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Is College Basketball Bad For The Environment?

I'm afraid the answer is yes--at least if you consider college basketball's best team, the University of North Carolina Tar Heels. (Hey, check the polls if you don't believe me.) Although UNC travels by air to most of its away games, it still has a North Carolina-based charter bus--and its driver, Dave Harder--meet the team at the location, since Carolina Coach Roy Williams apparently doesn't trust other bus drivers to ferry the team from the airport to the hotel and then to the arena.

So, as this Raleigh News & Observer article explains, Harder spends a lot of time driving long distances in an empty, gas-guzzling bus:

He has taken a 55-passenger motorcoach to Syracuse (1,246 miles, round trip), St. Louis (1,603 miles) and New York (984 miles).

Of the Heels' seven road trips this season, the only commute he hasn't made was to Las Vegas (his cutoff is usually the West Coast).

I'm all for lucky charms and what not--and it's hard to argue with Harder's and Carolina's record--but this seems pretty excessive. At the very least, the UNC athletic department should be buying carbon offsets or something.

--Jason Zengerle