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UNC Band Member Apologizes For Talking Smack About Carolina

11:27 PM, Mar 8, 2013   |    comments
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Greensboro, NC -- On Saturday night, we'll see arguably the biggest rivalry in college basketball play out on the hardwood.

Duke travels eight miles down Tobacco Road to Chapel Hill, where they'll play UNC.

Of course, talking smack is just part of the game. But one Tar Heel band member made what some might call a faux pas.

A Page High School graduate, who now dons Carolina blue, wrote a column in the student newspaper at Duke on Friday.

You can find his column here: http://www.dukechronicle.com/articles/2013/03/08/im-unc-band-i-root-duke

Aaron Hanner plays in the band at UNC. But according to his column, he grew up as a Duke fan.

Hanner told the paper his mom was a team manager for the Duke basketball team in the 1980's, so cheering for the Blue Devils runs in the family.

But he didn't go to Duke. Hanner said the school didn't have his major, so he went to Carolina.

But Hanner's comments, meant to fire up the Blue Devils for Saturday's game, have started a firestorm on social media.

"Seeing those powder-blue argyle-wearing ninnies take the court makes my blood boil," Hanner wrote in the paper.

He went on to write, "I may be wearing Carolina blue and playing in the band section, but the little Duke blue fire is still burning in my heart."

We asked some Carolina fans what they thought about it.

"Definitely a traitor. He should of went to Duke," said one UNC fan.

"I'd have to say, he probably wasn't bred right. Because if he's a true Duke fan, he would of never gone to Carolina," said another fan.

"I think it's great. I think more power to him. I say, it's all about having a good time, enjoying the game...it's all in good fun anyway. But go Carolina!" said Melodi Hodges.

Of course, it's all in fun, but we did give Hanner a chance to defend himself on camera.

He declined and instead, he sent WFMY News 2 a statement.

"I offer my sincere apologies to the UNC community. This letter was intended for the Duke student body and while I knew it would be seen by others, I did not intend to directly target or antagonize UNC or the band program. I failed to anticipate the magnitude of the potential repercussions of my actions, which were off the cuff. Despite my feelings about athletics, I am extremely grateful to UNC for the academic opportunities it has afforded me and to the UNC Band for its excellent leadership and opportunity for community. I made the grave mistake of briefly mentioning my involvement with the band. It was the decision of the editorial staff at the Chronicle to choose a band-centric title, and I would never intentionally target the band program in such a way. I am genuinely remorseful for the controversy my actions caused and I will not be attending the game on Saturday. Once again, I apologize fully to the Carolina community and anyone else who may have been offended by my writing.

And to my fellow band members: My intent with the article was to emphasize my family ties and upbringing. I did NOT choose the title of the article, which was extremely unfortunate. It reflected poorly on the band program, everyone involved with marching band, and Mr. Fuchs himself. I never intended for that to happen, and am extremely filled with the deepest remorse that an organization I have made so many friends in, and one that I love no matter what sports team I pull for, was dragged into this. I offer my sincerest apologies to all of you and hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me for my extremely thoughtless and stupid actions. I really do feel terrible about that. I'm sorry."

WFMY News 2

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