad to see you go jon. Always sucks to lose a good one but we also gained a good one from what ive seen of paul!
Thank you for everything you've done, Jon. You've made this site one of the most friendly sites to be apart of and make you feel welcome as soon as you become a member. I hope you drop by to say hello every now and then. Good luck in your future endeavors.
I have a good friend from Catfish. I always give him a hard time about the name of his hometown, calling it Crawdad.
His last name is Keller, if you know the family.
Jon, thanks for all! You were great. Look forward to seeing your "fan" posts in the future... All the best. Paul, welcome!
Jon, it was a true pleasure following your coverage!! I would have to say I think you are making a great decision. You have a life outside of work, if the job is taking you away from life then change the situation. YOU WILL BE MISSED!!!! God Bless and stop by at least once every couple months or so.
And Paul WELCOME!!! Take a deep breath, you will do great.
Sorry to see you go Jon!!! Always enjoyed your coverage. I would also like to welcome Paul. Nothing like getting your news and views from a TRUE TARHEEL!!!
Hate to see you leave, JLegg. Your football recruiting coverage at your previous gig was the main reason I matriculated over to 247. I think this site is in good hands though with Strelow at the controls as I've been impressed with his contributions in recent months. I wish you luck in finding a career that is both rewarding and sustainable.
This post was edited by JCTarheel82 19 months ago
I appreciate the kind words. And I know Jon does as well.
Sad to see this, thanks for all the scoops and info the past year JLegg. Good luck with whatever path you choose to follow in your new career.
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