Once more, the North Carolina football team finds itself embroiled in a position controversy. No, no, not quarterback. Punter. The Tar Heels sunk to new lows Saturday in their 59-7 loss to Maryland at Kenan Stadium, turning in such a desultory performance that the shoddy play of punter John Lafferty and a slightly better showing by his backup, Paul Roberts, actually stood out as one of the major subplots of the game. Lafferty struggled mightily with his punts before UNC coach John Bunting finally yanked him from the game after the first half. On his first attempt, Lafferty
If Sam Aiken and Chesley Borders have their way, there will be plenty of pictures of them striking celebratory poses in the end zone this season. No, not pictures snapped by media photographers. But by themselves. With their hands as imaginary cameras. The North Carolina wideouts started a post-touchdown celebration in practice this preseason that seems more fit for the runway than the football field. When one of them scores, the other pretends to take pictures of his teammate while he does his best bodybuilder imitation.
DURHAM -- As the names were read at the conference's banquet Thursday night in Greensboro, it seemed the perfect inspirational tool had landed beneficently in the collective lap of the North Carolina men's lacrosse team. The final tally of the 11-member All-ACC team, as voted upon by the conference's four head coaches, was most telling: five players from Virginia, four from Maryland, two from Duke and zero from UNC. The message, in the eyes of the Tar Heels, was clear: Nobody else thinks we're any good.
Making the switch to collegiate lacrosse has had its share of challenges for Jed Prossner and Paul Spellman. But, thankfully, the North Carolina freshmen have been able to go through it together -- supporting each other, nourishing each other. And always, above all else, ripping on each other during practice. "Spellman thinks he can always stop the ball," said Prossner, a starting attackman, after a recent UNC practice. "I always show him who's good out there."
With his team trailing by two goals midway through the second quarter, Bryant Will caught out of the corner of his right eye what he thought was one of his teammates. The North Carolina freshman midfielder nonchalantly turned to send a pass in that direction, but it wasn't until the ball was leaving his stick and sailing harmlessly out of bounds that he realized his mistake. That was a referee standing over there. Effectively squandering a two-men-up opportunity, it was a mental lapse that typified the afternoon for the youthful Tar Heel men's lacrosse team in its 10-9 loss to seco
AMES, Iowa -- In the eyes of the North Carolina women's basketball team, it sure seemed like the cruelest and most ill-timed occasion for the hardcourt version of Murphy's Law to suddenly strike. A bad night from one of the Tar Heels' big three of guards Coretta Brown and Nikki Teasley and center Candace Sutton has never been a reason to panic. Even the combination of poor showings from two of the three hasn't been cause for alarm.
AMES, Iowa -- Way too many of the shots were falling for her liking, and as each one slipped softly through the net, Nikki Teasley began to get that ominous feeling in the pit of her stomach. North Carolina's All-American guard has long had what she calls a "crazy superstition": If she shoots well during pregame practices and shoot-arounds, she believes, she'll almost always fare poorly come game time. And vice versa. "When I'm making all of them in a row, I start getting shaky," Teasley said. "I'm like, 'Oh, God.'"
Sylvia Crawley didn't see it at first, and the absence troubled her. Not long after Selection Sunday on March 10, the North Carolina women's basketball assistant coach looked in the eyes and listened to the voices of her underclassmen players and could tell something was missing. No excited fire flashing in their irises. No screams of rapture emitting from their larynxes. Sure, the team hadn't watched the NCAA tournament pairings together because of Spring Break, but the lack of outward emotion from the younger players was disconcerting to Crawley nonetheless.
DURHAM -- Serving notice that it might actually be better than advertised, the North Carolina men's lacrosse team began erasing the knocks that have plagued it in recent years with a 9-7 win against Duke on Wednesday night. Can't beat Duke? The ninth-ranked Tar Heels fell behind by three goals early but came storming back to defeat the Blue Devils for just the second time in the teams' past nine meetings.
It was only about three weeks ago that Steven Will, and the rest of the North Carolina men's lacrosse team, learned a bit of eerie news. Before an afternoon practice, Will, a junior attackman, walked into UNC's locker room, where his teammates were buzzing with shocked incredulity. One of them had recently spoken to a friend who plays for Duke. The friend had said that Dave Klarmann -- who served as head coach at UNC for 10 years before resigning in 2000 amid rumors that he was being forced out -- had been working as an assistant volunteer coach with the Blue Devils.