The Origin of UNC Basketball’s “Biscuit Boys”

    BobLee
    December22/ 2015

    Of the many Carolina Basketball Traditions, none is as “quirky” as The Biscuit Boys.Biscuits

    For years they were known as the GPA Guys or The Diversity Squad….their two jobs for years was to (1) up the overall team GPA since they were for-real students going to for-real classes …. and (2) to add a bit of racial diversity to the team picture…. Then in 2007 they became famous in Dean’s Dome as “The Biscuit Boys”.

    If they were an intramural team they would likely go undefeated against “regular students” as they were usually Big Fish in little high school ponds; but they chose a different path – “They” are the “short white kids” on the far end of Ol’ Roy’s bench…. where Ol’ Roy hisownself sat 45 years ago.  Carolina Basketball legendary “Junior Varsity” composed of walk-ons and wannabees… the best of whom actually get to “be on the Varsity” and in blow-outs get in the final 3-4 minutes.   Their “job” is to get UNC to 100 points and get every fan in attendance a free Bojangles’ biscuit.Dewey Burke

    Dewey Burke was the first Official Biscuit Boy back in 2007.  As noted they are all “good basketball players” but not elite “blue chippers” like the ten guys between them and Roy on the bench.  When they do get in the game the pressure is on them to score the 6-8 points usually needed to get to 100.  They run around helter-skelter throwing up half-courters and assorted made-up shots one usually sees in games of H-O-R-S-E.

    This is their story – Carolina’s Biscuit Boys.

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    UNC and Bojangles: An Unlikely Success

    http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-and-bojangles-an-unlikely-success/

     

    A 38 point victory is rarely remembered in college basketball nearly a decade after it happened – but UNC’s 102-64 win against Pennsylvania in 2007 is an exception.

    With less than a minute left and Tar Heels already up by more than 30 points, little-known senior Dewey Burke hit two three pointers to cement his legacy among Carolina basketball fans.

    In just two minutes of play Burke scored more points than current NBA players Ty Lawson and Danny Green.

    “It kind of all came together around that game,” Burke said. “To come in at the end and hit a couple of shots that put us over 100, for sure that’s when the nickname started and it really took off.”

    His second three pushed the Tar Heels over 100 points, and in so doing, he earned the nickname “Biscuits.”

    The nickname is a reference to a promotion that Bojanges has done with Carolina basketball since 2003.

    Whenever UNC scores more than 100 during a home game, the next day fans get a free biscuit from Bojangles.

    Bojangles

    “I really didn’t know what it was going to become,” Burke said. “I was just a kid in college that loved to play and was fortunate to be part of a great team and play for a great coach.”

    Since the game against Penn, hearing the crowd chant “we want biscuits” has been a common occurrence, especially when the Tar Heels are close to 100.

    “If my memory serves me correct, we were just trying to come up with something that was a little different than your usual sponsorship opportunities,” said UNC assistant athletic director for marketing Michael Beale.

    Beale said he was involved with the creation of the promotion, but can’t remember exactly how it came about.

    “I don’t think at the time anyone had any idea it would get to where it is,” Beale said. “I think at the time we all thought it was a good idea, but would it be 12, 13 years later and we’re still doing it? No, I don’t think anyone in their right mind during those discussions thought that was going to happen.”

    Since the 2003-2004 season the Tar Heels have scored over 100 in a home game 37 times.

    “Sometimes these are lopsided victories and that keeps people engaged for those last couple of minutes,” Beale said “There’s a lot technically on the line at that time because they’re playing for free biscuits, which is funny when you say it but that’s how a lot of people think about it.”

    In recent years the promotion has changed from getting a free biscuit to getting two sausage biscuits for one dollar, but that has not changed customer interest.

    “I think it speaks for itself when fans are yelling ‘biscuits, biscuits’ if UNC comes close to scoring 100 points that it’s something they’re very receptive too,” said Tommy Haddock, president of Tri-Arc Food Systems, the franchisee for Bojangles.

    The Tar Heels went over 100 points twice last season, according to Bojangles the promotion was rang up 2,039 times across all of their locations.

    “Carolina with Bojangles,” Haddock said. “Two very recognized brands within this market and the state, it was bound to be a success. I don’t see how it could have been anything other than a success from the beginning.”

    All these years after the game against Penn, what has been remembered is not the fact that Reyshawn Terry and Tyler Hansbrough were the Tar Heels leading scorers with 19 points.

    What has been remembered is the fact that Dewey Burke gave the fans free biscuits.

    “You don’t really realize the impact necessarily of what you’re doing or what your ‘legacy’ would be, if that’s what I can refer to this as,” Burke said. “As I’ve gotten older and been able to reflect on my time there and my experiences with my teammates and staff and everything, it’s been a way to be remembered, which is something I’m very lucky to have.”

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    BobLee
    • GWC Reply
      4 years ago

      Before the JV squads and BJ’s biscuits , and prior to Charles Scott , ALL the MBB players were “white flour biscuit boys” , probably none more lily-white than Billy Cunningham but , boy , could he play ! And instead of a JV team there was a freshman squad which played a full ACC schedule , rode the buses with the varsity , and usually consisted of three or four scholarship guys (frosh were ineligible back when ) , a few walk-on high school all-staters , and four or five b-ball crazies ( some Morehead Scholars ) , who wanted to wear a UNC uniform more than anything else in the world . The 1957 32-0 season and Frank McGuire’s elan did that to many a young Tarheel . Should the tradition continue ? It might be healthier to convert the JV squad to a four year program , abandon the current varsity MBB and MFB programs , and return to true inter-collegiate amateur sports , a la pre-WW II programs . Guess THAT horse is out of the barn !

      • BobLee Reply
        4 years ago

        I’m afraid so WC. The final Freshman team – “Tar Babies” (YIKES) were in the early 70s.

    • oldwuf vet Reply
      4 years ago

      Interesting. Most of the guys from my hometown that went to UNC have probably never set foot in a Bojangles…..
      I thought that was one of Raleigh’s most redeeming qualities; they had a Bojangles back in the early 80’s. It was down near the bus station and you took your life in your life in your hands going there after dark; but hey, a little risk to personal safety is a fair trade off for dirty rice, biscuits and fried chicken.

      • BobLee Reply
        4 years ago

        I think that has changed quite a bit. Bojangles are pretty mainstream now. Not sure of the nearest one to Franklin Street. Time Out is probably the chicken/biscuit joint of choice on Franklin Street. …. Chick-fil-A, of course, has to struggle in Chapel Hill because of its “Christian” (!!!) connection. No “Religious Chicken” in Chapel Hill unless it was muslim chicken.

        • TarSpartan Reply
          4 years ago

          Funny how times have changed concerning Chick-Fil-A and UNC. Back in the 90s there was a Chick-Fil-A in Lenoir Hall, and it was one of the most popular dining options on campus. Twenty years is a long time in academia and politics.

          • BobLee Reply
            4 years ago

            I’ll bet the opposition to CfA at UNCis from the usual small gang of radicals who oppose anything most of us consider “normal”.

    • Bob Reply
      4 years ago

      I have wondered for some time now why UNC continues to have a jv basketball team. The last few years have taught me to question everything regarding UNC athletics. They currently have the only basketball jv team in the ACC. They seem to reward a jv player or two a scholarship almost every year. They would not be gaming the APR measurements regarding graduation rates by using this practice , would they?

      • BobLee Reply
        4 years ago

        The Biscuit Boys have often been “Moreheads” and/or pre-Med and similar “real students” so the ones counted as members of the MBB certainly are positive contributors to the team GPA and graduation %s.

    • Danger Reply
      4 years ago

      Wait. I thought a free degree came with the 100 points and a Kellogg’s box top ….

      • BobLee Reply
        4 years ago

        Nope. Just a biscuit. Not even a chicken biscuit. Just a biscuit.

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