Saturday, November 5, 2011

Withers, O'Brien shake hands in pre-game

RALEIGH - After exchanging explosive words earlier this week, N.C. State coach Tom O'Brien and North Carolina interim coach Everett Withers shook hands in what appeared to be a friendly greeting 44 minutes before today's scheduled 12:30 p.m. kickoff at Carter-Finley Stadium.

O'Brien walked to midfield and shook Withers' hand. Surrounded by photographers, the coaches spoke briefly, then parted and went back to coach their teams.

Earlier in the week, Withers infuriated O'Brien by saying in a taped radio interview that UNC is the flagship school in the state and that recruits should compare graduation rates because UNC has a different academic environment from N.C. State's.

O'Brien responded by defending N.C. State's academics and criticizing UNC for the NCAA investigation into impermissible benefits and academic fraud that led to allegations of nine major violations against the Tar Heel football program.

But during his interview Thursday after practice, O'Brien also called on fans to be civil Saturday. It appeared that the coaches led the way with that this afternoon.

"As far as our crowd should be, there’d better not be anything in the stands," O'Brien said Thursday. "We have a lot of dignity at this school and we’d better show it. And we can’t lower ourselves to retaliations or fights or anything stupid like that. Our people have to be there in spirit of the game and root like crazy and play hard, just as we’re going to play hard in the game. But after the game, hey, the game’s over. Move on."

Ken Tysiac.


Anonymous said...

As a neutral fan from Georgia, you can't help but dislike a bunch of whiny cheaters like UNC. MAAANN am I glad the Pack own these guys!!! said...

This can't work in fact, that is exactly what I consider.