Posted on: December 15, 2009 4:46 pm
Edited on: December 15, 2009 4:47 pm

Roy Williams' (very long) explanation

Roy Williams used his radio show to discuss the details surrounding the removal of a fan during Saturday's win over Presbyterian. The North Carolina coach did not apologize for reacting to the heckler who yelled "Hey Deon, don't miss it!" while Deon Thompson shot free throws. But Williams did talk about the incident at length.

His comments in full are below (courtesy of InsideCarolina.com) :

"It’s strange that it has gotten a heck of a lot attention, but the good news is that I haven’t had to pay too much attention to it. I haven’t heard it, but people are telling me about it. It was unfortunate. Just to tell you in my opinion what happened… Let me give you some background first. In New York City, when we played Ohio State, it was the absolute worst scenario that I’ve ever had to put up with.

“A couple of guys about 10 feet from our bench screamed and yelled at us all night long. Yelled at our players and would say, ‘Deon Thompson – you stink.’ But they didn’t use the word ‘stink.’ Or ‘Dexter Strickland – you stink,’ but they didn’t use the word ‘stink.’ We had to listen to that garbage all night long and we had two different parents that sort of got a little disappointed, a little upset, could have gotten into a confrontation. The security guards did absolutely nothing and it really ticked me off. So I said, ‘I know we have to put up with that on the road, let’s just go.’ We didn’t say anything. Joe Holladay was sitting two or three feet from the guy, but we didn’t say anything whatsoever.

“Saturday night, all of a sudden, some guy stands up and starts yelling at Deon and it came from behind our bench. And you know how when some things happen, you instantly think of something? My first thought was, ‘Now our parents are having to listen to somebody else, and it’s in our own building.’ And so I turned around and I said, ‘Who said that?’ And about 40-50-60-70-80 people started pointing up at this guy. The guy gets up and starts gyrating with his arms and everything like, ‘Yeah, it was me,’ and that kind of thing. And it really did tick me off. I turned and said something to the ushers behind the bench and they started up through there, and I turned around and coached the game. I have no idea what happened. I never turned around to the guy again.

“But my feeling was immediately that our parents who sit right behind our bench have to put up with that stuff again in our own building. So that was it. And after the game, they told me that they had escorted the young man out. Supposedly what had happened was they had asked him for his ticket and he didn’t have a ticket or wasn’t supposed to be sitting in that seat. Supposedly, and I want to emphasis the word supposedly, he didn’t cooperate as much as they wanted, and they chose to take him out.

“Am I disappointed in the whole thing? Yeah, I’m disappointed that it happened. I’m disappointed that I even reacted to it. But again, in our own building, I don’t think that parents ought to have to listen to somebody chastising their son. And whether that’s right or wrong, that’s the way I am. If it’s wrong, it’s wrong. I hate that it happened. I wish that it never happened. Evidently, people have been getting after us all day [on Monday] or getting after me all day. But I tell you what, if that’s the only thing they’ve got to get after me about, I’m a happy young man… If I’m wrong, then that’s good, but I’m not apologizing.”

Posted on: December 15, 2009 3:27 pm
Edited on: December 15, 2009 3:28 pm

Dear Gary (on Roy Williams ejecting a fan)

Here's Tuesday's Dear Gary ...

Dear Gary: Do you agree that coaches should have fans removed for taunts? Also, should sports writers ignore these types of stories?

-- John

I suppose that's John's not-so-subtle way of demanding that I write about Roy Williams having a fan removed from North Carolina's win over Presbyterian, and so here goes. What did I think of the incident? I thought it was ridiculous, small and completely out of line, particularly for somebody of Williams' stature. Coaches shouldn't have any control over what happens in the crowd, regardless of whether they are at home or in an opposing arena.

Let spectators be spectators.

Long as they aren't vulgar, throwing things on the court or causing real problems in some other way, nobody should be removed from a sporting event. Best I can tell, all the fan did was yell "Hey Deon, don't miss it!" while Deon Thompson was shooting free throws. Nothing more, nothing less. Assuming that's the case, Williams should've never flinched. There were enough UNC fans around the guy -- he was wearing a Presbyterian shirt, by the way -- to make sure he didn't do it again, if he tried to do it again. So Williams should've just stayed out of it completely.

In other words, Roy Williams should handle things on the court, North Carolina security should handle things in the stands, and if all the guy did was yell at Deon Thompson, then there really wasn't anything to handle. Either way, the Cameron Crazies should have tons of fun with this story. I imagine we'll here "Hey Deon, don't miss it!" each time Thompson steps to the line in the Duke-UNC showdown March 6.
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