Junior Jericho Cook said he created the petition while watching Meeks play during the men’s basketball NCAA tournament, specifically during the final games against the University of Kentucky, University of Oregon and Gonzaga.
“Once I got to looking into it, you know, there are five different categories that causes a player to get their jersey honored and of the five, the only one that seemed feasible was if the team votes the player as MVP on a national championship team, then they would be able to get their jersey honored,” Cook said.
Cook said he started the petition in early April and he posted it to the Overheard at UNC Facebook group, where several people have been sharing it.
Cook said he has been surprised by how many signatures the petition received.
“Right now as of last night we just crossed to having over a thousand, so a thousand a week is pretty good, and if word keeps going, I wouldn’t be surprised if it got maybe even 1,500 or more,” he said Thursday.
As of press time Sunday night, the petition had 1,013 signatures.
Sophomore Emily Kocher said she signed the petition because she was sad Meeks’ jersey wouldn’t be in the rafters.
“I signed the petition because ... he made incredible plays at the end of the game we probably could not secure the win without,” she said.
Sophomore Ciara Smith said she also signed the petition.
“I just feel like Meeks is really improved and that without him and his performance, we would have never made it to the championship, so I feel like he deserved it,” she said.
Cook said he was interested in Meeks after seeing how much he improved in a year and how important he became to bring the title back to Chapel Hill.
“So if Meeks gets his as well, all five of them from last year will be up and I just think that’d be such a cool way to honor him and honor the role that he’s undertaken in this past year, just like you know (Joel) Berry and (Justin) Jackson had as well,” he said.
Cook said he thinks there’s a chance to make the petition succeed as long as people keep signing it. He said he wasn’t sure if they would be able to get the petition to head coach Roy Williams.
“And I’m not even 100 percent sure about this, but I have heard that even if the team were to vote on it, they wouldn’t vote on it until a couple of weeks from now, and that could have just been hearsay but if that’s the case, then there definitely still is a possibility,” Cook said.
Kocher said she doesn’t know if the petition will work or not.
“But it doesn’t hurt to sign something you know, like, if it does work then I’ll be happy that I was part of it, so whether it works or not I don’t mind that I signed,” she said.