UNC held a sale of surplus equipment on Saturday morning which included 12,000 items. Most noteworthy among them were jerseys from the football and basketball teams as well as highly coveted Air Jordan footwear.
Obviously this kind of sale would be the akin to a Black Friday event at a retail store. UNC stated prior to Saturday that people would be allowed to line up starting at 4 AM. Various Twitter accounts attested to people showing up prior to that. By the time the doors opened at 7 AM the bleachers at Fetzer Field were full of people hoping to buy something.
From there the reactions regarding the sale have ranged from mixed to negative.
First up were reactions to people who, in true American fashion, turned their purchases around in lightning fashion to sell them at higher prices on sites like Craigslist and eBay.
This sort of thing hasn't sat well with many who felt the sale was for Tar Heels fans who wanted a chance to buy some authentic merchandise at a discount rate. There were also people who waited in line only to find much of the merchandise gone with some of it purchased by individuals who were hording items for the purpose of selling them for profit.
Then there were the current and former athletes who watched equipment they used sold by the school without them at least being given a chance to purchase items of their choice.
How can they do that? I would of easily bought my jerseys if I had a chance. But a random person gets first dibs on my jersey I worked for?— Tre Boston (@TreBos10) May 14, 2016
Then on top of that UNC makes revenue off our old jerseys and we receive not one penny! Cmon man I love UNC but that's just wrong! #YardSale— Tre Boston (@TreBos10) May 14, 2016
We'd rather sell merchandise than give it to the players who earned it. Smh.— jordan fieulleteau (@jordan_for6) May 14, 2016
According to UNC, the schools was bound by state law to give the public a fair chance to purchase the items.
In addition, NCAA rules are likely a factor in what athletes can receive from the school, even jerseys, gloves, shoes they used.
Whatever the case it would appear the yard sale came off as some negative publicity for the school though in its defense, UNC did nothing improper. Still, this is just another stark example in college athletics of everyone pocketing money and merchandise save for the athletes themselves.