UNC responds on Limbaugh: "Not our problem"

Received via email:


I am responding to your email to Chancellor Thorp regarding WRDU, 106.1. I am the Associate Athletic Director for Marketing at UNC and in that role serve as the contract manager for our contract with Tar Heel Sports Properties, a division of Learfield Sports which owns and operates the Tar Heel Sports Radio Network as an independent contractor of the University of North Carolina.

Tar Heel Sports Properties has over 50 affiliates on the radio network and they work hard to provide as much "blanket" radio coverage of the entire state of North Carolina as possible for our men's basketball and football live play by play broadcasts. They look for the stations that will agree to carry their radio broadcasts that cover as much of the population in any particular geographic area as possible. In this regard a 100,000 watt FM station such as WRDU 106.1 in the Triangle provides excellent coverage for the Triangle Region and surrounding counties in North Carolina.

The 50 affiliates of the Tar Heel Sports Network include a diverse assortment of non-game time content including rock, country (which WRDU 106.1 was when they first became an affiliate), liberal, conservative, Spanish and many other types of programming. The University, the Athletics Department, and Tar Heel Sports Properties does not control or in any way endorse the normal programming of any of the stations that air the game broadcasts including the recent comments by Rush Limbaugh aired on WRDU 106.1.

Thank you for your support of the University of North Carolina and for Carolina athletics and for raising your concern.

Rick Steinbacher

Or said another way:

  • It's not our problem.
  • Our hands are tied.
  • It's all about money.
  • The buck stops somewhere else.

UPDATE: Link to this morning's N&O story


The natural first line of defense

This is the kind of corporate psychobabble I used to write for a living, and it's not bad for an opening move. Try to wash your hands, point to a big pile of money, and shrug your shoulders in denial. "Hey. This isn't about us. We're just helping the scumbags make money, just like they're helping us."

Whether it sticks or not is up to We the People and They the Faculty. Look for this to hit the next Faculty Council agenda.

In the meantime, you can bet your butt on one hard truth. If one of those powerhouse stations turned out to be a champion for gay sex, the Tarheel Sports Network would be off the air faster than you can say slam dunk, so to speak.

My response

Thanks for the favor of a reply. I know this isn't how you want to be spending your week / month.

Just to say it, I don't imagine this line of defense is going to get you very far, but it's a good first move and your point of view is clear: Anything for a buck.



PS Unless you guys are asleep at the switch, your contracts are written so they can be broken. Which means this isn't a matter of your hands being tied. This is a matter of choice.

Rush controversy

Just because you do not like what Rush said you want him to be banned and UNC to not us the local station. Not real smart, you see whether you agree or not to just banish his voice just takes away your freedom. I occasionaly watch MSNBC, better known as MSLSD, not becasue I like it but becasue I cannot believe a company puts such garbage on as news, however as offensive and disgusting as many of their journalists, and I use the term journalist very, very loosely, I would never ever suggest or demand that they be removed or fired.

While I never have agreed with their views I will fight for their right to say it. Many good people have died to preserve this right for you and the rest of our citizens. That is their right under the constitution and if you are willing to give up that freedom then you will be destine to be controlled by governemnt, much like Hugo Chavez has done in Venezuela. Be careful what you are asking for you may get it and find it is not what you want and it will be too late to go back.

So although you may not like what Limbaugh said, you should defend his right to say it.


You apparently haven't read what has been said on this page. You've got it backwards. People don't want to censor Rush. They want to amplify his voice, and let the free market do its work.

Men have been exercising

their free speech to slur, slander, degrade, abuse and (at the core of those things) suppress the freedoms of women in this country since before it even became a country.

I didn't put on a uniform to defend his right to be an asshole, I put on a uniform to help fight oppression in this world. And 25 years later, 1 out of every 4 women in this country are abused, sexually or physically. Or both.

So you'll excuse me if I don't shed a tear about Rush f**king Limbaugh losing some sponsors.

i got the same reply , but haven't answered because

I was in Fayetteville all day with my FIL at the VA. I'll post my reply after I ponder it. The UNC reply is devoid of anything but excuses and gee whiz it's not our fault....

Stan Bozarth

Two things

1) It took Thorp a whole year to accept that Butch Davis was more of a liability than an asset.
2) It's not just programming. WRDU is branded as Rush Radio.

PS, Thanks for getting the site back up.

James Protzman

Why don't you speak up when the liberals blast the conservative women? Our tax dollars should not be going to those who make it a choice to have sex 300 plus times a year and promote it on the National stage. We at UNC want our sports on a 100,000 watt station. WRDU gives us the best broadcast coverage in the area. Let me hear you come out against MSNBC, NBC, ABC, HBO, CNN, CBS on their stations allowing their liberal talking heads to destroy and say the times they say against conservative women. Until you do you are no better then those talking heads and you surely are not sincere in your comments.

Also James

I have it on good authority that one time you left a toilet seat in the upright position and flushed twice so you clearly have no respect for women or our natural resources, and are not fit to discuss fracking, women, or anything, anytime, anywhere. Although it is true that when the National Organization for Women condemned attacks on Palin she responded "I need NOW’s defense, like a fish needs a bicycle. I don’t want them to defend me" it is time for you to decide right here on your own radio station BlueNC: Are you the fish, or are you the bicycle, or are you the pelican? Are you the ohm, or are you the watt, or are you the Om?

Even though there are multiple 100,000 watt stations in the Piedmont, and the Tar Heel Sports Network adds and drops stations as it sees fit, you have no idea what the UNC Athletics Department is capable of, what parking tickets may have to be paid, what players might go untutored, what jewelry gets returned, what trips will never be made, if your dastardly plot succeeds.

“We will find out what happened. We will do everything we can to keep it from happening again, and we will not let these mistakes define our university and what we stand for,” Thorp said. “We will use this to be a better university, a better athletic department, and a better football program in the years to come.”


Are you sure you don't freelance for Colbert's show?


Double bravo

Those links are hilarious!

Rush's comments

You leftist scum, always trying to censor people who don't tow the socialist/fascist/communist line. Well it won't work.
See you in the streets.

Better leftist scum

than an illiterate hammer. The proper construction is "toe" the socialist/fascist/communist line, not "tow."

You do know that those are three distinct philosophies, don't you? I am unapologetically in the socialist camp, you are proudly in the fascist camp, and as to commies, well, I thought Ronnie Raygun took care of all of them.

I was told once by a master woodworker that, in most cases, a hammer is a useless tool looking for a nail. Guess he had you pegged!

Have a good day.


Using words like "always" can box you in. You've got it backwards. People don't want to censor Rush. They want to amplify his voice, and let the free market do its work.

Dumber than a box of hammers...

I'll bet you're one of those weenies that bought an AR-15 so you'd think you are a stud-muffin. Careful in the street...you might find out it's not like being a keyboard warrior. Talk is cheap...especially when you can't spell. Phftttt.

Stan Bozarth

OK, politics aside. WRDU has

OK, politics aside. WRDU has not been a full partner in UNC athletic programming. They do not broadcast the Roy Williams show on Monday nights. They do not carry the full Tar Heel Network coverage of the ACC men's tourney. They've been a major letdown as a broadcast partner from day one. I say drop them if they won't carry the full slate of programs.

Somebody wrote me and said I had it backwards

They said that more UNC programming on Rush Radio would reduce the amount of time available for Beck, Limbaugh, and others.

I'd love to live in a world where one could set politics aside, but, unfortunately, that's impossible. UNC's affiliation with Rush Radio is a business deal that feeds the coffers of a corporation that pours millions of dollars into influencing elections. There's no place to hide.

First amendment

About half of the comments on the N&O story are declarations in favor of the first amendment. For what it's worth, this isn't about the first amendment. This is about the free market.

I have no problem with Limbaugh saying whatever he wants whenever he wants. More power to him. But I do have a problem with the logo of my alma mater appearing as an advertisement on the Rush Radio website.

Cut the ties, UNC. As an institution dedicated to the pursuit of truth, your affiliation with Rush Radio is an affront to your alumni, your faculty, and your students.

Lux, Libertas & Free Market fools

When I hear fools screaming, "First Amendment, First Amendment!" in such circumstances I always flash on the Andy Griffith episode of characters screaming, "Citizen's Arrest, Citizen's Arrest!"

They're clueless. Utterly clueless.


A good debate

I grant that Mr. Limbaugh could have used better language to express this point-of-view. However, I am amazed by all of the media outcries that he called Fluke a "slut" and "prostitute." In actuality, this is not what he did. As a lover of a good debate, he actually raises an interesting point: IF Fluke is asking companies to pay for for her contraception, that is equivalent to asking the companies to pay her to have sex. If she is paid to have sex, that is equivalent to her being a slut or prostitute. And further, IF she indeed spends up to $3,000 on contraception, that equals sex three times/day. IF she is having sex three times/day, she can probably hardly walk.

Bad taste: YES. A stretch: maybe in parts. But philosophers, lawyers and debaters well know these maneuvers and they are used on every side of the issues. Any idea can sound good from the mouth of its supporters. To study an idea, you break it down, examine it, then take it to its extreme and back. It is only on this deep examination that one can really look at an idea from all sides then decipher where to align. Mr. Limbaugh actually does make a point: if we require payment for contraception it equals us requiring private companies to pay for people to have sex. Is this truly an area where we think our government should be involved?

I also am an alumni of UNC (BSBA '98, JD '06). The logo of my alma mater appears on many many outlets that broadcast ideas I think are harmful (many on UNC radio itself). If the name and logo is going to appear on anything that espouses a view on any issue, it cannot discriminate on things that espouse the other side as well. In actuality, Mr. Limbaugh was not making a hateful and personal attack on Ms. Fluke. This was not his intent. He was taking her own words to an extreme to make the opposite point. I do not listen to his show and frankly likely would not have continued to listen to such a vulgar discussion. However, Mr. Limbaugh's show, and shows like his, are helpful (though entertaining and often offensive) voices which are also a part of pursuing truth.


For the record, not all contraceptives are used for the sole purpose of pregnancy prevention, and here is (part of) what Limbaugh said:

LIMBAUGH: What does it say about the college coed Susan Fluke [sic], who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex? What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex.

She's having so much sex she can't afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex. What does that make us? We're the pimps.

The johns, that's right. We would be the johns -- no! We're not the johns. Well -- yeah, that's right. Pimp's not the right word.

PS: Limbaugh Launched 46 Personal Attacks On Fluke; He Apologized For Two Words


NOT a debate, just a lying rant

You clearly have not listened to Ms. Fluke's actual testimony. She was discussing contraception not paid for by Georgetown even in the case of medical needs. Her friend needed it for ovarian cysts and was refused. Birth control pills are also used for many other medical needs. Hormones are powerful! Among other uses, hormones are the only treatment that can reduce women at high risk for ovarian cancer (such as in my own family) by 50% (after 5 years continuous use). This treatment could be lifesaving.

People are clearly very misinformed about both Ms. Fluke's actual testimony - if they only listen to RL - and anything serious about the issues at hand. It harms the "debate" when Mr. Limbaugh makes no attempt to actually provide his listeners with any context, wouldn't you think? LIke that none of it related to Ms. Fluke's sex life?

A good debate

Well Put! Let's move on.

Ties need to be Cut with Limbaugh!

Cut his contract. This man is the absolute worst. Is he the voice you want to represent UNC? The ugliest person on the planet... I would not even call him a human being.

If so, it is clearly all about money over decency.


It'd be a step up for UNC-cheat. lol

Rush double standard

Were you equally as outraged over UNC's connections with John Edwards which actually were connections? Fluke was a trumped up event. Real people have already moved on.


I was as a matter of fact.

Real people? Ha. You don't even have a real name.

Rick Steinbacher response

If there are 50 affiliates for UNC athletics, I'm quite sure it could be dropped to 49.

UNC Health System

So is the UNC Health System all good with calling their patients "sluts" and implying they are whores? UNC is a brand that goes beyond sports. How many gynecologists are employed by the health system? Impressive marketing savvy.

But they need the money

or else they might have to do something drastic, like raise tuition =p

UNC contract with WRDU

Please god............please let UNC end their relationship with WRDU! There is nothing more useless than UNC sports! Unless you are one of the losers sitting there listening to it.


as i told my children long ago, UNC is short for University of New Communist. side note? weird how so many homes that sported " obama/ biden" campaign signs now have "for sale" signs. don't wait to long blue, the road north may just be closed. have a nice day.

Thorp taps male jock to address women's issue

Thorp is making the mistake of addressing this a sports issue, so he delegates Rick Steinbacher, former Tar Heel football captain to put out the fire.

Thorp has apparently completely missed the fact that this is fundamentally about women's rights and respect for women. There is no evidence he has consulted faculty or students or alumni about the depravity of Limbaugh's remarks about a female college student. He is treating this as an athletic problem, not an ethical problem.

Bill Friday has stepped up and said what needs to be said:

If the decision were up to him, Friday said, he would take UNC sports off stations that continue to air Rush.

"Using those words that were used to characterize that individual [Fluke] come pretty close to being fairly abusive of character and integrity. And that, I don't have much patience with, myself," said Friday, arguing for a return to civility in public discourse.


I am 100% certain that if women were making the decisions, they'd get it. Clearly, these self-absorbed men aren't listening. The whole country, not just UNC alum's think this should be the end of Rush. Too much, too offensive, too grotesque. It's simple - not someone we want to partner what's left of UNC's image with.

If any of these MEN making excuses seriously had more interest in listening to UNC's women, and less interest in avoiding a minor inconvenience for themselves, CLEARLY they could take action and do something.

Who ELSE can we write to in UNC who doesn't have HIS head up HIS a**?

Is there a WOMAN anywhere in UNC to address this to? Maybe that's the problem right there.

I'm ending my alumni donations until this changes.

No, Rick, it is UNC's problem

You're allowing these seven stations to trade on UNC's good name while they air a guy who thinks making misogynistic attacks is somehow funny. If that doesn't run counter to "the Carolina way," nothing does.

And believe me, I'd be just as upset if this was a liberal who did the same thing.

UNC - Limbaugh

Google UNC Limbaugh and sixth one down is "UNC Sports - Raleigh's Home for Rush Limbaugh."

Is that really the image our University want's to project?

I have sent the screen shot to the Chancellor, but I expect nothing more than a canned response.

He's ducking

and I'm guessing he thinks this will all go away, but that seems unlikely. UNC is on spring break right now, and as soon as the faculty get back on Monday, all hell will break loose.

Come on, Chancellor Thorp. Strike a blow for decency and do the right thing. It'll piss off the Neanderthals, but anyone with a soul and a heart will back you all the way to the bank. Rush-lovers may be Republicans, but they are not wealthy Republicans. This is a situation where doing well and doing good are the same thing. Pull the plug on Rush Radio.


I just realized they were on Spring Break -- been 30 years since I was there. I suspect all Hell will break loose when students and faculty return. And it should.

I just wonder how many people

I just wonder how many people who are posting here supporting the University's non-position actually went to UNC. I'm Class of 1982. My Dad -- who is appalled by the University's position -- is Class of 1951. And I have a sister who is equally disgusted (Class of 1986). I'd be particularly interested in whether or not "bean" attended the University.

UNC you are dead to me now

They've had a week to move on this. I am going to end contributions, buying UNC (but not Duke) paraphernalia, won't root for them.

I can't believe the Masters Of The Universe there don't get how offended the women of UNC are - at least those who know of the connection to Rush Radio.

Not a penny again ever.