Ed McCaffrey has six words for critics, former UNC players, transfers, skeptics. “I’ve done everything the right way.”


Ed McCaffrey’s Bears are the kings of turnovers. Just not the good kind.

From Aug. 1, 2021 through this past June 30, UNC saw a reported 41 players leave via the transfer portal. And some, as the Greeley Tribune chronicled via anonymous sourcing, did not go quietly.

“Look,” McCaffrey told me at the annual Front Range Huddle in LoDo last week when I asked about the assertions that he, and UNC, had “failed their student-athletes.” “Anonymous is synonymous with pusillanimous as far as I’m concerned.”

Pusillanimous: Adjective. To show lack of courage or determination; timid.

Hey, regime changes in college football have rarely been bloodless affairs. Promises from previous staffs are routinely broken. Offensive systems flip from run-happy to pass-happy, and vice versa. The new guy’s a jerk. Happens all the time.

But come on, Ed: 41 guys?

“Look, there were a lot of unhappy players (at UNC),” the former Broncos icon continued. “Last year was rough. In anybody’s defense who left here unhappy, it was a rough year.

“If I was a player, and I’m like, ‘We don’t get to practice or meet in person and I gotta wear a mask and our schedule keeps changing,’ I’d have been frustrated too.

“It was through no fault of mine. I didn’t do that to (them). But that was the coaching change, and guys that have been here for five years that are used to doing it a certain way (disagreed). Look, if you’re the type of player that speaks out about a program once you leave, then you weren’t the type of player we wanted in our program, right?”


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