Last year the ACC had a line inside a press release that didn't mention North Carolina by name, but it was about North Carolina:
Conference Policy and Procedures
The decision was made that should a member institution be ineligible for postseason competition due to NCAA sanctions, it will be ineligible for regular season or divisional recognition.
Seems pretty clear. The Tar Heels couldn't play in the ACC Championship Game as part of its postseason ban due to NCAA sanctions, and the league wouldn't recognize them as a division champion if it finished in first place.
North Carolina didn't pay too much attention to that statement then, and it isn't paying much attention now.
North Carolina wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator Gunter Brewer tweeted out a couple pictures of Tar Heels billboards in Charlotte, with one interesting one.
"2012 ACC Coastal Division Champions!" the sign said, according to the picture sent out by the Tar Heels assistant.
North Carolina did tie for first place in the Coastal Division at 5-3, and is seemingly going rogue and giving itself that division title. Then again, when that order came down from the ACC, Tar Heels coach Larry Fedora didn't seem to care too much about it:
“We’re going to compete for it, and that’s still our goal,” Fedora said, according to the News & Observer. “… So it doesn’t change anything for us.”
Asked if he’d consider the Tar Heels the division champions if they finished atop the Coastal, Fedora said, “No doubt about it.”
There you have it. No need to wait for that stuffy conference to recognize you as champions. Just go ahead and proclaim it yourself.
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