UNC coach Larry Fedora defends decision to give team championship rings

North Carolina coach Larry Fedora said this week he expected backlash over his decision to give his team ACC Coastal Division championship rings even though the Tar Heels didn’t win the title thanks to NCAA sanctions that made them ineligible for the postseason.

Georgia Tech was the Coastal Division, according to the ACC, and played in the conference title game.

"I knew there would be but that’s not why it was done," Fedora said of the criticism. "I didn’t do it for the backlash. It was done for those seniors and those kids that accomplished everything they could accomplish. They had nothing to do with what happened so they were paying the price. I felt like they deserved it."

Fedora and his players were serving ACC sanctions for violations no one on the current team or staff had any involvement in committing. The team knew at the beginning of the season that it had no postseason opportunity, but still managed to win their division.

Fedora thought that effort deserved to be recognized.

"I was searching for any reward that I could give them because I was proud of what they did," he said.

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