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Crump Puts on Coach's Hat Until Injury Heals

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CHAPEL HILL — North Carolina entered this football season without one of its top players. A severe knee injury will keep tight end Alge Crumpler out of action all year long, but that is not to say he is out of commission.

Any other year, Crumpler would be knocking down practice dummies instead of setting them up. However, a major knee surgery prevented him from ever starting this season and the rehabilitation has not ended.

"There were times that I thought that it was never going to heal," Crumpler said. "There were times when I thought I was 100 percent, but then I would try to do somethings that would cooperate with me so I've learned to take my time."

Crumpler does play a part on the football team, but it's not the role he wants. Patience has helped Crumpler deal with the disappointment, but part of the healing process is his association with the Tar Heel Team. At every practice Crump barks instructions and encouragement in his new role - coach.

"The guys call me Coach Crump," he said. "It does bother me to out here and not be able to strap it up and play, but I'll do anything to help the team."

Ultimately, his role as coach will help Alge Crumpler, the player, when he returns next season to be the Tar Heels tight end.


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