North Carolina Tar Heels

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WATCH: UNC players go nuts over getting Jordan Retro 11s

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North Carolina will be the second college football program to wear uniforms under the Jordan Brand this season, joining Michigan in wearing the Jumpman logo on their uniforms this fall. The new uniforms will be revealed at a later time, but the UNC football program had reason to be excited today. The team was given a free pair of Retro 11s. Needless to say, they were ecstatic.

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The video itself has become pretty much the norm for uniform reveal videos we have seen over the years. Designed to go viral and advertise the enthusiasm for the particular brand behind the jersey, or in this case the sneaker, the sights of big guys hooping and hollering and dancing around the meeting room still never gets old. Does it?

But UNC needs to pace themselves with this type of video effort. If the players got this excited for the shoes, imagine the excitement that will be captured in video form once the team gets their first look at the brand new football uniforms coming their way at some point later in the offseason.

ACC confirms conference’s football title game returning to Charlotte

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After a one-year sabbatical, the ACC’s football championship game is returning to the state of North Carolina.

Late last month, shortly after the state announced that it had replaced the controversial House Bill 2 (HB2), the ACC Council of Presidents voted that the state would again be considered as venues for future league championships.  Wednesday, the conference confirmed that this year’s football title game will again be played at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.

Furthermore, to in some ways compensate the city for its one-year loss of the game, the ACC announced that the agreement to play the game in Charlotte has been extended through the 2020 season. The original agreement was expected to expire in 2019.

The league also noted in its release that “[c]hampionship events in women’s basketball, baseball, men’s and women’s swimming & diving, men’s and women’s golf, and men’s and women’s tennis will also return to the state during the 2017-18 academic year, and the ACC Women’s Soccer Championship will follow suit in November 2018.”

“We are pleased that ACC neutral site championships will return to the state of North Carolina beginning with the 2017-18 academic year,” said ACC commissioner John Swofford in a statement. “We value all of our partners in North Carolina and appreciate their support and cooperation. We are thrilled to renew our relationships with so many terrific people, outstanding cities and first-class venues.”

The ACC announced in late September of last year that the football championship game for the 2016 season would be played in Orlando.

The move to Orlando came almost two weeks to the day that the ACC announced it was yanking the title game away from the city of Charlotte and out of the state of North Carolina. The move was in response to HB2, a law which some claimed fostered discrimination against members of the LGBT communities.

Charlotte had played host to the ACC football championship game every year since 2010. Prior to 2010, the first three league title tilts were played in Jacksonville (2005-07) and the next two in Tampa (2008-09).

Attorney wants Greg Sankey off NCAA hearing regarding UNC

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An attorney working to defend the University of North Carolina in an ongoing academic scandal does not want SEC commissioner Greg Sankey to be a part of the NCAA panel weighing in on the situation due to a perceived conflict of interest. The attorney went so far as to suggest it would be like having an SEC official refereeing a championship game between an SEC and ACC school.

Attorney Elliott Abrams issued his request to have Sankey removed from the panel to the NCAA earlier this month. In it, Abrams claims Sankey “has a personal, professional and institutional interest in the outcome.” The point Abrams is attempting to make is anything bad that happens to the UNC program instantly hurts the ACC as a whole and gives the SEC an edge in whatever perception battle Abrams thinks Sankey is out to defend.

That seems a bit far-fetched, as NCAA panels are routinely made up of representatives from across the NCAA landscape, and Sankey has never given a hint of jeopardizing his integrity before over such an issue. Few would honestly think the SEC commissioner would do all he could to slam another program in another conference merely because “it just means more” in the SEC.

It should be noted neither the SEC or UNC has commented on this request.

Of course, this was just one bit of the silly stuff coming out from attorneys in the state of North Carolina today. In a separate story, lawmakers in North Carolina proposed a bill that would threaten to pull both UNC and NC State out of the ACC if the conference were to boycott the state again due to the state’s controversial bathroom laws.

The idea of UNC and NC State suddenly hitting the realignment free agent market is fun to think about in a hypothetical sense, but this may be more of another example of politicians playing to their base and nothing more will come of it.

 

Suspended Tar Heel LB accused of sexual assault cleared by UNC’s Title IX office

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A development Thursday could ultimately pave the way for a suspended player’s return to the North Carolina football team.

Thursday, the attorney for Allen Artis released a statement indicating that his client, after a “thorough investigation,” has been notified by UNC’s Title IX office that he “did not violate” any university policy.  A UNC student, sophomore Delaney Robinson, alleged in both a statement and press conference in mid-September of last year that she was raped by Artis on Valentine’s Day earlier that year.

According to Robinson, she reported the alleged rape to university police as well as the university’s Title IX office.  Additionally, she went to a local hospital after the alleged sexual assault, where evidence was collected in a rape kit.  Robinson’s father said his daughter, who has acknowledged drinking that night, immediately reported the alleged sexual assault.

In a statement, Denise Branch, Robinson’s attorney, said her client is “shocked and dismayed” that UNC’s Title IX office failed to hold Artis accountable.

“Ms. Robinson is shocked and dismayed by the failure of UNC Title IX office to hold Mr. Artis accountable for his actions,” Branch’s statement said. “She has appealed this initial finding which is subject to further administrative review.

Artis, who has claimed throughout that the sex was consensual, was indefinitely suspended by the football program the day after Robinson’s press conference.  Artis is still facing two misdemeanor charges of sexual battery and assault; a trial date in that case hasn’t yet been set.

It’s likely that the university and football program are awaiting the results of that criminal case, as well as the appeal, before deciding what if any future Artis has with the Tar Heels as both a player and student.

In 2014 and 2015, Artis played in 25 games for the Tar Heels.  He had played in both games to start the 2016 season before the off-field issue surfaced.

North Carolina hoops joins Clemson football to give ACC rare title sweep

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Something that doesn’t happen very often, at all, reared its rarefied head Monday night.

As deftly detailed by our friends at CollegeBasketballTalk.com, North Carolina beat Gonzaga to win the men’s basketball national championship.  UNC’s win comes just shy of three months after Clemson beat Alabama for the national championship of college football.  Speaking of which…

Interestingly, both the Tigers and Tar Heels were national runners-up last season.

The ACC has now won men’s basketball and football national championships in the same athletic season twice.  Such a double-double, including this year/season, has only happened a total of 10 times since the NCAA men’s tournament was first played at the end of the 1938-39 season.

Of those nearly dozen college sporting rarities, three each belong to two of the Power Five conferences (Big Ten, SEC) and two each from two others (ACC, Pac-12).  The Big 12, if you hadn’t picked up on it, is the lone P5 left out of these particular festivities.

Below are all of the conference double-doubles, which includes only football titles awarded by the Associated Press.  First, though, a couple of notes:

  • Indiana won the 1986-87 basketball title and Penn State was the 1986 football champs, but the latter wasn’t in the Big Ten at the time.
  • Duke and Miami would’ve hit the double-double in 1991-92, except The U didn’t join the ACC until 2005.
  • Miami won another title in 2001 while Maryland won one for the 2001-02 season, but the former was still four years away from ACC membership while the latter has since left that conference for the Big Ten.

And, one final bit of housekeeping: the football titlists are listed first, for those keeping score at home.

1940-41 — Big Ten, Minnesota and Wisconsin
1952-53 — Big Ten, Michigan State and Indiana
1957-58 — SEC, Auburn and Kentucky
1967-68 — Pac-12, USC and UCLA
1972-73 — Pac-12, USC and UCLA
1975-76 — Big Ten, Ohio State and Indiana
1981-82 — ACC, Clemson and North Carolina
2006-07 — SEC, Florida and Florida
2011-12 — SEC, Alabama and Kentucky
2016-17 — ACC, Clemson and North Carolina