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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 welcomes ACC Coastal Division championship rings

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A side view of North Carolina's Coastal Division championship rings, which were distributed to the team on Monday. Photo via Twitter (@uncfootball).

CHAPEL HILL — North Carolina finished last season in a three-way tie for first in the ACC Coastal Division, and had the Tar Heels been eligible to play in the postseason they would have won tiebreakers against Miami and Georgia Tech and represented the Coastal in the ACC championship game against Florida State.

UNC wasn’t eligible, though, because of NCAA sanctions resulting from the academic fraud and impermissible benefits scandal that rocked the football program in 2010. Even so, UNC is calling itself Coastal Division champions. There is signage inside the football offices to that effect and, now, there are championship rings, too.

The rings arrived on Monday, football team spokesman Kevin Best said, and some UNC football staff members have posted ring pictures on Twitter. Those pictures ignited some criticism, mostly from fans of rival schools. After all, UNC was ineligible to be recognized by the ACC as Coastal Division champs.

Still, the ACC didn’t rule that UNC couldn’t recognize itself as divisional champions. And Tar Heels coach Larry Fedora said repeatedly last season that if the Heels finished first in the division, he would consider his team to be Coastal Division champs.

A while back, UNC put up a billboard outside of Charlotte referring to itself as division champions. There is signage in the UNC football offices that reference the division championship. And now there are the rings.

When UNC put up that billboard outside of Charlotte a while back, I called the ACC and asked if the league had a problem with UNC calling itself Coastal Division champions. An ACC spokesperson said then that it’d be inappropriate for any team other than Georgia Tech – which represented the Coastal Division in the league championship game against Florida State – to refer to itself as the divisional champion.

Still, there was no communication between the league office and UNC about the billboard, and no directive to take it down. Based on that, it’d be fair to say that the league office didn’t have much of a stance on UNC calling itself division champs.


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From member PackerInRussia,

From member PackerInRussia,

At least they'll have a great story to tell one day. I imagine it something along the lines of:

"Did I ever show you my ring?"
"Wow, Grandpa, did you win the Super Bowl?"
"Ha, ha. No, not quite. This is a ring from college."
"Did you win the college championship?"
"No, but we were pretty good. We felt like we could have won a championship if we'd had the opportunity."
"So, you were the best team in your conference or something?"
"Uh...One of the best, yeah."
"Did you beat all the other teams?"
"No....but we were in a 3-way tie for our division and we would have won the tie-breaker."
"So, you played in the conference championship game?"
"Well, not exactly. You see, we weren't allowed to play in it because we broke some rules."
"Oh. What's 8-4 mean?"
"That was our record."
"Was that supposed to be really good back then?"
"It's not bad."
"So, why'd you get a ring? Did you do anything special? Is this like that trophy I got just for playing little league?"
"Look, it's just hard for you to understand because you're a kid. Isn't it time for you to go home? Why do you ask so many dumb questions?" (some tears) "We had a billboard, you know! If you have a billboard, it's real!"


Except it should be, "yes,we were in a 3-way tie for the Division and won the tiebreaker".

NC State wins '73 Basketball Championship!

A listing of the complete, official findings of the NCAA:

About that now infamous pickup game involving David Thompson... It's kind of difficult to get a recruiting advantage when the recruit was already an NC State commitment.

NC State wins '73 Basketball Championship!

Bill Walton ain't gonna be happy when he hears this.

After all, the so called infractions that kept the 'Pack out of the tourney didn't even amount to a small pimple when compared to the rash of corruption and/or incompetence (you pick) going on over Chapel Hill. A side-by-side comparison would have the 'Pack coming out looking like Mother Teresa.

bottom line

Based upon UNC's record and the tiebreaker system, UNC finished first in the Coastal Division. That conclusion was reached, then they were disallowed from playing in the Championship game because of the post season ban. The rings were earned by the team last year and Coach Fedora made the right call.
For all of you State fans, just blame it on TOB, he should have never kicked the ball to Gio.

"he should have never kicked

"he should have never kicked the ball to Gio."

You got that part right.

Why No Claim ACC Championship?

If you are going to claim things that are not true, why not just assume you would have beaten Florida State in the ACC Championship game and get rings that say ACC Champion 2012? Heck, Why not claim you won a major bowl game as well?

If it was any school but UNC, the ACC would have been all over them for this tasteless act.

If you aren't eligible to play in the championship game then, you didn't win anything. But this nothing new, half of the banner over at UNC are for championships that only exist in their minds.



The truth is that UNC finished first in the Coastal Division. The truth is also that they were banned from post season play, so they could not play in the championship game. It is a very simple thing to understand.

At least they are consistent

No acknowledgement of accountability and no respect for principles. That cheating goes on everywhere is undeniable. The unusual thing about UNC is the blatant disregard they have for a properly imposed penalty and the unmitigated arrogance they display by proclaiming themselves champions.

Then again, why not? The ACC apparently doesn't care, for whatever reason. Welcome to the new "Carolina Way". Don't like a rule? Ignore it and make your own.

Properly imposed penalty?

Uh, they didn't play in the Championship game, but only because of the penalty. Not because they didn't finish first in the Division.


This is a lame move that diminishes a school that claims to be a cut above the rest. Are they so desperate for a ring that they have to resort to this nonsense? It's right up there with TOB's "State Championship", which I recall some making fun of on this site. :-)


I don't think so. They accomplished one of their goals, that's all.
TOB's goal? Okay, t-shirts vs. rings.
I think what was made fun of was TOB's "Best Program in the State" comment.

Coming Next Fall @ Kenan Stadium....

UNC lineman blatantly holds. Flag is thrown.
UNC TE with blatant block-in-the-back. Flag is thrown.
UNC WR with hands-to-the-face. Flag is thrown.

However, Renner completes a pass into the endzone.

Fedora insists that the scoreboard reflect the TD even though 3 blatant penalties were called and UNC was not eligible to score.

not too bright huh?

A TD would still have occurred and the scoreboard may have reflected it briefly. But after the penalties were assessed, the TD would have been disallowed and the 6 points taken off the board. The play still resulted in a TD though. And no, don't try to say that UNC cheated its way to a Divisional Championship last year either.

More evidence that in

More evidence that in Swofford's ACC, the cheat...uh... beat... goes on !


How did UNC cheat last year on their way to winning the Coastal Division?

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About the blogger

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