Local News

Tar Heels Unfazed by Old Well Vandals

Posted February 20, 2008
Updated February 21, 2008

— With bright sunshine and a cool breeze on a Wednesday afternoon, the quad at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was full of students socializing, studying and relaxing.

"(It's) pretty much another day," sophomore Drew Turnie said.

Few people seemed to be aware that vandals struck the face of UNC – the Old Well – which sits at the heart of campus along Cameron Avenue.

Crews had it cleaned by Wednesday morning. University officials believe the act was tied to Wednesday night's matchup between the No. 3 Tar Heels and the N.C. State Wolfpack.

The Wolfpack was looking to break a three-time game losing streak and defeat the Tar Heels in Raleigh for the second straight season. Earlier this season, then-No. 1 Carolina downed the Pack 93-62 in Chapel Hill.

No one WRAL interviewed Wednesday seemed surprised or impressed that someone threw a cup of red paint on what some consider to be an icon.

"Last year, they took our newspapers and replaced it with theirs," sophomore Caroline Morton said.

"They try to make us their rival, but Duke is our main rival," Turnie said. "Duke's our competition."

On a campus where red was once forbidden on game day, the winds seem to be changing.

"I just woke up this morning, put on the first T-shirt I found, and I mean, I don't think about it," Morton said. "I don't think about State being a big rival like they think we are to them."

School officials said the Old Well incident is reminiscent of 2005, when the Bell Tower was vandalized.

"They spray-painted all over the steps on the columns, even on (the) beautiful plaque they have on the front of it," said senior David Steele, the master bell-ringer on campus.

Steele just hopes something good comes from all of this.

"I'm hoping, 'cause three years ago after they did the Bell Tower, we won the national championship," he said. "So, let's hope it's an omen."


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  • readme Feb 21, 2008

    I love this article, and I am proud of the UNC students and what they said in interviews. They are completely indifferent towards State. State is just not relevant anymore. That is the best attitude to have towards them until they can put together some wins and gain some respect. No matter how many buildings get splashed with red paint.

  • TarheelTurtle Feb 21, 2008

    student: the only thing I'm reading this morning are the box scores from last night...have a good day, study hard!

  • NCSUBAEstudent Feb 21, 2008

    Anyone painting the tunnel is not vandalism. It is there for a reason, but visual defamation of another school on their grounds nonetheless is just wrong. NCSU students do not come over to UNC and paint obscene comments anywhere on that campus. Tarholeturtle, campus police don't have time to just stand at the tunnel and watch it especially when its not even a crime to paint it. They are busy looking out for the safety of people on campus. And about the grass...Vandalism is deliberately mischievous or malicious destruction or damage of property. That grass is NCSU's property and it was deliberately, mischievously destroyed when UNC was burned into it. So therefore, it was a case of vandalism. Maybe you should read up on definitions and NC General Statutes.

  • bbartley1 Feb 20, 2008

    I 2nd the notion that the ESPN juggernaut pimps the Dook vs. fUNC rivalry to ungodly proportions. Just look at their horrible college basketball gameday program, with some sorry players from each school. Yes, NCSU has taken a back seat because we suffered through self- imposed sanctions to clean up our basketball program, & then Herb treating every game the same. Plus fUNC and Dook have continued to maintain a high level of excellence outside of the Vanilla Ice & Coach K “my back hurts” years. Make no mistake the Tar Holes hate losing to us. And don’t argue that we aren’t your main rivals. How does you fight song go again?

    As for Moo-U, I would expect a school that only produces vegetarians & news reporters to start coming up with something more creative. Seems like you all would have a lot of time on your hands with course like Tofu grilling and Tele-prompter reading. We products of “Moo-U” are too busy inventing the pressure washer and chemicals you needed earlier. Tha

  • rumbleehockey03 Feb 20, 2008

    who was that that said state has a good engineering dept.? most of the engineers from state where I work (which is quite a lot) end up messing up their projects and getting fired

  • dspenny Feb 20, 2008

    So defensive...

  • rumbleehockey03 Feb 20, 2008


  • rumbleehockey03 Feb 20, 2008

    theyre must be a state fan approving comments right now because they wont post any of mine

  • rumbleehockey03 Feb 20, 2008

    You can read it like a book. Hoping for something like that, here's to hoping!!

    great comment

  • TarheelTurtle Feb 20, 2008

    tl...you oughta know. Just in case you are wondering, I already have one daughter who has an EE degree from State, and a son with a double major in Chem Eng/Biochem at State now. Never questioned their educational value.

    Yes, penny, I do and I'm proud of it. Don't be jealous..strive to be better.