Posted by: Dr. Grover B. Proctor, Jr. | 1 June 2017

A Tar Heel Excommunication

Life MemberThe unthinkably unimaginable has happened! 🙂

Your humble correspondent, Grover Proctor — lifelong fierce and loyal Tar Heel fan, who bleeds Carolina blue, and who was literally “Tar Heel born and Tar Heel bred” — has been excommunicated from a private Facebook group that calls itself “Die Hard Tar Heel Fans Only!!! (Official).” (Translation: I was booed, hissed, cursed, fired, dismissed, kicked out, shooed away, shoved aside, run out of town on a rail, etc., etc. — in case it wasn’t clear.)

Me? Unceremoniously stricken from the rolls of Tar Heel fandom? Surely you jest!

Oh, I was welcomed with open arms, as long as my participation exclusively mirrored the group’s choruses of “rah rah Carolina-lina” and “aren’t we the greatest in the world? and eff-you if you say we aren’t” and “let’s think of every smug, hateful, and obscene thing we can say about Duke [which, of course, they spell “dook”], Coach K, Tony ‘one-and-done’ Bradley, Rashad ‘turncoat’ McCants, Jay ‘Duke Boy’ Bilas, anything at all to do with the NCAA, and everything that is not ‘pry the Dean Dome from my cold dead fingers’ loyalty.”

Did everyone behave this way? Of course not; I found many wonderful, ebullient, friendly Heels fans there, and I thoroughly enjoyed my interactions with them. But it surely seemed as though the jerks were often the most vocal.

Ah, but among some in the group, there was a feeling that the serpent had nefariously crept into Paradise, in the form of my recent post (click here to read the unabridged version), where I urged the Carolina administration and leadership to take ownership of the school’s academic scandal, accept their deserved punishment, apologize to those harmed, and never ever do it again.

To be fair, I got as many “Likes” from group members as there were screeds from “disagreers,” before they once-and-for-all severed my metaphorical UNC umbilical cord. There was even one member whose opening volley was fiercely in “attack Grover” mode, but who, after a few brief exchanges of civil discourse between us, turned out to be one of the nicest people I’ve met on the Interwebs. It’s a friendship I hope lasts a long time.

But, boy howdy! The lethal venom and totally ad hominem attacks that ensued would make Bobby Knight blush. You would have thought I was the fleshly embodiment of the Voldemoron spirits of everyone who espouses the ABC philosophy (Anybody but Carolina). I was accused of being a Duke fan who crept in unawares (“go back to your dookie group!”), a shill for the evil NCAA, and obviously a misanthropic surrogate for Rashad “Benedict Arnold” McCants.

The group’s Moderator boasts that the site “is a NO DRAMA FREE group!!” I do not think that means what he thinks it means. The group proudly boasts it is “a place for all Tar Heel Fans to unite!!!” (Your experience may vary.) Grounds for getting “kicked out of the group” consist of “Don’t start nothing.” Saying that I’m a huge Tar Heel fan, but that I abhorred the UNC athletics/academics scandal… that was “starting something”?

Many of the rank-and-file members of the group (there are 38,000+ of them at present), as well as apparently its Moderator, will brook absolutely no criticism of anything related to Carolina Nation. Unless, of course, you are criticizing Rashad McCants, in which case it seems to be open season to libel him with as many profanity-laced tirades as you please.




(For those of you who don’t know Mr. McCants’ significance here, he had the unmitigated gall to assert that, while a student and star basketballer at UNC, he had been placed in a series of “no-work, easy-A” classes after his GPA began to drop into dangerous territory that threatened his playing eligibility. Lo and behold, several years (and $3.1 million) later, Carolina commissioned the Wainstein Report, which affirmed all of that sordid academic story. However, as I found out by my brief affiliation with this FB group, there is an amazing level of vituperative hatred of Mr. McCants for his supposed “traitorous lies” — the same Rashad McCants whom they wildly cheered not all that long ago when he helped Carolina win a national championship. Go figure.)

Back to my excommunication. Please understand: I absolutely agree with the right of the Founder or Moderator of a Facebook group to include and exclude anyone, at will. Admit me; throw me out; it’s your prerogative. That’s not at issue.

This turn of events would be HILARIOUS to me (ME? not Tar Heel enough for a UNC fan page??), were it not one more sign of the times — We are “us” and there are only two possibilities for you: if you are 100% “us,” then, by definition, there is no one greater than you; but if you are NOT “us,” then DIE, HERETIC, and burn in effing heck. (Which, by the way, was one of the things written to me on the site, though my version here has softened the linguistic edges.) It feels like a culturally systemic case of borderline personality disorder.

Do I care about being thrown out of the supposed “in-crowd”? First of all, they aren’t that; and second, I truly could not care less one way or the other. I got into the group to have fun and share information with like-minded Carolina fans, and I now walk away for the same reason.

Dean SmithBut folks — especially those in the “I love Carolina” universe — can we just try a little harder to re-establish civility, harmony, decency, humility, brotherhood/sisterhood, and a love of hearing opposing viewpoints in a spirit of camaraderie and growth, in our discourse and in our lives?

What would Dean want us to do? “I do believe in praising that which deserves to be praised.” “You should just do the right thing.”

Let’s try. Let’s meet half way.





  1. Years ago after returning from over 6 years in the Middle East I was shocked to find that all freshmen at Carolina would be required to take one or two classes on Islam. This was years ago so this is as close to accurate as I can recall. But I ended up on the Carolina “bad guy” list for having the gall to suggest that Islam could not be learned or even understood in just one or two classes and it would be much more beneficial to teach a course on Christianity. Back when I was at Carolina due to it’s popularity, the hardest class to get into was one on Christianity. But I guess a course on Christianity now days would be much to plebeian.

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