“I Could Give a Sh!t About North Carolina”

Posted by nvr1983 on March 31st, 2008

I know the topic has been written about ad nauseum before, but I haven’t seen anything substantial written in the major news sources about it after the Elite 8 so I’m going to pretend that I’m breaking this story. . .

As most of you know after the 2003 season, Matt Doherty of 8-20 in 2001-2002 fame “resigned” from his position as head coach at UNC. Because Doherty resigned before the Final 4, much of the talk in the week leading up to the Final 4 that year (along with a freshman phenom Carmelo Anthony) was about who would take over the prized position as coach of the Tar Heels. After Dean Smith retired, he was succeeded for a brief period by Bill Guthridge, but that was only viewed as a temporary fix as, well let’s just say that Guthridge had a lot of “experience” by the time he became a head coach. UNC hired Doherty who was fresh off a great run at Notre Dame where he won a Big East Coach of the Year award. After a strong start, Doherty’s team fell apart the next year before entering the 2002-2003 season with a talented group of freshman that you may remember (Sean May, Rashad McCants, and Raymond Felton). They got off to a hot start that year winning the Preseason NIT with wins over then #2 Kansas (and Roy Williams) and a very talented Stanford squad. However, they fell apart when Sean May was injured soon after. Doherty’s resignation sparked widespread rumors with potential coaches ranging from the absurd (Dean Smith returning) to the more realistic choices (Williams and Larry Brown). Even Dick Vitale chimed in with his thoughts on the candidates.

All of this led up to the championship game, where after a week of questions about their coach leaving, Kansas fell to Syracuse 81-78 when Hakim Warrick came out of nowhere to swat away Michael Lee’s attempt to tie the game. In the post-game aftermath, Roy Williams was interviewed by Bonnie Bernstein. What followed was one of the great moments in sports TV history. Watch and enjoy:

It turns out that in some ways this “interview” became more famous or infamous (depending on your point of view) than the game itself. Some media members were quick to defend Bernstein. As for Williams, who late on April 7th denied even thinking about the UNC job for a second, he ended up leaving Kansas and his recruits and signed with UNC on April 14th. We won’t get into all the details of the process because it ended up being really convoluted, but Joe Posnanski covered it fairly well in his interview with Roy Williams soon after Williams decided to go to UNC.

The domino effect of this saga is pretty interesting in its own right:
– UNC hires Roy Williams from Kansas.
– Kansas hires Bill Self from Illinois.
– Illinois hires Bruce Weber from Southern Illinois.
– In 2005, UNC (Williams) defeats Illinois (Weber) in the national championship game.
– On Saturday night, Kansas (Self) gets a shot at revenge against Williams.

I can’t wait to see what the Kansas fans have in store for Old Roy on Saturday night. . .

nvr1983 (1397 Posts)

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2 responses to ““I Could Give a Sh!t About North Carolina””

  1. el gallo negro says:

    hell naw

  2. Let’s see. Williams says it’s an insensitive question and only cares about the Kansas kids in the locker room (at that moment), then leaves said kids for the other school days later.

    When coaches take this approach (particularly trying to make the reporter or person in her ear out to be scum) to handling tough–but legitimate–questions from reporters, it really only speaks to their ego.

    Certainly not all, but several coaches at major programs (which usually seem to be located in mid to small town in cases like this one) are used to having tremendous control. When someone outside of that culture doesn’t play the game the way the coach seems fit, that person becomes the bad guy.

    Harmless one one level, I suppose. But perhaps dangerous in another. Here’s what I hope is a “ficticious” scenario.

    TV station or newspaper learns stud athletes from the “U” were caught drinking and driving, but the young men were let off with a warning. Oh, yeah. There can only be one driver. But some of the kids in the car were under 21 (legal drinking age). And they appeared to be under the influence.

    News agency seeks comment from coach, AD, whomever. Next thing you know, the small town’s major car dealer is calling the station’s/paper’s sales department and threatening to pull all his ads if the media reports the story.

    The story goes away…

    Think it happens?

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