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Larry Fedora Says Stop Booing Holden Thorp Or He Will Crush You

OK, not really, but do you want to take a chance of crossing Larry Fedora?

After Saturday's spring football game, Inside Carolina hosted a charity event called "The Bash" in which Fedora addressed the crowd. In the middle of the usual rah-rah stuff about finding playmakers and building the program and about Tar Heel fans being positive, he gave his unequivocal support for Chancellor Holden Thorp:

Whether you like it or not, stay positive in everything we do. And that means everything. That means our administration. That means Holden Thorp, who is the man, in my opinion...

(light booing)

See, you know, if you would say boo to that, you're saying boo to me. You're either with us, or against us, is how I look at it.


You're either part of the solution or part of the problem is the way I look at it. And there isn't middle ground. You're either with us or against us. That's it...

When you're booing him, you're booing me. You're booing our football team. You're booing the University. If you love this University, then you won't boo him. You'll support him. And you'll support Bubba. And you'll support all the athletes at North Carolina, no matter what.

You would certainly expect Fedora to demonstrate loyalty to the chancellor who hired him. But even I was surprised at the way he jumped up and down all over the third rail of  the football unpleasantness, UNC fans' angst over Holden Thorp. He could have soft-pedaled it and danced around the edges, particularly at an event sponsored by IC, which has made a living off fans' conflicting views of the chancellor. Then again, that would be completely out of character for Fedora, who is all-in all the time.

Despite the "if you're not with us, you're against us" bombast, Fedora's larger point is spot on: it's time to move on and support the University, the new staff, and the student-athletes. The Butch Davis ship has sailed, returning only to cash his buyout checks. Being butt-hurt over Davis' firing or Thorp's handling of it at this point only highlights negativity. What UNC's program needs moving forward is a positive outlook on the part of the program and its fans.

Rational people can agree to disagree on the particulars of how the football unpleasantness unfolded. I personally believe Thorp ultimately did the right thing in sacking Davis but it was a gosh-awful mess getting to the right decision. You many have a different opinion and I fully respect that but we don't need to engage in deceased equine abuse. I will only say that the doom-sayers who predicted the 2011 team wouldn't win four games and that Thorp wanted to de-emphasize football were proven wrong on both counts. From the looks of it, both Bubba Cunningham and Larry Fedora were home-run hires, after which Thorp surely intends to return to South Building and only show up on TV standing beside coaches accepting championship trophies.

Booing Thorp at this stage serves no practical purpose other than to put you on Fedora's bad side, and nobody wants to be on Larry Fedora's bad side.