In-state college rivalries can have a certain edge to them.
The Iron Bowl between Auburn and Alabama splits households down the middle every fall, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State’s rivalry gets so crazy, that it is known as “Bedlam,” and apparently, the rivalry between North Carolina and North Carolina State is alive and well.
On Tuesday, North Carolina freshman quarterback Drake Maye took a lighthearted jab at N.C. State, fanning the flames of the rivalry.
Maye was asked about Carolina’s former quarterback, Sam Howell, who also chose to stay in-state and play for the Tar Heels.
“I didn’t want to miss out on the home state,” Maye told reporters on Tuesday. “Seeing Sam, being a hometown kid too. Whether you want to admit it or not, growing up in Carolina, you’re going to be a Carolina fan. Some people may say State, but really people who go to State just can’t get into Carolina.
“At the end of the day, playing for Carolina is what a lot people from North Carolina want to do. I didn’t want to miss out on that, and obviously the family history.”
Maye’s family has a long and storied history in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with Drake’s father starting at quarterback for the Tar Heels from 1986 to 1987. Drake’s brother, Luke, hit one of the most iconic shots in North Carolina basketball history on the way to winning the 2017 college basketball championship.
Maye later apologized for his comments, calling them “inappropriate.”
“I made a remark today about NC State, and I want to apologize,” Maye posted to Twitter. “I was answering a question about playing in-state and said something I shouldn’t have. I said it as a joke but it was inappropriate. I feel bad and need to do a better job representing our program and this University.”
While North Carolina prepares for Notre Dame in Week 4, the Tar Heels and the No. 12 Wolfpack will play the day after Thanksgiving, and North Carolina State will undoubtedly use Maye’s comments on Tuesday as bulletin board material.
Maye is in his first year starting for the Tar Heels and is looking to lead the Tar Heels to a 4-0 start to the season on Saturday against the Fighting Irish.