The Daily Tar Heel
Printing news. Raising hell. Since 1893.
Friday, June 21, 2024 Newsletters Latest print issue

We keep you informed.

Help us keep going. Donate Today.
The Daily Tar Heel

Pregame, Game Get Tweaked

And "Aye! Zigga Zoomba" lives again.

This year's Marching Tar Heels revived the traditional UNC athletics song, which is played during pregame activities at Tar Heel Town.

But the tune is a subtle change, just one of a few geared toward North Carolina's football program.

This season, North Carolina coach John Bunting decided to return to uniforms similar to those worn in the 1970s -- a wish easily satisfied by the University's eight-year contract with Nike, valued at $28.34 million.

"It was Coach Bunting's idea," said Kevin Best, assistant director of sports information. "He was the person behind the change. He wanted to get a return to a little bit darker shade of blue, something like the uniforms he wore when he played here in the early '70s."

Bunting was a Tar Heel linebacker who started for three years and helped lead UNC to back-to-back bowl games in 1970 and 1971.

This was the one change that Bunting lobbied for, but his team's fans clamored for changes of another nature -- more opportunities for seats at the North Carolina home games. The outcry came especially in response to UNC's 16-10 victory in the 2001 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl against Auburn.

As a result, UNC officials opted to install 1,150 temporary seats via bleachers in the endzone near Kenan Fieldhouse. The bleachers first were implemented for the Texas game and will be a part of both this weekend's Georgia Tech and the Oct. 12 N.C. State home matches.

"The demand for tickets was so high for those games," Best said.

Norwood Teague, associate athletic director, said there also were slight changes with Tar Heel Town, a fixture for most fans traveling for game day.

"Tar Heel Town is pretty much the same," Teague said. "It was such a hit last year that we didn't want to fix anything that wasn't broken. The only thing we've done out there is to accommodate the concern with grass, with drip lines."

Drip lines are areas where a tree's roots spread out. The concerns, Teague said, were that the home-game celebration was damaging those roots.

"What we've done is rope off those areas that we don't want walking to affect those roots," Teague said. "It's limited our space a bit. Because of that we moved our radio show and the focus of Tar Heel Town down to the steps of Wilson Library and away from the grass."

But Tar Heel Town, which costs UNC a few thousand dollars each time, continues to be important for most fans, drawing more than 3,000 for last week's Texas game.

Teague said he hopes one major change for the future will be more student involvement.

"Tar Heel Town has been a foreign concept to them," he said. "(Carolina) Fever comes out there, but we'd like some more as well."

To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.

Special Print Edition
The Daily Tar Heel 2024 Orientation Guide