Blog Entry

The UNC family squabbles go public

Posted on: February 5, 2011 1:50 pm
Edited on: February 5, 2011 3:13 pm
Posted by MATT JONES

No college basketball program in the country is prouder of its basketball alumni base than North Carolina. During the Dean Smith era, the image of a "UNC family" was cultivated and has become as large a part of UNC lore as its baby blue uniforms. The family concept plays a large part in recruiting, as the Tar Heels make use of their notable NBA alumni as well as any program in America, usually in the form of having the players coincidentally show up on campus when top flight recruits make their visits. It even affects decisions about the program, most famously showcased when the UNC leadership chose an inexperienced Matt Doherty to take over for Bill Guthridge, rather than trust the ship to someone outside the family. The image and reality of a UNC basketball cosa nostra is a large part of what makes North Carolina basketball unique and the family concept is to be cultivated and encouraged at all times.

That is partially why the story of Larry Drew quitting the team mid-season took many by surprise. It isn't uncommon for UNC to have transfers, as unworthy McDonald's All Americans ranging from Neil Fingleton to the Wear brothers have left the program over the years due to a lack of playing time or unharnessed ability. And, as Matt Norlander pointed out here yesterday, from a production standpoint, losing Larry Drew will be of little significance to Roy Williams's team this season or in the future. But for a player who has been a significant part of the rotation to just up and leave in the middle of the year with virtually no notice, well that suggests a rift in the family atmosphere that has previously been uncommon, or at least unspoken, in Chapel Hill.

Enter the wonderful world of Facebook. Yesterday, former UNC player Damion Grant posted well wishes for Larry Drew on his Facebook status saying, "always hate to see a player leave the fam, but no one can judge unless you walked in his shoes. Best wishes lil homie. Nothing but love Drew II." That set off a firestorm of comments on Grant's Facebook wall and led to this response by former UNC player Rashad McCants' father, James (the screen shot is linked here and contains some blatant salty language):


The topic then led to more back and forth conversation between McCants' father and other UNC fans in the comment section. Those comments included more criticism by McCants towards Williams, but have all since been removed, leaving us only with the screen shot above courtesy of The Devils' Den Duke Twitter feed (shocking that a Duke fan site would record it for posterity and future conversation, I know). It has always been rumored that Rashad McCants did not enjoy his time in Chapel Hill and had a decidedly rocky relationship with Coach Roy Williams. On at least one occasion, McCants has denied those rumors, but his father's comments suggest that the relationship was, at best, far from perfect. 

In the end, North Carolina will survive Larry Drew's departure on the court and his replacement at the point, Kendall Marshall is a better longterm solution for the Heels anyway. But his departure does poke some holes into the "one big happy UNC family" picture that is such an important part of the Carolina program and mystique. The notion that things are simply different at Carolina because the UNC family has a special strong lifetime bond that can't be severed looks to be, at least in some cases, a complete myth. Don't believe me? Just ask James McCants.
Category: NCAAB

Since: Feb 6, 2011
Posted on: February 6, 2011 11:14 am

The UNC family squabbles go public

This is evidence that the entire culture of kids and sports; adults and sports, and just the general nature of raising respectful kids is lost in our current social and family structures. Be it from dads berating their 5 and 6 years olds at friendly soccer games to parents attacking/assaulting refs and opposing players becausee they don't like the call or outcome of their kids' event. My parents taught me some simple principles for life and long term success: make your own decisions and honor them and above all never quit. But more importantly than teaching me basic fundametals for dealing with the successes and failures that life will bring, they taught me how to handle my own business. They weren't messy, meddling. or malicious. As far as the comments of Mr. McCants; Rashaad was one of my favorite Carilina players, but I do recall another article about some past UNC/NBA players sitting down with him trying to decipher why a player with this much talent cant find a future in league. Most will argue that he suffers from the same disease that many of our talented young men have been diagnosed, to include Drew II; paradoxical child abuse. You know, way too much coddling. way too much of you (parent involvement), way too much of it's about my baby, breast feeding 18, 19, and 20 year olds. Let them grow up and go find you some friends your own age: that's if you have already ruined every relationship that you have.

Since: Nov 5, 2009
Posted on: February 6, 2011 10:01 am

The UNC family squabbles go public


Very interesting post typical you are a typical ABCer. I didn't realize that Roy Williams has only coached UNC for the last 2 years, I might be wrong but he became coach in 2003. So I must be missing a NCAA rule that allows former coaches to still recruit since according to you the title Roy won was with Doherty's recruits. And if you want to be precise the title team had Doherty recruits and recruits by Roy. So in the last 8 years as coach only one team has had only Doherty recruits his 1st year as head coach, his 2nd year when he won his 1st title had majority on Doherty recruits and Roy recruited the final piece in Marvin Williams. So after his 2nd year all of the teams were his that would include the 2009 National Champions, but since according to you basketball only been around the last 2 years. So if results speak for themselves winning 30 plus games in 3 of last 4 years and a National Championship is ordinary I'm sure every program in the nation would take ordinary.

Since: Feb 6, 2011
Posted on: February 6, 2011 7:57 am

The UNC family squabbles go public

Wrecked his career?  Rashad was a first round draft pick.  Your son is a headcase, Mr. McCants.  Don't blame it on Roy.

Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: February 6, 2011 7:50 am

Let's Not Overreact Here

Hey, one bad apple who is to selfish to accept a new role of coming off the
bench to help the team (& he was actually playing better in that role) does not
tarnish the "UNC Family" one little bit. As far as McCants (& his father too), we
know of Rashaad's attitude & anything he or his father says (about anything) is
nothing but trash. Let Larry Drew go on to wherever & thank goodness McCants
is long gone. I see no problem here for the family.

Since: May 25, 2009
Posted on: February 6, 2011 3:09 am

The UNC family squabbles go public

So Matt Jones is a Kentucky fan?? That makes this idiotic post make sense then. I'll tell you what, scum sucker, I'd much rather have UNC's "Family" versus the Kentucky "culture of corruption" Coach Cal is "proudly" carrying on for you. And I DO hope the NCAA actually does investigate why so many of the top high schoolers are signing with Cal every year. Let's see you write a blog on that, because that investigation is coming.

Since: May 25, 2009
Posted on: February 6, 2011 3:04 am

The UNC family squabbles go public

You obviously no not of which you speak. The '09 NC team was all Roy's recruits. Hansbrough, Lawson, Green, Ellington. The '06 NC team was the train wreck of talent Doherty left behind. It took Roy's guidence and DISCIPLINE to get them to their potential, ie the NCAA title.
Typical ABC'er, you don't check your facts before posting.

Since: May 25, 2009
Posted on: February 6, 2011 2:59 am

The UNC family squabbles go public

Were you born STUPID, or is it a recent development?

Since: Feb 6, 2011
Posted on: February 6, 2011 1:49 am

The UNC family squabbles go public

The biggest problem isn't Roy Williams, telling any recruit, that they can make the NBA. The fact is many of these so called high school players are not willing to put in the work to be a great player to reach those lofty goals. For you to blame Roy Williams on misleading kids and parents to send there child to a great program that has produce great players in it's rich tradition over many decades is rather stupid to say, the least. The rivals of UNC has produce only one hall of famer in there many years of producing so so talent to the next level and thats Coach K.

That needs to be a topic of discussion by the entire basketball world. Roy Williams uses the potential of being a NBA player like Michael Jordan and others before him and after him. Those players have something that most others today dont have is the work ethics and the desire to be great. Larry Drew II, was basically a spoiled brat without heart to become such of player and a cop out wimp of a man. Like many others like him before that is just media hype, and read there own high school clippings with mom and dad, telling them how great they are. Reality is transfering isnt going to make Larry Drew II game any beter or the playing time on the court. He only can be better by what all of us dont see in the gym extra days and night with mental focus of knowing the game and not just playing on hype.

Hardwork makes great players, and the desire to endure to be great. Kobe Bryant is the hardest worker in the NBA in the off-season year in and year out to maintain his greatness. Michael Jordan gave him the jewel to be as great as him and not home in the off-season playing video games and getting hype up by your friends and family. Public Enemy, stated it the best " Don't Believe The Hype" and to many high school ball players believe it hook, line, and sinker. many of them couldnt be water boys if it was twenty years ago. They just dont have the heart and made of glass, when it comes to criticism. There are girl that are more tough than this boys and have stronger heart to get it done. 

Since: Aug 25, 2008
Posted on: February 6, 2011 12:44 am

The UNC family squabbles go public

I am absolutely appauled that CBS Sports, would let Matt Jones, post an article over a face-book comment on a glorified educational university, athletic program, and institution of soon to be teenagers entering the real world.  Check the academic resume' of all of Roy's players who stayed 4 years.  You have all these one and done colleges, cheating to get recruits colleges, etc.; and you let this writer poke fun at a coach who instills the dream of playing in the NBA as well as getting their education.  Remember Will Graves, didnt want to go to class and Roy was done with it.  He is a player's coach, he actually went on air on his show to stick up for his players, and was ripped for that.  McCants, i can't believe they actually posted this article using his comment. His son was lazy, couldnt get an NBA scout to even put notes on a clip-board about him and then turned into a NBA bust. Mr McCants maybe if you guided your son on getting an education, getting his degree, playing another 2 years of ball with Roy, you wouldnt be sour about the directional path you led for your son.  Seeing he has no game for the NBA, was lucky to be a first round pick (17 overall), that degree would have been great to fall back on.  Mr McCants another class act, we should put you up for Father of the Year.  If Rashad hated Roy, why was he at the 09 championship???

Since: Dec 17, 2006
Posted on: February 6, 2011 12:43 am

The UNC family squabbles go public


It is a shame that family issues go public.  But that is what happens when the black sheep of the family decide to take it there.  Coach Williams is a great Coach, and he has been blessed with great players (yes we all know that is not hard to do at Kansas and Carolina).  But like all programs not all players live up to their hype!  

1. Larry Drew II, your a good player, not a great one.  You are a very good 6th man on this Carolina team.  The point guard should be a team leader and lead by example!  Your actions or decision to leave certainly lets the world know why Coach Williams and your teammates could not let you lead them. Winners never quit, quitters never win. Coach Williams has done nothing but stuck up for you and given you more than enough chances to succeed.  I will agree that expectations are high when your the point guard at UNC be I would have thought you knew that when you accepted the scholarship.  I agree that many of the turnovers were a result of post players with average hands at best, but as a point guard you should know a great pass is only great if it is caught.  A leader would shoulder the blame and carry the team to do better.......that is not you!

2. Larry Drew Sr. And Mrs. Drew, it was clear from the start you wanted Your son to be bigger than the team but just because your son grew up playing with NBA players doesn't make him one.  In your phone call to let Coach Williams know that your son was a quitter, you told ESPN that it was Drew IIs choice, if that was the case why wouldn't you let him talk to Coach? I feel sorry for your son in only this regard, he has to live with this and in 10 years he will look back on with great regret.  Not with the fact that he transferred but with how you did it and when.

3. James McCants, reading your posts on facebook brought me some great laughter.  You blame Coach Williams because your son can't make it in the NBA?  Let me share something with you about the NBA, it is all about Winning!  If you son could help a TEAM win he would make it.  Everyone can see he has talent and skills, but there are a lot of guys that can provide the same.  If you can find a team of one in the NBA your son will be a star because in the end your son cares more about his stats than the number of wins his team has.  Basically your an idiot if you think Coach Williams has control over the entire NBA.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or