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UNC Now is your place for Tar Heel sports. Beat writer Andrew Carter has up-to-the-minute news and analysis. Columnist Luke DeCock also contributes. Follow us on Twitter at @_andrewcarter or @accnow.

UNC coach Larry Fedora on negative recruiting: comical

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CHAPEL HILL — It’s always difficult for a new college football coaching staff to recruit. Since most coaching transitions in college football happen in December or early January, a head coach and his staff might unite with about a month left before national signing day.

That’s how it was at North Carolina, where Larry Fedora was introduced as the Tar Heels new head coach in mid-December. He started later that month, and announced his staff in early January. Then it was time to recruit. The task would have been difficult enough.

It was even more so, though, because the NCAA is still deciding on what penalties UNC will face in the wake of the football program’s impermissible benefits and academic fraud scandals that erupted in 2010. UNC appeared before the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions in late October.

Here in early February, there’s still no word on what kind of penalties UNC will face. Will it be an extended probation and the loss of more scholarships? Could it be something more serious – like a postseason ban? No one knows. And that unknown was one of the most difficult things to overcome for UNC on the recruiting trail.

“Well the toughest thing is the unknown, you know,” Fedora said Wednesday, after the Tar Heels signed a 23-man recruiting class. “Because as you’re talking to kids, other schools are obviously talking about what’s going on with the NCAA situation. And so the unknown was the hardest thing to defend.

“Because basically they could make up anything they wanted. And if you’re an 18-year-old kid, or a 17-year-old kid, you don’t know what to believe. Especially when you’ve just met this group of coaches and you don’t really, truly have a relationship with them.

“So for us, it was just be as honest as we could, tell them what we know and then let a kid make his own decision.”

It was at that point in Fedora’s press conference when I asked whether he was familiar with what other schools told prospects that UNC recruited.

“Oh, yeah – sure do,” Fedora said. “Because once you get that relationship with that kid, he starts telling you, guess what they said this time. And so, yeah, a lot of it’s comical to be honest with you. What they will tell a kid.”

Fedora declined to share the specifics of what rival coaches might have told prospects about what penalties UNC might face. It’s not too difficult to imagine. Certainly the prospect of a bowl ban would have been raised. Probably the prospect of a multi-year bowl ban was used against the Tar Heels. Massive scholarship cuts, which would affect UNC’s ability to be competitive.

Fedora said he and his staff had to deal with other aspects of negative recruiting, too. Some schools, he said, told prospects that Fedora wouldn’t actually install his up-tempo spread offense at UNC. Instead, those other schools said, the Tar Heels would run the same type of traditional pro-style offense that’s been the norm in Chapel Hill since, well … a long time.

“There were schools that were actually out there saying, hey, they’re not going to run that offense,” Fedora said. “They’re going to run what they’ve always run here at North Carolina. Which I found very comical. So it was – that’s just the way it is in recruiting.”

That is indeed just the way it is in recruiting, where opposing coaches – like politicians – look for the slightest weakness in one another, and then try to exploit it. The problem for UNC in this case, though, is that it couldn’t very well respond to what other schools said about the specter of NCAA sanctions.

Fedora and his staff hoped to have some time to recruit after the verdict came down but it remained an unknown, all the way to national signing day. 


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There is a gathering number

There is a gathering number of smart and interesting women who state that they don’t write what they want to write because of the abuse they will get for doing.

So in other words

Larry is saying booo hooo hooo, they are saying bad things about us.  Wow he isn't on the job but for a couple of months and it already whining.  Sounds like a perfect fit there on cheater hill.

No more than Toby

Toby was whining in his address to the media about Signing Day. Whining about how a commitment needs to "honor" his commitment to the coach and team. (James Summers)

Yet he flipped two committed Tar Heels to his school ?


The most amazing thing to me in this scenario...that we would want someone who has already committed to NCSU, think about it. I know it has happened before, but doesn't seem to happen that often.

I understand

But he fits Fedora's MO to a "t."

I do not blame,

any coach for using whatever tools he has at his disposal for attracting potential student athletes. The problems arise when whatever tool(s) the coach have relied on disappear. What then will said coach have to offer prospective recruits? Could he expound on the virtues of his own school, or talk about possible majors or courses to consider? Maybe he can extoll the acheivements of his own program, or even at his former stops. Maybe I'm naive, but it just seems that this type of recruiting is a dead end. It reflects on the character of the coach when speculating on prospective penalties, especially if his promises do not come true. To that end, no one knows what will happen. When it does surely teeth will gnash, and hair will be pulled out by masses wearing either Carolina Blue or Red and White. Either way, it is true the product on the field is what folks will remember, and Fedora is I'm sure working on changing that trend.

Negative recruiting

Never been a believer in bad mouthing the competition. It may work on a particular recruit, but backfires more often than not. If you have to focus on the competition's negatives instead of your own positives, that is a reflection on you (and not in a good way). Apparently, I am as naive as you are. 

"Negative Recruiting" Tactic Top Ten List

"Negative Recruiting" Tactic Top Ten List

10. "We hope to continue our bowl game streak.  Not every team in North Carolina can say that".

9. "We haven't had to fire any of our university tutors".

8. "Our coaches have not hired any "fired tutors." 

7. "We feel like paying your parking tickets should be your responsibility."

6. "If you want bling, you have to pay for it yourself."

5. "If you want to pass a course, you have to do your assignments yourself."

4. "You don't see aluminum gleaming in our stadium."

3. "What's "comical" is Roy talking about using frickin' BB-guns on opposing fans."

2. "At our school, we prefer that the players not dance on the field when they are getting beat."


1. "We don't whine like babies like they do in Chapel Hill."  

That's wierd. Even the staff

That's wierd. Even the staff at eweNc last yr was saying the same thing, bowl ban ,loss of scholly's etc.  You mean they lied too??


clap clap clap clap clap.

oh wait, that only applies when a rivalry is recently dominated in basketball?


fine. 5-0.


Uh, dude, UNC is dominating the series in Football as well. Try to keep pace.

UNC-CHeat fans.  LOL.  Are

UNC-CHeat fans.  LOL.  Are you guys going to hang a banner for claiming to be the most cooperative cheaters ever?



Poor baby

Couldn't think of anything negative to say about my rebuttal to your post so you come all the way down to the bottom of the page to act like a four year old.

That's very indicative of most of your posts.

23 recruits for a team...

that during the season played a number of underclassmen, particularly freshmen.

Expect transfers out of UNC.


That was really profound.

There's ALWAYS transfers when one coach leaves and another comes in.

I love the ABC crowd

I guess all the ABC crowd has to do is post neg. stuff on a Carolina article.

No there is not going to be a "death sentence"  that is just pie in the sky.  Compared to what has been handed out to the big name schools West VA, OSU  which only got slaps on the hand for the crap that was pulled by them, Carolina should not get hit that hard.

If the ABC crowd would spend as much time supporting their teams as they spend trying to pull Carolina down, their teams might be better. 

Prime example was the Wake game.  Instead of showing up and supporting their team, the place was half Carolina fans.   So get your own act together before trying to straighten out someone elses house.


Quickly forgotten

how quickly we have forgotten those Mike O'cain and Chuck the Chest years. Was there a win against the tarheels? and do not worry TOB will get his first lost soon and State will then have to fire him


It's the only reason Toby has a job at state right now. Wuffies have as much admitted so. But on the flip side, state fans love them some Toby. #confused

Just think!  If UNC had

Just think!  If UNC had hired Butch Davis a year later, Fedora would be the FOURTH coach that TOB had faced.

Coach Fedora

Given the circumstances: short time frame and the fact that "UNC's football program is about to be abolished" haha, this staff has done an outstanding job. #42 in the Rivals Rankings. No, not stellar, but in the top half of the ACC.

And How did State Fare?????

And How did State Fare?????

about the same as every

about the same as every other words, good enough to continue dominating their neighbors.



Two things

Beamer and Toby have been leading the charge on negative recruiting since Spot was a pup and Moby Dick was a minnow. No surprise, here, as UNC raised the stakes on themselves.

The fact one of these clowns (or their staff) would claim Fedora was gonna all of a sudden change his offense is humorous to say the least. You're simply insulting the intelligence of the guy you are trying to recruit to your school now. Think about it.

gville, TOB is negatively

gville, TOB is negatively recruiting?  I call BS.  Prove it.  IC quotes don't count b/c Greg Barnes is a liar.

I don't read that rag

IC is always the last to get correct info and the first to get incorrect info out to Tar Heel fans and haters. The place is a circus and is why Adam and Joe love them so much.

Adam and Eddy FTW.

As far as negative recruiting goes, I can't produce that no more than you and the rest of the wuffies can produce Butch knowingly cheated. I can only go off what I hear ... just like you.

You insult the intelligence

You insult the intelligence of your recruits when you tell him not to worry about the possiblity of NCAA penalties.  The previous staff made serious mistakes and the football program and the incoming recruits will be the one to pay for their mistakes whenever the NCAA hands down their decision. Great selling job.  Enjoy Probation.

As usual, your fan base can't comprehend for sh*t

Go back and read what Fedora said. He said he laid out the facts and said THEY HAD NO IDEA WHAT THE NCAA WOULD OR WILL DO.

If you would have acknowledged that, I wouldn't have a problem with the other mess that spewed out of your mouth bc I couldn't have debunked it.

Comprehend this

“Oh, yeah – sure do,” Fedora said. “Because once you get that relationship with that kid, he starts telling you, guess what they said this time. And so, yeah, a lot of it’s comical to be honest with you. What they will tell a kid.”

I can comprehend that just fine.  There is nothing comical about trivializing the impact that potential NCAA penalties could have on the UNC program for the next four years and the impact on the individual recruit. I will not be shedding a tear for the young men who will not be able to participate in Post Season Bowl Games.

Read more here: 

Well isn't that thoughtful

And furthermore I appreciate you thinking enough of the UNC football program to know that the Heels will at least be bowl eligible. You can't always predict that over at state.

You can always predict a

You can always predict a State win over UNC though. 5-0!!


Yep, from what I recall, predictions come pretty regularly from the fan base. It is one of the many things I get a kick out of.

Glad to see you have

Glad to see you have your....well your Gator on today....Someone has to man the watchtower.....;-)))

No one knows what that fickle.....b, the NCAA will do, but given what has gone down with some of the other schools, OSU, and others with more egregious actions, I suspect that the worse case scenario is not a possibility........All is fair in love and war as they say...but for all the sanctimonious wuffies out there....your day will come....

Its pretty easy to

Its pretty easy to negatively recruit against Carolina when everything that was told to players is a real possibility if not an eventuality. 

State recruiting

It's pretty easy to recruit against State.... every year.

Pretty easy to win football

Pretty easy to win football games against Carolina.... every year.

Oh really

You might just want to check the record books beyond  the past 5 years.

If a whole recruiting class

If a whole recruiting class never beat a team in football then I dare say that is far enough in history.


If short sightedness works to your favor, then by all means use it.

Hang on to whatever you need

Hang on to whatever you need to hang on.  I will hang on to 5-0.

You do that since that's all

You do that since that's all ya got.......

I would normally agree with your assessment

But UNC, to their credit in a bad situation, did the unprecedented and unthinkable thing to sit guys until the verdict was in on the individual.

Whether you hate UNC or love them, that will get them some good will.

The possibility of a single bowl ban still lingers, but the chance of it diminished bc of the proactiveness (is that a word?!) and "guilty before proved otherwise" of the Heels.

Max, please spin this post for me. :)

Greenville gator.  UNC has

Greenville gator.  UNC has not been forthcoming or proactive in anything other than the protection of its image (spending millions on a PR firm during the scandal).


If you want to be proactive, release the 216 calls.  Release the Blake emails. 

It's guys (or girls) like you

That keep people like me posting as much as I do.

Of course they are trying to protect an image. What person, team or company doesn't when something wrong goes on ? A few rogue guys doesn't make an entire university or team 'bad.'

And in order to attempt to protect the image, UNC sat guys out of games until they were told otherwise. Tell me one University that did this prior to UNC ?

They also let the NCAA "behind the curtains" bc they honestly thought nothing else was going on. That was just stupid and naive.

Theres not one school, at any level, that doesn't have some form of cheating going on any day of the week. Most of these "student athletes" couldn't even get into college as regular students much less bother to fill out an application. But back to my point, UNC opened the doors and said, "come on in" bc they thought they were protecting their image by doing so. Dumb. South Carolina certainly didn't roll out the red carpet when they got busted for hotel gate. Nope.

TOB - Scared

Are you scared yet toby?  Your days are numbered.  Thanks to all the packers for running off our coach who was only concerned with the NFL so that we can hire a coach who wants to win college games and dominate in state recruiting. 

Heelman, that's all I've

Heelman, that's all I've heard from UNC-CHeat fans since Davis got there.

...You you you just wait.... we're gonna do this.  We're gonna do that.  You just wait!  The sleeping giant is a myth.  UNC tried to cut corners and cheat to get bigtime football and look what it got you.  UNC is a national embarrassment to the state of NC and college football in general.



I'm gonna put this out there

Crummy coaching, from time to time, is what has kept the Heels steeped in mediocrity. It wasn't the level of players on the field.

I speak for all fans of UNC when I say if one great thing came out of all this crap, it was Shoop going elsewhere. Playing not to lose will do exactly the opposite more times than not.

I'm sure TOB is afraid of a

I'm sure TOB is afraid of a program he has dominated since he got here. Why would he be afraid of a CUSA staff? But it's good to know we Wolfpackers have the power to run off coaches at unc-cheat.

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About the blogger

Andrew Carter is the University of North Carolina beat writer for the News & Observer.