Current Date: Mon, 10 Mar 2014 11:14:16 -0400
According to ESPN, Rivalry Week officially concluded Monday, but the Tobacco Road feud is in full swing.
A day before North Carolina takes on Duke at the Smith Center and week after the original game was postponed due to heavy snowfall and icy roads, someone graffitied a handful of buildings on UNC’s campus including South Building, the Campus Y and the Student Union.
Department of Public Safety spokesman Randy Young said all incidents have been reported this morning, and the investigation is ongoing.
It’s unclear if all vandalism was committed by the same person or group of people.
Greg Johnson, a Carolina Union employee, said he noticed the vandalism on the Student Union when he came into work this morning and reported it to campus police.
“It was the typical ‘GTHC’ kind of stuff,” Johnson said. “They weren’t even creative about it.”
Employees of the facilities maintenance department Gary Thompson and Angelo Baldwin said they got the call to clean up the royal blue graffiti on the Campus Y and South Building Pillars around 8:30 a.m.
The pillars were marked with D-U-K-E while the front of the Campus Y’s steps were painted with a triangle with arrows apparently marking the location of UNC and Duke in the Triangle.
Thompson and Baldwin said they are using a sandblaster to remove the graffiti from South Building, and they will have to paint over the words on the Campus Y. A sandblaster is also being used to remove the Union graffiti.
“Using chalk would express the same thing,” Thompson said. “It does less damage.”
Young said Maintenance and Grounds will do an estimate on monetary damage.
Young said DPS hasn’t identified any suspects at this point and the department is is looking for evidence.
“If anybody sees suspicious behavior in the next day or two, report it,” Young said. “911 is not just about your own personal security. It can be about the security of campus or just any suspicious behavior. Our mantra here is if you see something, say something.”
Young added that defacing public property or damage to real property is a criminal offense.
The Smith Center was graffitied earlier this year with red spray paint leading up to UNC’s game against N.C. State on Feb. 1.
N.C. State is also in the middle of a similar ongoing investigation because officials believe UNC students vandalized parts of its campus.
The UNC-Duke rivalry is no stranger to pranks leading up to the big game.
Last year, the Blue Devil’s mascot head was staked on top of Student Stores.
“It’s something that’s gone on here for decades and I think we only need to look back to last year,” Young said. “It’s not something that is completely unexpected.”
First NC State vandalized the Smith Center with red spray paint, now Duke tagged South Building’s pillars. pic.twitter.com/bCavg1rQWp— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) February 19, 2014
Assistant Sports Editor Grace Raynor contributed to reporting.