UNC Board of Trustees Discuss Connect NC Bond

House Representative Dean Arp briefed the UNC Board of Trustees on the Connect NC bond that will be on the ballot across North Carolina in March.

“We believe this is a proactive and fiscally sound plan,” he said.

The total investment will add up to $4.36 billion with the $2 billion bond proposal and the $2.36 billion that will be paid in cash for transportation needs over the next six years.

The bond will go towards building and infrastructure needs.

Projects across the UNC System, including the Medical Education Building Replacement at Chapel Hill, are included in the proposal, which is the first general obligation bond issued in the last 15 years.

“We’re very excited about the bond package,” UNC Chancellor Carol Folt said. “It’s a huge investment in the state. It’s great for the universities. Ours goes directly to increasing the number of physicians so we can increase the number of lives saved.”

Arp added that even with borrowing $2 billion, the state would still be 25 percent below the recommended debt limit.

So trustee Hari Nath asked why just $2 billion instead of a bond that would fund more capital need projects?

“I’m a positive guy and I like to focus on the positive things,” Arp answered. “Two billion is what we could get passed.”

Arp said that after looking at the financial standing of the state, the General Assembly would be open to a higher bond number. But Arp said that he had encountered opposition to the initial number of the bond proposal but he added that those groups have warmed to the idea.

“It provides not only an economic benefit to the citizens of North Carolina, but it makes financial sense,” said Dwight Stone, Chair of the Board of Trustees. “If we address those messages I think the citizens of North Carolina are going to go along with it.”

The bond proposal will be on the ballot across the Tar Heel state during the election primary on March 15.


UNC Women’s Basketball Wins Three Straight in Weekend Tournament

UNC women’s basketball pulled out a 70-63 win against Yale on Sunday afternoon in Carmichael Arena. Behind an impressive effort from sophomore Jamie Cherry, the Tar Heels picked up their fourth straight win.

Cherry finished with 24 points, as the guard made 7-12 field goal attempts, as well as added a team-high four assists and completed 8 – 9 free throws. Cherry has been impressive early in the season, but Sunday’s performance was extra remarkable, in what may be a breakout season. Cherry averaged 6.4 points per game last season and had a season-high 15 points her freshman year.

Cherry continued to play in a full facemask after breaking her nose on Friday night, which has been a total adjustment, she said.

“I think yesterday was a kind of getting used to the mask thing, just getting used to being able to see out of it and getting my breathing down pat. Just of course seeing those two three’s go in, because the past couple days I haven’t been hitting shots, was very confidence building.”

N’Dea Bryant has been piecing together a set of solid games, but UNC head coach Sylvia Hatchell said the senior guard may have played her best game as a Tar Heel against Yale. Bryant had her first career double-double, with 12 points and 13 rebounds.

“N’Dea, probably in my estimate, had the best game she’s ever had because she had 13 rebounds. I challenged her before the game and she did it. I said ‘N’Dea, don’t let me down’ and she didn’t let me down. So that’s great that she had a great game and we need her to keep doing that,” said Hatchell.

Bryant said her first instinct is typically to rebound, especially when Cherry drives to the net.

“Definitely most of the time to rebound first, but usually my teammates find me on the open shot, so it’s not like I have to do a whole lot to try to get a shot off. That’s definitely my first thought coming into the game and then getting those easy lay-ups and seeing the ball going in the hole makes taking a shot a little bit easier.”

Senior Xylina McDaniel contributed a season-high 11 points in her third game back, while freshman Destinee Walker added 10 points and missed her first free-throw, going 18 – 19 on the season thus far.

Once again, UNC played a physical game that featured no ties and no lead changes, something the Tar Heels struggled with their first couple games of the season. North Carolina entered intermission with a 33-21 lead, which only grew in the third period off of a 12-0 UNC run, putting the Tar Heels up 49-35 for a 14-point advantage, their largest of the game.

20 turnovers and a dull 26.8 percent three-point completion average prevented the Tar Heels from truly breaking away in the game, as the Bulldogs finished the third period with seven straight points, bringing the game too close for comfort, with UNC up 49-42 and ten minutes left to play. The Bulldogs came as close as six points in the final minutes, however, 11 of Cherry’s 24 points came in the fourth period, cementing the UNC win.

UNC will next play on Wednesday, November 25th in a home game against Pacific at 3:00 p.m.

“I’m proud of these kids for hanging in there the last three days. It’s amazing how we’ve improved as a team in the last eight days. We’ve had different people step up in different games. We’re looking forward to playing Wednesday and then going up to the Mohegan Sun for the final part of this Naismith,” Coach Hatchell said.


UNC Women’s Basketball Wins Three Straight

The North Carolina women’s basketball team has strung together a three-game winning streak with their latest game against a struggling Iona College team. With the win, the Tar Heels are now 3-2 overall after outpacing the Gaels for a 64-52 win.

The highlight of Saturday afternoon’s game in Carmichael Arena was freshman guard Destinee Walker. Walker, a 5’10” Orlando, Florida, native, once again lead the team in points, and is making a name for herself, after impressively contributing 32 points earlier in the week against Florida A&M.

“We’re learning and we’re working on progress. We do some good things at times and I love my freshmen, even though sometimes we make some not real smart decisions out there. But those two can really light it up when they get going. And I think they’re two of the best; I’d put them up against any two freshmen in the country,” said UNC Head Coach Sylvia Hatchell regarding Walker and freshman Stephanie Watts.

Shooting 10 -13 from the field, Walker was additionally almost perfect in her field-goal attempts, completing five of six shots. Senior guard N’Dea Bryant contributed double figures for the second game in a row, with 10 points, and Watts added 11, despite temporarily leaving the game with an ankle problem.

“Coming in at other schools freshmen don’t get that many minutes. I knew I would play a big role on the team, I knew I fit in and I knew the chemistry would be great, but of course I didn’t know I would start and play all these minutes,” Walker said.

Carolina went into Saturday’s contest coming off of a big win over Fairleigh Dickinson on Friday night.

The game featured no ties and no lead changes, as Carolina has begun to find a rhythm in a team that now has senior Xylina McDaniel back in action. UNC’s largest largest came in the fourth period with 2:39 left in the game in which the Tar Heels had a 19-point advantage.

McDaniel said watching the team from the bench for a majority of last season and early this year was a hard experience for her, but overall she was able to learn how to better contribute to team camaraderie.

“Being out has been very hard, but at the same time I learned a lot from sitting on the bench and watching them play, seeing what I need to do as a player and a leader to help the team get better and grow. So, it hurt me and the team a little bit, but at the same time it helped us because now I’m able to tell them more and do more because I saw so much more from sitting on the bench,” McDaniel said.

Sophomore guard Jamie Cherry scored seven points, all from free throws, as she completed 7 – 8 attempts. In a frightening scene in Friday night’s game, Cherry suffered a broken nose in the fourth period, in which the crowd saw Cherry lying face down on the floor, writhing in pain, blood splattered on her towel. On Saturday she wore a full face mask, though Hatchell is not certain Cherry will continue to wear it in further games.

“She was shooting 41% from the three before tonight. She was missing that and also her driving. She’s really good, she’s been getting to the foul line a lot because she’s been driving and she couldn’t, wasn’t able to drive. She was fumbling the ball around because she couldn’t see. Knowing Jamie, she’ll probably end up taking that mask off. I wouldn’t be surprised.”

The Tar Heels are back in action Sunday afternoon for their third and final game in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Women’s Challenge against Yale.

“I think we’re a pretty good team now. I told them in the locker room just a few minutes ago, I said, for our potential, on a scale of 1-10, we’re probably about a 6 right now, so we’re going to keep getting a lot, lot better. We can get up there to a 9, 10 and we can give anybody a game,” Hatchell said.


UNC Women’s Basketball Starts Weekend with a Victory

The University of North Carolina women’s basketball team improved to 2-2 with a 64-46 win over Fairleigh Dickinson on Friday night in Carmichael Arena. The game was the first of three for the Tar Heels this weekend in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Women’s Challenge.

The Tar Heels have a complete team that sees a different player step up every night, with Friday night’s victory over the Knights coming with the help of Hillary Summers and N’Dea Bryant, who combined for 35 points.

Summers, a red-shirt junior, contributed a career-high 20 points and 13 rebounds, notching her first career double-double. Bryant, a senior guard, also had a career night, adding 15 points after averaging six points for the first three games of the season.

“We have really good offenses, so it’s kind of easy. I just get into the right spot and our guards are really talented, so they’re able to get it to me. I’m really happy. Like I said, it’s not that hard with how good our offenses are, but I’m glad I was able to do that,” Summers said.

On her career-high points as well, Bryant said she is starting to find a rhythm as she gets used to logging high minutes.

The game featured two ties and no lead changes, despite a tough night for the Tar Heels, who only completed 25 of 65 field goal attempts for a 38.5 completion percent. Additionally, the team only had one three-pointer for the night, on 12 attempts. Despite those numbers, UNC still managed a 24-point lead over Fairleigh Dickinson in the fourth period, their largest of the game.

“We did a lot of good things, but we just missed a lot of shots. We had a lot of really, really good shots and we missed them. But it’s a win against a good team, well coached. They battled us really hard. Hillary had a great game with her double-double and N’Dea had a good game,” said UNC Head Coach Sylvia Hatchell.

Freshmen Destinee Walker and Stephanie Watts contributed 10 and 8 points, respectively, after being the stars of UNC’s last game, in which the two guards combined for 59 points.
Senior Xylina McDaniel got into her first game since her injury on December 21, playing 11 minutes and scoring 3 points.

“The freshmen keep learning. They keep making a lot of mistakes. They’re learning and getting better and better, Destinee and Stephanie,” said Hatchell.

Sophomore Jamie Cherry scored six points and suffered a broken nose in what was a frightening moment for the guard in the fourth period, with Cherry laying face down on the floor, writhing in pain, blood splattered on her towel.

Coach Hatchell said Cherry will be back out on the court this weekend.

“Jamie’s got a broken nose, but we’ll get her a mask and she’s got to play. Put a mask on her and keep playing. We don’t have many bodies; we need Jamie back out there.”

The Tar Heels will be back in action Saturday afternoon in Carmichael Arena at 3:00 p.m. against Iona.


How the North Carolina Tar Heels Can Make the College Football Playoff

UPDATE: How the North Carolina Tar Heels can make the College Football Playoff.  Week 13.

The North Carolina Tar Heels moved up to No. 17 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings Tuesday night.

But, could Carolina crack the top 4 of the final ranking from the College Football Playoff committee?

College Football Playoff

College Football Playoff


It is more possible than you might think.

The reasons why the 9-1 Tar Heels are so low in the College Football Playoff rankings are well documented.  No team on Carolina’s schedule is currently ranked in the College Football Playoff top 25.  Every other ranked squad has at least two top 25 teams on their regular season schedule.  As a result, it will be tough for the committee to put the Tar Heels ahead of most one-loss teams.

Based on the remaining schedule, they might not matter.  Of course, I could just write about “disrespect.”  But, there’s no point to do that yet.  This week’s poll does not matter.  The next two polls also do not matter.

The last one matters.

So, here’s how the North Carolina Tar Heels can make the College Football Playoff.

College Football Playoff.

Not the Final Four.

It is not called the Final Four.

Do not call it the Final Four.

It is the College Football Playoff.

The Tar Heels must beat Virginia Tech and NC State to have any shot at consideration.  Then, they need to knock off an undefeated Clemson team to win the ACC Championship.

Of course.

But, that will not be enough.  The Tar Heels will need help.  There could be as many as eight teams in the Power 5 conferences (plus Notre Dame) with fewer than two losses.  That would be a tough situation for the Tar Heels.

The college football schedule is backloaded.  Many of the teams above Carolina in the College Football Playoff rankings will face their toughest tests over the next three weeks.  If you take nothing else away from this article, recognize that it is very possible for the Tar Heels to be one of only 4 or 5 teams from a Power 5 conference with fewer than 2 losses.  That situation is workable for the Tar Heels.

Let’s take a look at the games that matter moving forward.  I’ll highlight who to root for when you are scoreboard watching.

Week 12

The Cupcakes

1 Clemson vs. Wake Forest
2 Alabama vs. Charleston Southern
4 Notre Dame vs. Boston College
5 Iowa vs. Purdue
8 Florida vs. Florida Atlantic

Expect the favorites to win easily.  These are teams that will get likely get playoff spots if they run the table (Alabama and Florida would see each other in the SEC Championship).  Feel free to root for the underdogs, but don’t get your hopes up.  If the Tar Heels’ hopes hinged on a Charleston Southern upset, this would all be a big waste of time.

The Big Ones

3 Ohio State vs. 9 Michigan State

The winner is in the driver’s seat for a spot in the Big Ten Championship game against (probably) Iowa.  You want Ohio State to win.  If the Buckeyes lose and then beat Michigan the following week, they will be a one-loss team without access to a championship game.

The College Football Playoff committee would absolutely consider sticking the Big Ten Champion and Ohio State into the playoff in this scenario.

That’s bad.

6 Oklahoma State vs. 10 Baylor
7 Oklahoma vs. 18 TCU

The Big 12 is basically in a late-season round-robin.  These four teams are fighting for one spot that might not exist (look at Notre Dame) in the College Football Playoff.

The Big 12 is certainly not getting two teams into the playoff.  If the chips fall a certain way, they may not get anybody.  Let’s go for that one.

You want the Texas teams (Baylor and TCU) to beat the Oklahoma teams.

The Medium Sized Ones

11 Stanford vs. Cal
13 Utah vs. UCLA
23 Oregon vs. 24 USC

A Pac-12 conference champion is a long-shot for the College Football Playoff.  Every Pac-12 team has at least two losses.  The only teams with fewer than three are Utah and Stanford.

Let’s root for UCLA to upset Utah (Go basketball schools!).

But, Stanford matters.

Stanford is your friend right now, Tar Heels.  So, you want to Stanford to keep winning.  For now.

Our Big One

17 North Carolina at Virginia Tech

The Tar Heels need another strong victory.  Without one, this is a pretty pointless article.

At least two teams ahead of the Tar Heels in the College Football Playoff standings will fall in Week 12.  Then, it gets really interesting.

Week 13

The Rivalries

1 Clemson at South Carolina

Stay undefeated, Clemson.

2 Alabama at Auburn

It’s hard to imagine the committee keeping the SEC out.  Let’s hope Auburn wins, anyway.  That’s more fun.

3 Ohio State at 12 Michigan

The Tar Heels’ rooting interest in this game is completely based off of whatever happens when Ohio State plays Michigan State.  If the Buckeyes beat the Spartans this week, you want Ohio State to win.

If Michigan State beats Ohio State, you definitely want Michigan to win.

Remember.  You don’t want a one-loss Ohio State team that does not win the Big Ten Championship.

6 Oklahoma State vs. 7 Oklahoma

You’re hoping this is a battle between a one-loss Oklahoma State and a two-loss Oklahoma.  In that situation, you want Oklahoma to win.  If that is not the situation, then you should expect the winner of this game to have a strong chance at scoring a College Football Playoff spot.

8 Florida vs. 14 Florida State

Go Florida State? A Seminole win strengthens the ACC and gives the Gators two losses.

Both good things.

10 Baylor at 18 TCU

Baylor still has to play Texas after this game.  So, you want them to beat TCU and then lose to Texas.

17 North Carolina at NC State

Make Carter-Finley empty by halftime.

The Biggest One

4 Notre Dame at 11 Stanford

Obviously, the NC State game is the most important contest of the day for North Carolina.


Tar Heels need Stanford to win this game.

Chaos could open slots that appear destined for the SEC and Big Ten champions.  But, the single game that could change the College Football Playoff landscape is Notre Dame’s visit to Stanford.

Right now, the assumption is that the Big Ten and SEC champions will both get spots in the College Football Playoff.  If Clemson runs the table, they also get a spot.  Carolina needs more than a win over the Tigers to get that one.

Notre Dame is also expected to get a spot in the College Football Playoff if they win out.

But, it would be better for everybody, especially the Tar Heels, if they lose.

Go Stanford.

The Biggish Ones

5 Iowa at Nebraska

This game would be a helpful spot for an upset.  Go Cornhuskers.

9 Michigan State vs. Penn State

If Ohio State beats Michigan State this weekend, their game does not matter to the Tar Heels.  Either way, a Michigan State loss wouldn’t hurt.

Championship Week

ACC Championship

North Carolina needs to knock Clemson from the ranks of the unbeaten and they need to do it convincingly.

Of course.

BIG Ten Championship

Most assume that the winner of this game gets a spot.  Especially if the winner is Ohio State, Michigan State, or Iowa.  You’re going to pull for whoever has the fewest losses going into this game.

Pac-12 Championship

Almost half of the conference is still in the running.  The Pac-12 could easily include no teams with fewer than three losses.  In our world, the fine folks at Stanford can take a loss here.  Just to keep this conference completely out of the College Football Playoff picture.

SEC Championship

The game will almost certainly feature Alabama and Florida.  The winner probably gets a spot in the College Football Playoff.  Probably Alabama.


Big 12 Championship

There isn’t one.

Get one, Big 12.

But, Baylor is playing Texas.  The Longhorns could finish off the Big 12’s College Football Playoff hopes with a win.

The Tar Heels’ Hopes

To summarize, let’s just pencil in the SEC and Big Ten champions.

In our perfect Tar Heel world, the SEC champion will be Alabama after they defeat a Florida Gator team that just lost to their rival, Florida State.  That puts Alabama in with no other SEC team with a legitimate argument for the College Football Playoff.

Hope for the Big Ten champion to be Ohio State.  In an ideal situation, Iowa will lose two in a row.  The committee would consider a one-loss Big Ten championship losing Ohio State team.  They probably will not give Iowa the same consideration, but let’s not risk it.

If Stanford knocks off Notre Dame, the Fighting Irish will have two losses.  Again.  That is the simplest route for the Tar Heels’ hopes.

A lot will happen in the Big 12 over the next two weeks.  Let’s just hope they cancel each other out.  A Big 12 with four teams tied for the conference championship is the Tar Heels’ second best shot at the College Football Playoff.

This is fun.



Former UNC Offensive Lineman Ryan Hoffman Dies

Former UNC football player Ryan Hoffman, whose story of a battle with homelessness drew national attention after a profile in the New York Times, has died, his father has confirmed.

Reports from The Daily Ridge say that Hoffman was struck by a vehicle while he was riding his bicycle in Haines City, Florida.

The Haines City Police Department said the report was not yet ready to be made publicly available.

After news of Hoffman’s situation began to gain attention, UNC officials reached out to Hoffman in hopes of helping him receive treatment he needed. The NYT piece reported that Hoffman said he was struggling with cognitive problems that kept him from holding down a job. Those problems, Hoffman felt, stemmed from his years playing college football in the late ‘90s.

via UNC

via UNC

Hoffman was initially hesitant about receiving treatment.

UNC did successfully reach out to Hoffman and fly him back to campus in hopes of giving Hoffman the medical attention that was needed.

Teammates of Hoffman put together efforts to raise money to pay for Hoffman’s travel and treatment.

UNC Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham says in a statement, “We are deeply saddened to hear of the death of Ryan Hoffman, a former Carolina football letter winner — and a great friend and teammate to so many Tar Heels. Our thoughts and condolences go out to his family and loved ones.”


UNC Students Gather for Pitch Party

Students will gather in The Blue Zone in Kenan Stadium on Thursday night, even though the Tar Heels have no more home football games.

These Tar Heels are congregating for the Carolina Challenge Pitch Party, where student entrepreneurs will have an opportunity to pitch potential business ideas to judges.

Kris Hergert is an associate director at the Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC, and he tells WCHL’s Blake Hodge more about the event and the entrepreneurial spirit at Carolina.


Everyone is invited to attend the Carolina Challenge Pitch Party from 5:30 until eight o’clock this evening.


UNC Takes Early Step Toward Indoor Football Practice Facility

The UNC Board of Trustees finance and facilities committee gave approval for Carolina to move forward with a proposal to build an indoor practice facility on campus.

Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham presented the plans to the committee on Wednesday.

Rendering of the Proposed Indoor Practice Facility. Photo via UNC.

Rendering of the Proposed Indoor Practice Facility. Photo via UNC.

The plan already has approval from the UNC Board of Governors.

Cunningham told the committee that the facility will cost around 25 million dollars and be paid for though private funding with the Rams Club.

Tar Heel head football coach Larry Fedora said in a statement, “I appreciate the support and commitment from Bubba Cunningham, the Board of Trustees and The Rams Club. This facility will help us continue to build a championship program.”

Rendering of the Proposed Indoor Practice Facility. Photo via UNC.

Rendering of the Proposed Indoor Practice Facility. Photo via UNC.

In-state ACC foes Duke, North Carolina State and Wake Forest already have indoor facilities.

A site has not yet been approved for the new facility.


UNC Women’s Basketball Dominates Florida A&M

The North Carolina women’s basketball team finally posted a win after an 0-2 start to the season. The Tar Heels’ win came in the form of a 94-58 blowout against Florida A&M in Carmichael Arena on Tuesday night.

Freshmen dynamic duo Destinee Walker and Stephanie Watts combined for 59 points on the night, contributing 32 and 27 points, respectively.

On Walker and Watts, UNC Head Coach Sylvia Hatchell said she knew her two youngsters were gearing up to break loose.

“You saw tonight why they were both McDonald’s All-Americans and the potential they have with what they did out there. I’m really proud of these two, almost had both of them with 30. It’s really good to win. The other two games we had we could’ve won those, it came down to the end. We’ve been working hard and keeping our heads up and thinking about the good things that we were doing.”

Walker’s 32 points and 10 rebounds provided the guard with her first career double-double. Additionally, Walker, who was ranked 17th in her class by ESPN, was perfect in her 10 free throw attempts and went 10-17 in field goal attempts.

Watts, a Wesley Chapel, N.C. native, went 9-17 from the field and contributed five assists and was also perfect in her four free throw attempts.

Sophomore guard Jamie Cherry, who lead the ACC in scoring after the season’s first two games with 24.0 ppg, contributed nine points and lead the team in assists with seven. Erika Johnson added nine points and N’Dea Bryant had eight.

The Tar Heels dominated the game from start to finish, ending the first 10 minutes of play with a 30-11 lead, the most points UNC has scored in a period this season. The team entered halftime with a 57-29 lead.

The Tar Heels led throughout, and the largest UNC lead came in the fourth period where the Tar Heels were up by 43 points at 88-45.

Watts credited the building of team chemistry for her and Walker’s increased production.

“Our first two college games I think we just weren’t exactly in the flow of things and now we’re starting to mesh with our team more, so we’re playing well together.”

Walker cited the team’s 21 assists as proof of the team’s development, while Hatchell said her favorite aspect of the game was the team’s free-throw attempts, in which the Tar Heels completed 21 of 22 attempts from the line.

“I think we did a little wrong by Jamie the last two games because it did feel like she had the team on her back, and so I think with us stepping up she didn’t have to do as much and we could all just come together. The chemistry is coming together and we’ll be able to win tough games,” Walker said.

Next up for the Tar Heels is a Friday night 6:00 game in Carmichael Arena against Fairleigh Dickinson. Hatchell said the game marks senior forward Xylina McDaniel’s return. McDaniels has been out since her season-ending injury against Elon on December 21 of last year.

“She’s been cleared, she practiced yesterday. She warmed up tonight and she’ll be back out there this weekend. This is the Naismith Hall of Fame Classic and we got three really good teams coming in this weekend that we’re going to be playing, so we’re going to be looking forward to that.”


UNC Moves Up to No. 17 in College Football Playoff Rankings

The North Carolina Tar Heels moved up to number 17 in the College Football Playoff Rankings released on Tuesday night.

The Tar Heels have won nine straight games after the season-opening loss to South Carolina.

UNC was ranked 23rd in last week’s rankings and Carolina moved up to number 12 in the latest AP Poll.

Carolina faces off with Virginia Tech on Saturday in Frank Beamer’s final home game leading the Hokie program.