Local News

Tar Heels Unfazed by Old Well Vandals

Posted February 20, 2008 12:54 p.m. EST
Updated February 21, 2008 7:59 a.m. EST

— 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."