The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) is removing a sign from I-85 that celebrates UNC Chapel Hill’s 2017 men’s basketball national championship after angry UNC Charlotte 49er fans took to social media.
The sign, placed between W.T. Harris Boulevard and Mallard Creek, is located between two exits near UNC Charlotte’s campus. NCDOT recently approved a program that allows schools to request and pay for signs that list the university or college and team that has won a national championship.
NCDOT announced in December that the signs would be on I-95, I-77, I-40 and I-85.
After UNC Charlotte 49er fans took their pleas to Twitter, NCDOT announced Thursday that the sign would be relocated closer to the South Carolina state line on I-77.
Nick McEntire was the first to post the sign to Twitter. “Looking to see if anyone else noticed this: there appears to be a DOT sign on 85N between Harris and Mallard Creek celebrating the Tar Heels 2017 national championship,” he wrote. “Am I seeing that right?”
“We, the UNCC population, don’t want another school’s accomplishments next to our campus,” wrote Freshman Tristan Field.
According to the NCDOT Twitter account, the sign was originally supposed to be installed north of I-77 along I-85 S but was placed in its current location due to construction.
In response to the sign, students and alumni began the hashtag #droptheUNC in hopes to change the university name. It’s not a new idea. In 2009, the Student Government Association (SGA) conducted a poll to see how many students wanted to change the name.
“It is time to at least begin talking about [a name change], to better create our own identity and make us more marketable as a university,” said Derek Miller, a senior.