Friday, February 12, 2010

UNC coach Williams apologizes for Haiti remarks


North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams apologized Thursday for comments he made earlier in the week that compared his disappointment in his struggling team’s season to the suffering in Haiti.

“On February 1st at my weekly radio show I made a comment about a colleague telling me that Haiti was a catastrophe and we were just having a difficult season. I said that does put basketball in perspective,” Williams said in a prepared statement on North Carolina’s official Web site.

“However, Tuesday, at a press conference, I referenced her comment again but I neglected to say that it puts basketball in perspective. In no way am I equating the tragedy in Haiti with basketball. I'm sorry that my statement at the press conference made it seem like I was comparing the two. The people of Haiti are suffering through unimaginably difficult times. I know very well that we are just playing a game.”

Williams on Tuesday had said at the press conference: “Massage therapist told me, she said, ‘You know, coach, what happened in Haiti is a catastrophe. What you’re having is a disappointment.’ And I told her that depends on what chair she was sitting in. Because it does feel like a catastrophe to me, because it is my life.”

Earlier, on his radio show, he made this statement to host Woody Durham: “The young lady that’s our massage therapist, she had the best line ... because that was ... I saw her before the North Carolina State game, and she said, ‘Coach, you may not believe this, or may not feel it all the time, but, what they have in Haiti is a catastrophe. What you have is a disappointment.’ And, it’s true. It’s something ... I said, well right now in my mind and my body, it feels like a catastrophe, but it is. What those people are having to go through is just unbelievable and it does put what we're going through in a different light, but it doesn't make it any easier though Woody, but it does make us understand what we’re facing.”


Ron Prichard 11 years ago

Sounds like much ado about nothing. Clearly Roy, nor any other sane individual, thinks losing basketball games is anything on the same spectrum as the tragedy in Haiti.

Next story, please.

gardenjay 11 years ago

I want that time I spent reading this back.

Michael Auchard 11 years ago

If you have a massage therapist, your situation's not as bad as in Haiti. General rule there.

KEITHMILES05 11 years ago

Roy just needs to STFU. He always likes to bring attention to himself. The only reason he is apologizing is because he was called on the carpt. Otherwise, he really does think his world is worse than everybody elses. Sure glad our coach doesn't say stupid and insensitive remarks like this.

James Miller 11 years ago

Being a coach at UNC is a catastrope, but one he brought himself.

Ryan Richey 11 years ago

Another year, another Roy pity party.

areyouserious 11 years ago

I don't give a damn about North Carolina.....................

Trey Hohman 11 years ago

Megalomaniac. Sidebar: Can anyone else even imagine how utterly condescending and arrogant Roy would be today had he actually won at Nat. Title while at KU and stayed? Looking with clear eyes, had he won vs. The 'Cuse in his last KU Nat. title game – who knows? Maybe he stays at KU, we obviously don’t get Bill Self, who instead stays at Illinois until 3 yrs later when he goes to Kentucky instead of Billy Gillespie and obviously beats KU in the NCAA Nat. Semi-finals in 2007 -- This obviously is mere random speculation, but I do know that Self wouldn't ever let his team quit on him the way Roy's team has this yr. and most likely would have that current UNC roster in 2nd place in the ACC & heading to the NCAA's not worse than a 4 seed. No excuses.

Brad Avery 11 years ago

It's ok. Roy. Kansas fans know you really don't mean what you say. Like when you said, "I'm stayin'."

theajayhawk 11 years ago

The story is relevant. Roy's comments were insensitive. Another example that the world revolves around him.

NH_JHawk 11 years ago

I agree with njjayhawk. We loved Roy when he was here, but he's been gone for years now. Let's focus on Kansas basketball since this is Thanks!

lawrencefan 11 years ago

The Roy haters never go away, do they?

Matt Bowers 11 years ago

How is this news worthy? The man was making a comparison about his life to something going on in the world. The media needs to STFU and stop making something out of nothing.

Those of you bashing Roy need to read his book. He is one of the largest contributers to Kansas basketball and still is. That should at least give him a pass.

njjayhawk, good call on the LJW. This is another case of spin doctoring.

yates33333 11 years ago

I don't like Roy, but he has no reason to apologize. JHWKNMIZRY is correct, politically correct, Bullsh*t.

3GJayhawk 11 years ago

Roy sure has been drawing a lot of attention to himself in a year when his team is clearly not very good. I'm sick of him acting shocked that he's not winning every single game this year when he lost 4 starters from a championship team after last season. The only reason I like the fact that Roy continually makes an ass out of himself is because it always makes me realize and appreciate how great a coach Bill Self is. He's a classy guy that doesn't say stupid things to the media.

Steve Brown 11 years ago

kids on the street with no food, water nor sanitary conditions that have lost their parents, "I do'nt give a flip about college basketball."

UNC had secret deal sown up with RW and when they were at risk of him winning it all, someone leaked the story to successfully distrupt our teams inusre his transfer... that's the sin I"m hung up over....him leaving for home fine, his 80% winning tradition & conf. titiles here fine....his final fours fine... his quality of players for the most part fine.....yet the war the heels started here with the affair, that's the fox in the day with them.

I agree drop UNC stories and I for one didn't buy nor did I read the book. HCBS book was fabulous worth a re/read.

bradynsdad 11 years ago

wow i cant believe how many people still hate roy. the article is not news worthy and hating roy is old, we have bill.

jayhawkinnc 11 years ago

Roy's a douche. all he thinks and cares about is himself. he's only apologizing because he was called out on this Haiti stuff. he fails to remember where he came from and that he had to sell UNC calendars to make ends meet as a lowly assistant.

i'm glad Roy is gone. i'm even happier we have Self! Self is a better X's and O's coach, a better bench coach, a better recruiter and a better person. We have the best in the business in Self!

KU 11 years ago

Egotistical, self-centered SOB.

Hey Roy, don't look over your shoulder now but KU is only 4 games behind you in the race to 2,000 wins. It stands 1997 to 1993. Where you gonna pick up 3 wins, Roy? Maybe NC State at home; maybe Miami at home. I don't see any other real good prospects for poor 'Ol Roy.

Learn to demand defense out of your players and you would never have had such a disgraceful season. You have too much talent on your roster to be this bad.

Trace Stark 11 years ago

Thank goodness for Bill Self!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tim Bingaman 11 years ago

Dag gummit ole Roy! I haven't wanted to hug you so much since the day you left for UNC!!! Bringing shame on UNC with nonsense like this is great!

Like my massage parlor girl told me... ole Roy/UNCs losing season is just good and winning the lottery is exceptional. She is a gifted young lady!

Jayhawk_in_Morgantown 11 years ago

I for one love reading stories about Roy. I despised him when he was our coach, and now that he isn't I'm happy to wish doom on him. Fortunately he's a self-obsessed nut and he makes it easy for me to keep laughing at him. I just wish in hindsight that the majority of Jayhawk fans were onto him before we lost 15 years.

Kyle Crenshaw 11 years ago

believe it or not there is something outside of kansas...i for one like reading articles about this, especially when it has to do with north carolina struggling!

kufankam 11 years ago

While I agree that it is a bit odd to post a story like this on here... I do think it is weak for people to be so hateful of Roy. If you say that you love Kansas Basketball - you should not HATE one of its best coaches in history. He did an amazing job here for 15 YEARS. I love Bill Self and am thrilled he is our coach. However, KU would not have been an attractive job/program for Self to take, had Roy not done the amazing job he did for 15 years. You all need to stop hating him and realize that our program is where it is at today because we have had great coaches. Roy, like Self, IS one of those coaches. I root for him every chance I get because I am thankful for what he has done for KU Basketball.

Adam Evans 11 years ago

I agree with Roy on this one, prior to apology. In his statement, he did not say that this season was a catastrophe on the same level as Haiti. However, from a coach's standpoint, it is still a catastrophe nonetheless. If you start the season in many cases preseason top 5, and fall this hard and this far, that is a catastrophe. I hate that some people are just too sensitive.

Tony Bandle 11 years ago

To our great good fortune, in our case at Kansas, there's no Self in selfish!!!

Mike Barnhart 11 years ago

Ol' Roy looks like a whipped puppy, all mopey and pitiful on Carolina's bench. It's no surprise his team reflects his mood. The guy has never handled adversity well.

tis4tim 11 years ago

I get a little tired of pundits and thin-skinned individuals who put way too much effort into analyzing the intent behind what somebody says. In fact, I'm pretty sure I just offended somebody in typing that last sentence.

People see what they want to see and often find significance where there is none. If you dig far enough, you'll eventually find what you're looking for. Personally, I don't see the big deal with anything Roy said. However, I can't help but sense that Roy's world is crumbling down around him and it's about to get worse.

Phoggin_Loud 11 years ago

33 comments and counting.

I guess this is why LJW keeps printing "Roy" stories.

Marcia Parsons 11 years ago

Threads on the message board as well. I'm sure that was the LJW's clue that someone might be interested. The article is like a follow-up to all the discussion that has been going on.

Gordon Penny 11 years ago

Ya know, I used to get kind irritated when Roy was at KU and he referred to himself in the third person -- well, he was doing it again when they retired Hansbrough's jersey at halftime of their game with Duke. I was silently laughing.

David Black 11 years ago

Roy went to North Carolina because he wanted to be there. I don't care what he says anymore. I want KU sports talk at this web site.

KU 11 years ago

When it rains on 'Ol Roy, it pours.....dadgummit!

Now his chances of winning more than 2 games the rest of the season have been diminished because Ed Davis will be out 6 weeks with a broken wrist, according to ESPN.

Steve Brown 11 years ago

Feb. 13 KU vs ISU Allen Fieldhouse Lawrence, KS ESPNU at 7:00p.m. CT

Beat Clones:


kranny 11 years ago

Yahweh is dead on. Hard to sympathize with someone who's complaining while getting a massage.

jaybate 11 years ago


I want you for my counter factual inference specialist. That was a great bit of analysis of alternative futures you did above. Interesting.

rawkhawk 11 years ago

of course the '08 Final Four made it easier, but I'm happy that Roy and even Dean Smith are part of the KU tradition. I was rooting for UNC the other day to take down #7 Duke, but I found myself not overly upset with the outcome. That KU might overtake UNC in total wins is pretty sweet...

jaybate 11 years ago

FWIW, I think Roy is a decent person and a terrific coach.

After some reflection, I don't think this quote is necessarily indicative of a person who has trouble distinguishing between Haiti's suffering and UNC's slump.

He just isn't loyal to KU.

Now, if he only recruited half the country at UNC, as he did at KU, then I would say he were a great person and very loyal to KU.

But he won't do that, so I hope he gets fired for this, so KU can get his recruits and KU can get on with the business of celebrating all the good things Roy did once for KU. Roy's retirement is going to be a time of reconciliation.

I think Roy would understand this sort of expedience.

I have to do what's best for my familyand my alma mater just as Roy had to do.

My family is all loyal to KU just as he and his were loyal to UNC.

Fire him.

Then celebrate him.

We have to think of our families first.

bradynsdad 11 years ago

i cant help but feel that if roy were here everyone would be defending these statements. i attended many of roy williams camps and he is still one of my favorite coaches. i grew up loving ku and unc basketball. they are both pretty much one in the same. yes roy did give alot of good years to ku but he is gone and hating him so much just seems like we miss him. kind of like when you hate an ex. his loyalty is still to ku that is why he came to the national championship game and supported ku, i didnt think it was a slap in the face to his team. one more thing his kids are only allowed to wear unc or ku gear at his camps. i would rather see unc win over any sec team. i respect all great coaches, but this is just my opinion.

KUTPO 11 years ago

Roy wasn't getting a massage, he was getting a facial! :) splat!

MDHawk 11 years ago

We're aware basketball woes don't really compare with the tragedy in Haiti...I'm pretty sure Roy does too. So...why was this article ever written?

Not a big fan of PC watchdog antics making the news, especially on a site that's supposed to be about sports.

kureader 11 years ago

... political correctness - has gotten out of control ... sportswriter - desperate for a story

Roy: I'm over your departure. And, you can call your season a tragedy, you can call it a disappointment, you can call it anything you want. Just keep losin! Go Hawks.

Martin Shupert 11 years ago

I wonder if Roy feels sorry he isn't coaching a decent team, even if we're "way out there".

Ryan Mullen 11 years ago

I love Roy Williams, about as much as I love Ryan Seacrest.

hammerhawk 11 years ago

I don't care for roy or the horse he rode in on. And let me second the comments related to the uncaring comments made by the guy. I hope him and his loser team don't win another game this year.

JayhawkBigXII 11 years ago

Ol' Roy needs to fire that dad-gum massage therapist and hire someone he can quote without gettin' him in dad-gum trouble.

Mike Kendall 11 years ago

I find it interesting that after we won in '08, that the season after, we made it to the Elite 8. Roy won it last year, but is having his worst season ever. Just find it interesting. How can you not make comparisons between Self and Williams. Roy is a good coach. My wife is a Roy Williams fan but she did not grow up in Lawrence. Having grown up in Lawrence, I did not care two hoots about Roy and his return to Carolina. When he made the decision to leave, oooh I was mad. I'm over that now. KU came out with the better deal, IMHO. Self has put all the bad feelings about Roy to rest. That's good for all parties involved. It's too bad Roy made the comment but he'll have to deal with it. The bottom line---I don't give a s!!t about North Carolina and the ACC, for that matter.

Mike Kendall 11 years ago

drgnslayr---I think you speak for a lot of Jayhawk alums and fans with your first two sentences. And when you say Self is a humble guy, a normal guy... and an excellent coach---I can see why moms and dads are happy when their sons play for Self!

Lance Hobson 11 years ago

Roy is a jerk. Let's just call a spade a spade. It's what makes him successful. He's a competetive SOB. Remember when he yelled at the ROTC honor guard to get off the court when he thought they were marching too slow after the national anthem? Nice guys don't do this kind of thing. Now that I live in NC again I see a lot of this sweet talking southern talk that seems nice but is often not the case. Don't be fooled by his good ol' boy act.

And while we're being honest, UNC's season is a catastrophe. Duke thumped them easily on Psycho T night. They are terrible.

Trey Hohman 11 years ago


I miss us....Keep it up. xoxox. Man-love.

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