Pitt basketball’s Jeff Capel defends brother, former UNC basketball player Jason Capel

CHAPEL HILL, NC — Following North Carolina basketball’s 65-64 loss to Pitt on Wednesday, Panthers coach Jeff Capel discussed the “complicated relationship” between the Tar Heels and Jason Capel.

After Pitt’s third win in a row at the Smith Center, Jason Capel – a former UNC player and current Panthers assistant alongside his older brother – was heard yelling in the hallway outside of the visiting locker room.

“Y’all gonna disrespect me? All I did for this program? Y’all gonna boo me?” Jason Capel was overheard saying by a Pittsburgh Sports Now reporter.

Pittsburgh head coach Jeff Capel directs the team against North Carolina during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023, in Chapel Hill, NC (AP Photo/Chris Seward)

A pair of Fayetteville natives, Jeff Capel said Jason was upset by a tweet posted by the North Carolina men’s basketball account before the game, but did not point out the specific tweet in question.

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On Wednesday morning, UNC basketball’s “game day” Twitter post featured walk-on Creighton Lebo, who wears No. 25 – the number Jason Capel wore as a Tar Heel.

“My brother loves the school. He dreamed of coming here as a player when we were little, when he was little,” Jeff Capel said.

“. … He wore that (UNC) jersey with a lot of pride, and since he left here, there has been a lot of disrespect towards him. And one thing happened (Wednesday), and I don’t think it’s coming from within the basketball program, and I don’t know who controls their social media … I get social media – Twitter – you try to be funny or whatever , but I thought it was them trolling him.

“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 recalled the incident between Jason Capel and UNC fans in 2009, when Jeff was the coach at Oklahoma and the Sooners faced the Tar Heels in the Elite Eight.

“My brother was there with my whole family supporting me – he had an (Oklahoma) shirt on – and the North Carolina fans were pretty (expletive) towards him, excuse my language, but pretty, pretty nasty, and it took one of the former (UNC) players to say something,” Jeff Capel said.

“. … You hear about the Carolina family and it’s just amazing to me that their social media people would do that. I don’t think it’s Hubert (Davis) – Hubert is awesome, he really is. I don’t think it’s the players on the team – they are incredibly respectful and really good guys.”

Jason Capel, who played at UNC from 1998-2002, averaged 12.1 points and 6.7 rebounds in four years with the Tar Heels.

“It’s a complicated relationship and I hate it,” Jeff said. “I hate it for him, I hate it for this program, because I know that he loves this place.”

Staff writer Rodd Baxley can be reached at [email protected] or @RoddBaxley on Twitter.

This article originally appeared on The Fayetteville Observer: Pitt coach Jeff Capel: Brother has ‘complicated relationship’ with UNC

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