UNC coach Larry Fedora on N.C. State: I don't want to legitimize their program
Submitted by Andrew_Carter on 04/26/2012 - 00:36
UNC coach Larry Fedora said the Tar Heels' rivalry with N.C. State will be a point of emphasis. PHOTO: Robert Willett
CHARLOTTE — Larry Fedora has yet to coach his first game at North Carolina but already he has added some zest to the Tar Heels’ football rivalry with N.C. State. Speaking on Wednesday night in Charlotte at a Rams Club Tar Heel Tour stop, Fedora indicated he understands just fine the significance of the UNC-N.C. State rivalry.
During a question-and-answer session with those in attendance, one individual asked Fedora a about the significance of the Tar Heels’ games against the Wolfpack. UNC fans are eager for the Heels to break a five-game losing streak against N.C. State – a streak that represents UNC’s longest stretch of futility in the series since losing five consecutive games from 1978 through 1982.
Fedora instantly indicated he understands the importance of the first game he’ll coach against the Wolfpack.
“It’s 184 days from today,” he said.
And, about the significance of the rivalry, Fedora said, “There’s going to be an emphasis.”
And then it became interesting. After talking about the Wolfpack for a brief moment, Fedora stopped himself.
“I don’t want to talk about [the rivalry] too much because I don’t want to legitimize their program,” he said.
So there you have it: the first real bulletin board material that Fedora has provided during his brief time at UNC. After Fedora recited the number of days until the Tar Heels and Wolfpack will meet on Oct. 27, he received a loud cheer from those in attendance at the McGlohon Theater. But Fedora also said that UNC’s next game is its most important game. The Heels open the season at home on Sept. 1 against Elon.
And yes: Fedora knew the number of days that remain before then, too.
A couple of other tidbits from Fedora’s talk:
--According to Fedora, UNC will begin the 2013 season on a Thursday night at South Carolina in a game that will be televised nationally by ESPN. The Tar Heels and Gamecocks last played one another in 2007, when South Carolina defeated UNC, 21-15, in Chapel Hill.
--Given that Fedora was speaking in Charlotte, he made a point to emphasize how important it is for the Tar Heels to recruit well in the area. “We need to own Charlotte,” he said. Many of the top prospects in the state, annually, are from Charlotte or surrounding areas. The Heels already have eight commitments from the class of 2013, and two – receiver Brian Walker and defensive back Desmond Lawrence – are from Charlotte.
Roy Williams also spoke on Wednesday night in Charlotte. Stay tuned for a recap of his comments …
About the blogger
Andrew Carter is the University of North Carolina beat writer for the News & Observer.
Want to post a comment?