By Zac Ellis
Larry Fedora knew exactly what he was getting into. At the ACC's spring meetings this week, the North Carolina head coach said he expected there would be critics of his decision to award rings to his team honoring their Coastal Division championship.
"I knew there would be but that’s not why it was done," Fedora said. "I didn’t do it for the backlash. It was done for those seniors and those kids that accomplished everything they could accomplish. They had nothing to do with what happened so they were paying the price. I felt like they deserved it."
The Tar Heels would have played for the ACC Championship last season had they not been serving a postseason ban resulting from NCAA violations under former coach Butch Davis. Instead, Georgia Tech represented the division in the title game matchup against Florida State.
The ACC does not officially recognize North Carolina as last season's Coastal Division champions. North Carolina isn't the only program boasting unusual hardware nowadays. Last month Ohio State players received "12-0 champions" rings after an undefeated 2012 season, but like the Tar Heels, the Buckeyes were ineligible for the postseason during that run.