The rivalry that has marked the relationship between UNC and Duke University was manifested Tuesday night in the disappearance of the 20-foot-wide Carlyle Cup banner.
Art Chansky, associate general manager of Tar Heel Sports Marketing, said the banner was stolen about 8 p.m. Tuesday from Koury Natatorium during the men's and women's swimming match between the two universities.
"We need it back," Chansky said. "We need a super sleuth on this."
The banner celebrates the Carlyle Cup, which was introduced in August to attract more attention for the Olympic sports programs at UNC and Duke and to intensify the two schools' rivalry. The competition includes every sport that both schools compete in and is tracked by a point system.
Not all officials, however, are as concerned about the missing banner as Chansky, who helped conceive the idea for the competition.
"It's not that big of a deal," said Steve Kirschner, assistant athletic director for media relations, who developed the Carlyle point system. "They can just make another banner."
Chansky said UNC's Carlyle Cup banner is put up just before every home event against Duke and is taken down immediately afterward. At Tuesday's event, the banner was draped at the top of the bleachers. "Somebody could take it down and roll it up at the end of the meet, and people would think the guy was supposed to do it," he said. "The question is why they would want it."
Chansky said the thief might have been in the Duke camp. "I can speculate that it might be the Dookies who stole it because they're behind 13-to-1 in points," he said. "I'm kind of amused. It's in keeping with the Duke-Carolina rivalry."
But he said UNC needs the banner back and a reward is being offered for its return. Chansky also said he plans to report the theft to the campus police.
"It would be very expensive to have another one made," he said. "It's worth a couple hundred dollars."
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