Local News

Yow mural defaced on N.C. State campus

Posted January 31, 2009 10:47 p.m. EST
Updated February 1, 2009 11:27 a.m. EST

— A large portrait of North Carolina State University women’s basketball coach Kay Yow, who died one week ago from breast cancer, was defaced by blue graffiti and profanity Saturday night.

The mural of Yow, showing her face and her name intertwined with a pink ribbon against a pink background, was painted on the university’s Free Expression Tunnel early Monday.

N.C. State sophomore Forbes Starling, 19, said he heard from other students that Yow’s mural had been defaced after the N.C. State home game against rival the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Saturday.

Starling said he was shocked to see a blue mustache on Yow’s face and phrases including “cancer rules” and profanity.

“I just wasn’t expecting the anti-Kay Yow and pro-cancer writing,” Starling told WRAL.com late Saturday.

But by Sunday morning, an anonymous painter had plastered pink paint over the defaced portrait and profanity. A group from a sorority came later to do the same thing and, instead, started to work on painting the whole Free Expression Tunnel pink.

Pink is the universal color of breast-cancer awareness.

University police said they received a report about the graffiti, but that unless they find out who painted it, officers cannot pursue the case further.

Though it is unknown who painted over the mural, Starling said it is common for rival teams to write statements on the tunnel following games. The tunnel is normally under watch prior to games.

This is not the first time the Free Expression Tunnel has created controversy. In November, four students admitted to painting racial slurs in the tunnel following the presidential election.