It turns out North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye wasn't offered $5 million to transfer.
"Those rumors weren't really reality," he said, per Pete Thamel of ESPN. "Pitt's coach ended up putting that out there. I don't know what that was about. You have to enter the transfer portal to talk to these schools and hear these offers. For me, I think college football is going to turn into a mess. They're going to have to do something. There was nothing to me or my family directly offered from any of these other schools. Nothing was said or offered to the Mayes."
Thamel noted Pittsburgh head coach Pat Narduzzi said that two different schools offered the Tar Heels signal-caller $5 million to transfer to their programs.
Maye's connection with North Carolina goes beyond his own decision to remain with the football team.
His parents graduated from the school, his brother Luke played basketball at the program, and another brother, Beau, is a walk-on for this season's Tar Heels basketball program and Drake's current roommate.
"It wouldn't sit right, especially with all my family." Maye said of potentially leaving. "Switching it up after everything the Mayes went through wouldn't represent what the university means to me or how much it means for me to go there. It'd mess up the mojo and all we've built there. That Carolina blue is special. There's no other color in the world that meaningful."
Maye will see some financial benefit to remaining at UNC, as Thamel noted the quarterback reached a name, image and likeness deal with the school's Heels4Life program that pays him and will feature a charity component.
What's more, head coach Mack Brown made sure Maye was involved in the program's search for a new offensive coordinator before it settled on UCF's Chip Lindsey.
Maye's return is welcome news for the Tar Heels after his breakout season.
He finished 10th in Heisman Trophy voting while completing 67.2 percent of his passes for 4,115 yards, 35 touchdowns and seven interceptions to go with 653 yards and seven scores on the ground.
The Tar Heels earned a spot in the ACC Championship Game, where they lost to Clemson to fall to 9-4. It was just the second time since the 1997 season the team reached the nine-win mark, and it will have the opportunity to finish strong with a Holiday Bowl matchup against Oregon.
Expectations will be elevated during the 2023 campaign as well after North Carolina came one win away from a conference crown and kept its star quarterback despite some speculation he could head elsewhere this offseason.