In 2017-2018, Niner Nation finally became united and raised its voice to express a vote of no-confidence in 27-year Athletic Director, Judy W. Rose.


Mid-2017: After the 12th consecutive year of no NCAA Tournament appearances for Men’s Basketball and a disappointing, regressive season for second year Coach Mark Price, passionate members of Niner Nation begin picking up pace and volume of emails to Rose, Phil Dubois, and the Board of Trustees, demanding answers and accountability.

September 16 and 23, 2017 - Charlotte 49ers Football loses at home to FCS North Carolina A&T 35-31 (in front of a record crowd) and Sagarin 128th rated Georgia State 28-0, respectively. HC Brad Lambert’s 49ers start 0-4 for the first time in program history, and still do not have a home win vs. an FBS opponent in third full FBS season.

October 21, 2017 - Alumnus Jon Lotti, P.E., pays for an aerial banner to be flown for 3 hours over the Homecoming tailgate before the game against re-born UAB in its first season back from hiatus. The banner reads, “FIRE JUDY ROSE! HELP WANTED NEW A.D. NEEDED!” Ironically, the 49ers win their first game of the season and first home FBS game on a miracle two-point conversion in OT, 25-24. It would be the Niners only win in 2017. (UAB would go on to finish 8-5). The banner generates media attention and galvanizes the fan base.

November 25, 2017 - Charlotte Football loses to Florida Atlantic, 31-12 at home in its worst-attended game ever. The season finished 1-11, and Coach Lambert’s record is 17-41 overall. In the post game article, Coach Lambert does not fear for his job, foreshadowing things to come. “I am the right guy for this place.”

November 27, 2017 - Charlotte AD Judy Rose announces Coach Lambert will be retained, will fire demoted OC Jeff Mullen and DC Matt Wallerstedt, and will demote Interim OC Greg Adkins to Running Backs and O-Line coach. Our contemporaries, in their third seasons of FBS football, either won 6+ games and went to a bowl, or won 3 games and the coaching staffs were fired. Lambert’s retention is the last straw for many in Niner Nation.

November 28, 2017 - David Scott of the Charlotte Observer releases two articles. The first article is a question and answer interview with Rose. The interview is mindblowingly out of touch, in which she attempts to defend the decision to retain Lambert, sliding attendance and football and basketball, and herself against increasingly vocal fans calling for her job. In response, Rose doubles down and says “I’ll continue to do what I’ve always done,” not realizing that is the root of our problems.

The second article, a feature interview with Lotti about the banner, is mostly benign, but features (briefly) at the end, a “point, counterpoint” section with quotes from Rob Dibble in opposition to Rose’s continued tenure, and “Grady Davis,” an alleged 1991 alumnus, speaking in defense of Rose. Within 20 minutes after the article appears, this portion of it is removed, due to Scott’s “concerns about authenticity” of the Grady Davis quote.

November 29-December 5, 2017 - Charlotte 49ers fans flood the airwaves of WFNZ610 and ESPN730. #FireJudyRose trends on twitter, and achieves over 400,000 impressions in a week.

December 2, 2017 - ESPN’s “College Gameday” pregame show is in Charlotte at Romare Bearden Park in Uptown. At least 6 different “FIRE JUDY ROSE” signs are visible for the duration of the broadcast, with at least one appearing behind each commentator, so that every camera angle has a prominent sign in view. Another individual that lives in an apartment complex highrise bordering the park flies a “FIRE JUDY ROSE” painted bedsheet from their balcony overlooking the crowd. The movement gains even more momentum, with several national bloggers and twitter accounts, including RedditCFB and others, sharing the screenshots of the signs.

December 5, 2017 - Charlotte Basketball hosts ACC opponent Wake Forest in Halton Arena, losing 80-57 in a game that was never close, and poorly attended. Several students display visible “FIRE JUDY ROSE” signs at the game. At the end of the game, audible “Fire Judy” chants rain down on her from alums and students alike. The game also features an alumni-sponsored Fire Judy Rose Snapchat filter, which is used with great frequency during the game.

December 6, 2017 - Chancellor Dubois gives a live radio interview to Chris McCLain on WFNZ. He bombs in monumental fashion. The entire interview is worth a listen, and speaks for itself. http://www.wfnz.com/articles/charlotte-chancellor-phil-dubois-public-shaming-judy-tragic Dubois doubles down in support of Judy Rose, Brad Lambert, and Mark Price, and cites things like women’s soccer attendance as proof of our Athletic Department’s success. Infamously, in classic Dubois-esque condescension, he says that most of our fans “do not understand the complexities of running an athletics department.” The interview ignites the movement even more.

December 14, 2017 - Charlotte announces that Head Basketball Coach Mark Price is fired after an uninspired 2-6 start, 30-42 overall, to be replaced by Interim Head Coach Houston Fancher for the remainder of the year. The move is shocking, even despite many fans’ belief that Price would likely either step aside or be fired at the end of the season, anyway. Rose and Dubois cite the team’s lack of intensity on the court. Most fans believe it is actually a reactionary move to the #FireJudyRose movement and the deluge of emails to Dubois, Rose, and the Board of Trustees, in an attempt to show the fans that the administration actually cares about wins and losses. Instead, the move is crucified by the national and local media, fans, and students.

December 19, 2017 - The change.org petition “Fire Judy Rose” reaches 1,500 signatures, and is sent with a letter expressing a vote of no confidence to the Board of Trustees.

December 21, 2017 - TheFirst49.org releases an article titled “Who Is Grady Davis?” http://www.thefirst49.org/2017/12/21/who-is-grady-davis/ The article, utilizing emails and records obtained through a Public Records Request, presents the story of how Grady Davis, of banner article fame, was actually an Appalachian State University fan trolling our administration with fake support, which the Chancellor and Athletic Department all fell for. The story shows how desperate Rose and Dubois are for ANY positive reinforcement at all, as well as their ineptitude in the digital era. The article reaches 3000+ views in the first 3 days after release.

December 22, 2017 - #FireJudyRose on crosses the 1,000,000 impression threshold on Twitter.

December 23, 2017 - Several 49ers, in an effort led by Ryan Benson, conduct our first annual #49erFestivus Airing of Grievances. For 14 consecutive hours, members of Niner Nation took to twitter to explain the many reasons why Judy Rose must be relieved from her role, describing the tragic slide of our Athletic Department from “nationally relevant and scrappy underdog” to complete shitshow, often in deeply personal anecdotes. #49erFestivus trends on Twitter in Charlotte for several hours.

December 26-30, 2017 - Members of Niner Nation meet in private and continue to work behind the scenes to promote the #FireJudyRose movement through back channels. At the conclusion of 2017, no Charlotte 49ers Varsity Sports, men or women, have competed in NCAA postseason play in their respective sports for the entire calendar year, going 0-17.

January 2, 2018 - After a brief Christmas/New Year breathing space, many members of Niner Nation have watched peer institution University of Central Florida complete a 13-0 season beating Auburn in the Peach Bowl, only two years removed from an 0-12 season. The difference? A new athletics director and head coach. #FireJudyRose picks up steam yet again with a renewed vigor, and a passion to make 2018 the Year of the Niners, with many seeing UCF’s success and believing, “why not us?”

To Be Continued…

And on January 4, 2018, Judy Rose announced her retirement, effective June 30, 2018.

Niner Nation was victorious again.