North Carolina has apologized for damaging Duke's facilities while celebrating its win over the Blue Devils on Thursday. The cost to repair the damages will likely exceed $10,000.
As is tradition, Tar Heels players began spray painting the Victory Bell trophy, given to the winning team each year in the rivalry, their school color of light blue after beating Duke 45-20. Errant paint resulted in damage to multiple areas of the Blue Devils' facilities.
North Carolina coach Larry Fedora and athletic director Bubba Cunningham called Duke counterparts David Cutcliffe and Kevin White on Friday to apologize, and North Carolina said it will cover the costs of repairs.
Tar Heels spokesman Kevin Best also released the following statement, from the Herald-Sun:
"We would like to apologize to the Duke Football program and Duke University for some inappropriate actions after last Thursday night's game in Durham. Our team took the celebrations too far when they were painting the bell, resulting in damage to some of the facilities at Duke. We take full responsibility for our actions and will be paying for all costs associated with the cleanup. We view this as a rivalry built on mutual respect and we expect our players to behave better in a way that is more befitting of the rivalry."
Sources told the Herald-Sun that areas damaged by the paint include the field at Wallace Wade Stadium, the visiting team locker room and the practice field adjacent to the locker room, with "UNC" painted in several areas of the locker room and the practice facility that houses it.
According to the report, the cost to repair the damages will exceed $10,000.
North Carolina's win was its first in the series since 2011. Prior to that, the Tar Heels defeated Duke in their previous eight matchups and 21 of their past 22.
The Victory Bell became a part of the rivalry in 1948.
- Ben Estes