UNC interim head coach Everett Withers announced on Monday that linebacker Ebele Oakapu has been dismissed for "conduct detrimental to the team." Okakpu started five games this season recording 14 tackles. He will remain on scholarship for the remainder of the year and is on track to graduate.
Okakpu played in the game against Miami and according to the IC message board, exchanged words with UNC assistant coach Allen Mogridge.
After being replaced by Lipford, he came off the field and threw his helmet.
Mogridge then came over to calm him down and the two got into a heated exchange.
Certainly one bad exchange does not spell the end of a player's career which would lead me to believe this is either not the first such incident or Okakpu has been paying rent in Withers' doghouse already this season.
In terms of the bigger picture, this simply adds to the notion that UNC season is in a full-on stumble just past the halfway mark. The past two games have seen lackluster performances at home against beatable teams and now a player has been dismissed. Obviously Withers is making an effort at establishing a firm hand with his players and maybe this is the kind of thing that will motivate others.
From a football perspective it is another body gone at a position where Kevin Reddick has struggled with injuries and Zach Brown has had his own attitude issues. On the flip side, Okakpu's dismissal may open the door for another player to step up and make plays because UNC could really use that right now.