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Saturday, March 6, 1999

Williams denies North Carolina rumor

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Kansas City, Mo. -- Roy Williams has issued a forceful denial of a rumor circulating that he will become the next men's basketball coach at his alma mater, the University of North Carolina.

"I am the basketball coach at the University of Kansas and have agreed to coach at no other institution next year, or five years from now," Williams said Friday.

He was responding to the new book, "Dean's Domain," that reports former Carolina coach Dean Smith has made a deal with KU's Williams to coach at UNC after current Tar Heel coach Bill Guthridge resigns.

Guthridge is in the second year of a five-year pact.

"This rumor saddens me because it is not fair to Bill Guthridge or to me," Williams said. "These statements, or insinuations, are not true at all."

The book, written by longtime UNC basketball observer Art Chansky, has caused quite an uproar in Carolina country. Chansky, a longtime friend of South Carolina coach Eddie Fogler, wrote that the agreement to hire Williams was reached several years ago, but did not state a specific date for Williams' arrival.

Reports of the deal with Williams met with angry denials from Smith, Guthridge and UNC athletics director Dick Baddour.

KU athletics director Bob Frederick added his disdain for the book on Friday.

"I think it's ridiculous," Frederick said. "It's really unfair because it affects two programs that are trying to win games and qualify for the NCAA Tournament. It's unfortunate you're got to deal with this stuff."

After KU's 77-53 Big 12 tournament victory over Nebraska, Williams added to his pre-game statement.

"It's a bunch of crap. I should say nonsense but it is upsetting," Williams said. "There's nothing to it. It is a non story."

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