The Wolfpacker

January 2014

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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■ pack past Jon Speaks Turned Down Home-State Kentucky To Play For The Pack a harsh four-year probation on By Tim Peeler all of NC State's athletics teams s recruiting coups go, the for the coach's recruitment of battle Everett Case won Moreland. for shooting guard Jon Speaks But in the spring of 1959, was one of the most satisfying Case's longtime right-hand man victories of the coach's Hall of Bubas brokered the deal for Fame career. Speaks to become a member of Speaks, you see, was a nathe Wolfpack, not long before tive of Lexington, Ky., by all Bubas left for Duke. rights a subject of the Baron of "It was a big deal that Case the Bluegrass State, Kentucky took Speaks from Rupp's backbasketball coach Adolph Rupp, yard," said former NC State Case's archrival and nemesis. player, men's basketball coach Rupp was so sure that Speaks and athletics director Les Robwould be a Wildcat, the coach inson. "It was something Coach didn't even bother to recruit the Case was proud of." young high school player unIt didn't take long for Speaks til showing up to be the guest to become comfortable on camspeaker at Speaks' athletics pus. He was a sharp-shooting banquet. fixture on the freshman team, "I think Coach Rupp just asa good-looking All-American sumed I was going to go to kid who was popular among his Kentucky," Speaks once told peers and the students at the Ron Green of the Charlotte nearby women's colleges. News. "He never talked to But he arrived at NC State me about it until after we had right about the same time as our athletic awards banquet State Bureau of Investigation toward the end of my senior officers, which had heard from year. He came to me and said, Case that there might be some 'Naturally, you are coming to Kentucky.' Speaks, who earned first-team All-ACC honors as a senior after averaging gamblers offering money to "I told him no, I was going 12.5 points per game in the 1962-63 season, died in a tragic car accident his players to shave points and fix games. The scandal that hit to NC State. He got real upset in May 1963. photo courtesy nc state media relations college basketball in 1960-61 about it." rocked the Triangle and killed the DiFormer Duke All-American Jeff Mul"It was a big deal that Case xie Classic. It also nearly killed basketball lins, a junior teammate of Speaks at Lexat both NC State and North Carolina, as ington's Lafayette High School, witnessed took Speaks from Rupp's both schools were forced to play limited the exchange, and was so affected by it backyard. It was something schedules during the early part of the dethat the next year, when Rupp recruited Coach Case was proud of." cade in the wake of the scandal. Mullins to be a Wildcat, he turned his nose As a junior during the 1961-62 season, up at the opportunity. ■ Former NC State player, Speaks led the 11-6 Wolfpack in scoring at "I thought to myself, 'I don't know if men's basketball coach and 17.2 points per game. Around campus, he I want to play for that guy,'" Mullins reathletics director Les Robinson was popular enough to win the voting to called years later. become vice president of the senior class So Mullins followed one-time Case assisCase got the best of Rupp in 1950, and to be named basketball co-captain tant Vic Bubas to Duke, shortly after Bubas when NC State was selected over defendwith Ken Rohloff. became the head coach in Durham. Mullins ing national champion Kentucky for the In his final year, while the depleted Pack and Art Heyman took the Blue Devils to District 3 NCAA Tournament bid, back slogged through a 10-11 season, Speaks back-to-back Final Fours in 1963 and '64. when only eight teams played for the title. again led the team with a 12.5-point averSpeaks was an important player, one last Case beat Rupp again for the services age, earning first-team All-ACC honors. It victory Case had over Rupp. Of course, the of highly touted Denver native Ronnie was just the second losing season in Case's two feuding coaches matched wits on the Shavlik. storied career. court only once, in Case's inaugural seaRupp, thanks to a private investigator Speaks' final game as a college player son of 1947 during the National Invitation he hired to follow Louisiana high school was in the 1963 ACC Tournament semiTournament. Rupp refused to play after star Jackie Moreland, got the better of finals against Duke. Mullins, his old high that, and the two were often at odds over Case in 1956, when the NCAA imposed school teammate, upended the Wolfpack postseason bids and high school recruits. A 70  ■  the wolfpacker 70,72.Pack Past.indd 70 12/5/13 2:49 PM

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