North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Drake Maye made waves this week when he took a shot at in-state rival NC State. Maye has since apologized, and now UNC head coach Mack Brown has spoken out about his comments.
During his press conference on Tuesday, Maye was asked about staying in-state and playing for the Tar Heels. Maye said he always wanted to play for the flagship program in North Carolina, and he jabbed NC State in the process.
“Whether you want to admit it or not, growing up in Carolina, you’re gonna be a Carolina fan,” Maye said. “Some people may say (NC) State, but really people who go to State just can’t get into Carolina.”
Brown said Maye was just joking and asserted that the true freshman quarterback wouldn’t try to disparage anyone intentionally. Brown said the age of social media has made it so that players like Maye can no longer talk smack at the podium.
“You can’t be cute anymore. He tried to be funny,” Brown said, according to Inside Carolina. “Drake is one of the nicest young people I’ve ever met in my life. And he’s got great faith, and he always wants to be classy and do things right. And he was cutting up with you all, and I said, ‘You can’t do it.’ I’m a smart aleck. I like to cut up. I like to laugh. I like to tell funny stories. And that kind of dies now with social media and in the modern day. He was absolutely cutting up. Obviously, it wasn’t true.”
Maye took to social media and issued an apology for his remarks just hours after his press conference.
“I made a remark today about NC State, and I want to apologize,” Maye wrote. “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.”
Maye was a five-star recruit and the No. 4 quarterback in the 2021 signing class, according to the 247Sports rankings. In three games as the Tar Heels’ full-time starter, Maye has lit up defenses for 930 yards, 11 touchdowns and one interception while completing 74.2% of his passes.