Jason Capel Upset with Treatment from Alma Mater UNC; Jeff Capel Responds
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Shortly after Nike Sibande blocked Caleb Love’s shot to secure a win for Pitt at the Dean E. Smith Center, the Panthers piled into the hallway and visitors locker room to celebrate their victory.
And then, after the cheering settled, Jason Capel started to yell. The Pitt assistant coach wasn’t screaming at anyone in particular, but his visceral choice words were targeted at his alma mater, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
“Y’all gonna disrespect me? All I did for this program? Y’all gonna boo me? I held this sh*t together when Matt Doherty tore it apart,” Capel was overheard saying by a Pittsburgh Sports Now reporter. “F*ck that sh*t.”
Jason Capel yelling outside of the Pitt locker room: “Y’all gonna disrespect me? All I did for this program? Y’all gonna boo me? I held this shit together when Matt Doherty tore it apart. Fuck that shit.”
— Mitchell Northam (@primetimeMitch) February 2, 2023
After Jason Capel’s brief blowup, Pitt head coach Jeff Capel addressed it during the postgame press conference. The elder Capel called his brother’s relationship with North Carolina, “complicated” and defended him.
“My brother loves this school, he dreamt of coming here as a player when we were little,” Jeff Capel said. “This is the place that he always dreamt of playing. He wore that jersey with a lot of pride, and since he’s left here there has been a lot of disrespect towards him.”
Jason Capel played four seasons for UNC from 1998 to 2002, starting in 114 of the 120 games he played for Carolina. As a sophomore, he had 10 rebounds and nine points in UNC’s national semifinal loss to Florida. He was the captain and leading scorer for the Tar Heels his senior season, but that team went 8-20 and was one of the worst in Carolina history.
In trying to pinpoint what sparked Jason’s outburst, Jeff Capel pointed to a “tweet” but wouldn’t specify which one. A source familiar with the situation told Pittsburgh Sports Now that the tweet that fired up the Capels was this one from UNC’s men’s basketball Twitter account that shows walk-on Creighton Lebo sticking his tongue out while wearing the same jersey number — 25 — worn by Jason Capel as a Tar Heel.
“I don’t think it’s coming from within the basketball program. I don’t know who controls their social media… I was hoping he didn’t see it… I thought it was them trolling him,” Jeff Capel said. “It’s a complicated relationship with him and North Carolina. He loves it, but I think at times he doesn’t feel that back.”
Jeff Capel also shared an alleged incident from the 2009 Elite Eight. Capel was coaching Oklahoma and they were set to play Carolina for a shot to go to the Final Four. Jason — to support his brother — was wearing an Oklahoma shirt at the game and was subsequently jeered by Carolina fans, Jeff said, and former Carolina player intervened and cooled the situation.
“And the Carolina fans were pretty shitty towards him. Excuse my language, but pretty, pretty nasty,” Jeff Capel said. “For me, it’s just really interesting man, because I grew up in the state, and this is one of the most tradition-laden programs in the history of college athletics. Not just college basketball. You hear about the Carolina family, and it’s just amazing to me that their social media people would do that… Obviously the game was emotional.”
George Michalowski contributed to this report.
“since he’s left here there has been a lot of disrespect towards him”
Over a Tweet?
Over getting booed?
Grow the F up.
For sure. But he probably sees the respect Jeff gets every time he goes to Cameron. Fans taking photos with him, applause, etc. Gotta be frustrating to go to UNC and get booed – especially because he probably puts the Duke and UNC programs on equal pedestals of classiness. But you are right, seems to be a bit of an overreaction on his part.
Who cares. Get over it. Show respect to Pitt.
NC = No Class.
Carolina fan who could not care less whatJason or Jeff Capel think about our program. Pitt beat us fair and square twice this season and once last year as well. Congratulations to them for that. We have games to worry about this weekend and beyond.
UNC is a bunch of over hyped losers. we have schooled them twice this year and will be glad to spank them again if needed. HTP!
How many National Basketball Champioships does Pitt have?
How old is his brother? Embarrassing and pathetic.
An assistant coach needs to first be professional but mostly be a role model to your team and stay in the background. Jason Capel, for whatever reason, does none of that and makes everything about himself. In the history of NC hoops he’s a very minor footnote and he needs to realize his name isn’t Jordan, Carter, Stackhouse, etc. Stop getting upset about tweets like you’re a teenager and worry more about coaching a fun team who is on the verge of making the tournament.
Thanks for the ancient history lesson and our “fun team” certainly takes extra joy from beating your “pre season champions” on a regular basis.
Jim Boeheim has more gaffes than this during literally every post-game presser. This is nothing.
This is unacceptable by any coach at any level. He needs to be a role model for the players and keep his cool at all times. It really down plays a huge win for Pitt! Beating UNC 2x in a year is unbelievable, and that should be the focus – NOT THIS.
I don’t think it downplays it too much though. This is a minor story that will be buried by the sports outlet’s algorithms, if they even have the story, by the end of the day today. The quad 1 win will be there on selection Sunday. And UNC will keep winning – they are good. The win will only look better as the season continues.
Jason is an emotional guy; that’s his strength. Jeff is quieter and more controlled; that’s his strength. The entire coaching staff is made up of people with different approaches. Before bystanders pass judgment on a very minor so-called incident, they should look at the result, and this year so far the result is far better than most people expected. Jeff and the staff have meshed this group into a unit that is much stronger than its parts, and that’s what we should be talking about. Great win last night, and this team seems to be headed for the dance…..’nuff said.
I agree with this. This is MINOR “incident” that no one will remember after about noon today. The win stands.
I don’t know what was said to Jason. I don’t mind him responding. This is a nonstory except UNC fans are upset. H2P!
Coach Nepo. Keeping it classy…..
He is a very fragile person. So someone else wear your number and you get upset. You wear an opponent’s jersey and get booed snd get upset. Grow up!
I can only say not all Tar Heels feel bad toward Jason. There will always be blow hards at any school. I wish Jason the best.