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2008 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A new chapter

After five years, Williams, KU meet

From left to right: A statue of Forest "Phog" Allen wears a tee shirt that expresses Kansas University basketball fans' hopes that Roy Williams would choose to stay in Lawrence and coach the Jayhawks. Williams pauses to hold back tears at the annual KU men's basketball banquet in 2003. Williams is seen leaving Allen Fieldhouse to accept the head coach's position at North Carolina. Williams packs for his flight from Lawrence to Chapel Hill N.C. Williams speaks at the 2003 media day at UNC. It has been five years since Williams left KU for UNC, but Saturday, the North Carolina coach will go up against his former squad.

From left to right: A statue of Forest "Phog" Allen wears a tee shirt that expresses Kansas University basketball fans' hopes that Roy Williams would choose to stay in Lawrence and coach the Jayhawks. Williams pauses to hold back tears at the annual KU men's basketball banquet in 2003. Williams is seen leaving Allen Fieldhouse to accept the head coach's position at North Carolina. Williams packs for his flight from Lawrence to Chapel Hill N.C. Williams speaks at the 2003 media day at UNC. It has been five years since Williams left KU for UNC, but Saturday, the North Carolina coach will go up against his former squad.

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Maybe someday, say 10 years hence, the idea of a Roy Williams-led team playing against the university that gave him his first head-coaching gig might be old news.

Now, though, it's novel enough that Williams vs. Kansas University is sure to dominate talk of a Final Four loaded with college basketball royalty.

And Williams, who insists he bleeds both Kansas crimson and Carolina blue, knows it.

So Monday, for one of the first of what's sure to be umpteen times in the days leading up to Kansas vs. Carolina in an NCAA Tournament semifinal at 7:47 p.m. Saturday in San Antonio, Williams - without so much as a "dadgum" - addressed his thoughts leading up to the first Carolina-KU showdown since he left Mt. Oread for Chapel Hill, N.C., back in 2003.

"I definitely care," Williams said during a national conference call with the four Final Four coaches. "I gave some school, some basketball program, some state - whatever you want to call it - 15 years of my heart, body and soul. I'm never going to lose that. I'm never going to lose those memories. I'm never going to lose their appreciation for basketball, their passion for basketball. I'll always appreciate that."

To illustrate his point, Williams mentions his summer camps. On Day One, he said, he establishes an inviolate ground rule.

"There are a lot of little kids running around," he said. "They're instructed on the first day, they can wear Carolina stuff or Kansas stuff, but not anybody else's stuff."

Still a KU fan

Contrary to what some still bitter KU fans - and they are many, though they seem to dwindle with time - might believe, Williams still cares about Kansas.

Williams recruited fifth-year Kansas senior Jeremy Case to KU, and, he recounted Monday, he recalled young Darnell Jackson and Darrell Arthur attending games.

But most of his direct ties to the Jayhawks are gone.

Many of the same diehard fans and supporters, however, remain, and Williams was reminded of that as he watched a replay - "I Tivo'd it. I didn't want to watch all the commercials," Williams said with a laugh - of KU's 59-57 victory over Davidson that gave the Jayhawks their first Final Four trip since (you guessed it) Williams coached them to the 2003 NCAA championship game.

"They were showing sideline shots of the crowd," Williams said of the KU-Davidson game, "and I saw some people I really enjoyed cheering for my team for 15 years."

Not all of them - or the rest of the Jayhawk Nation - are so happy with Williams' success since departing KU.

The first time UNC tried to woo Williams back to his alma mater, back in the summer of 2000, a weeklong emotional roller coaster concluded with Williams' public "I'm staying" declaration, and KU fans apparently took that as a ironclad commitment to Kansas until death did them part.

Thus, when Williams accepted the second time Carolina came calling, some Jayhawks felt jilted. Many fans were livid; T-shirt sales ("Benedict Roy," "I don't give a sh-- about Roy Williams") were brisk.

Even now, those emotions still run deep, as is evidenced by the deluge of e-mails, message-board posts and phone calls whenever Williams' name or image happens to cross paths with his former school.

More than a few Kansas fans thought, "Now WE can make Roy cry," a nod to Williams' penchant for crying after tournament losses. Early in his KU career, it was an endearing sign of his commitment to the program and, especially, the players, but eventually came to become symbolic of his inability to win it all with KU.

Monday, Williams expressed hope any hard feelings eventually would pass.

"There's no question I hope so," he said. "It's something that's bothering me. I gave my heart and soul there for 15 years. I love that place and always will love that place. People pass me in the airport and say, 'Rock Chalk," and I say, "Go KU.' It should pass. The game should take center stage."

'We'll put all this stuff behind us'

Williams has been nothing but consistent on his approach to KU vs. Carolina.

In the ensuing five years, when such a showdown was purely hypothetical, to this week, when it has become inevitable, he has sounded a familiar refrain: that KU is his second-favorite school now, just as Carolina was his second favorite when he was at KU; that he'd never schedule a KU-Carolina game in the regular season; that he only would want such a showdown in the Final Four or, better yet, in the national championship game; and that he wished ol' Roy wouldn't overshadow what should be a dandy semifinal.

"Hopefully, we'll put all this stuff behind us," he said, "and it'll be about this year's North Carolina team against this year's KU team."

Not likely anytime soon.

Even Bill Self - who left his own similarly high-profile position at Illinois to replace Williams at KU - was asked about the Williams angle.

Specifically, he was asked if he was troubled that Williams talk had taken precedent over many other obvious story angles, like the fact four No. 1s make up the Final Four field for the first time in NCAA history, or that Self, after four previous Elite Eight setbacks, was going to his first Final Four.

Self just laughed.

"I'll deal with anything getting there," he said. "You could put me answering questions in a dark room with a bright light shining on me eight hours a day, and I'd love every second of it."

Then he sucked it up.

"When you leave a high-level place to go to another high-level place, five years is a pretty long time that those teams haven't matched up," he said. "Or Kansas and Illinois haven't matched up. So we've probably dodged some bullets. : This could have happened before now. But if it's going to happen, it's great to have it happen on a big stage, and this certainly will be the biggest of stages."

Comments

scootja32 14 years, 1 month ago

Guys like Kieth need to LET IT GO!

he gave us 15 years. Gave a crap and went on to something HE wanted to do. It's his life.

All I gotta say is

Thanks for giving us more wins than any other program in the 90's man. Good luck, just not on Saturday.

dminear60 14 years, 1 month ago

PaulDMeyer: I could not have said it better. Well done. Can we focus on the game now?

fansincewilt 14 years, 1 month ago

I agree that it's time to let it go. It wouldn't be hard at all if he had handled it correctly. Well, I just erased a large article about what I think of Williams. I am glad he's gone. What we wound up with is Bill Self. No comparison at all between those two men. Whatever happens Saturday night, I am glad Bill represents the Jayhawks. That look on his face after the missed shot by Davidson made me so proud to be a Kansas Jayhawk fan. That look was priceless. I am so proud of these guys that represent our state. What a game by Kaun, Chalmers and all the guys. It's all about Bill Self and them. I don't want to hear anymore about Williams.

Ryan Gerstner 14 years, 1 month ago

I'm fine with Roy and I certainly wish him well (except on Sat.).

yates33333 14 years, 1 month ago

Who is Hartsock? Why does the LJW need to import a writer to rationalize the Heels' heel? They've done admirable jobs on their own. Guys like Scottja32 NEED TO LET IT GO. Better yet, LJW needs TO LET IT GO. FORGET him.

Paul Meyer 14 years, 1 month ago

Bill Self is a total class act. His responses to all this Roy stuff has been superb. I believe we're a better team, better school, because of Bill Self.

KEITHMILES05 14 years, 1 month ago

"I gave some school, some basketball program, some state - whatever you want to call it - 15 years of my heart, body and soul."See, this guy still can't speak with respect of KU. His wording is just awful but the guy doesn't get it.Come on Roy........show some respect. When you say these things and others such as "out there" it shows disrespect.Then, you wonder why people shake their heads at you.Look in the mirror man.

NH_JHawk 14 years, 1 month ago

THANK YOU ROY for the 15 magnificent years you gave to KU. Like him or not, he took our already storied program to another level; a STANDARD of excellence that Larry Brown brought back to KU after just 5 short years as head coach. Roy did it for 15! I suspect there are a lot of folks on this board who are not old enough to really remember KU hoops before Larry or Roy. Were we good? Yes. Were we CONSISTENTLY GREAT? Not so much. So I guess this is all a matter of perspective. It's time to let it go and be thankful that we have Bill Self who will continue the standard of excellence. Hopefully a win Saturday will finally put this to rest.

jenaj21 14 years, 1 month ago

Well said fansincewilt!I totally agree, I was upset for far to long about Roy. Again not because he left, we would have been fine had he left in 2000 but he made some pretty big loyality statements only to depart 3 years later. BUT, that being said, like fansincewilt stated, seeing Bill drop to his knees for his team and KU fans in hopes of this final four signifies how loyal Bill is to us. I love this team and I have no hard feelings for Roy anymore. This game should be about Bill and Bill's players! But I would be lying if you asked me who in college basketball would I love to beat more than anyone else on Saturday in the final four....GO JAYHAWKS!

Jonathan Allison 14 years, 1 month ago

I just love how the media is gonna milk this one all week. They're gonna focus on the KU fans who hate Roy Williams and say that we all need to get over it, and they're gonna play it over and over every day. All the while they will show us the pictures of Coach Williams leaving KU and do everything they can to stir the pot! Awesome... It must be so much fun to be a sports writer!Honestly, I've never not liked Coach Williams, but him being at UNC will make it a little bit sweeter when we beat them. And when the Rock Chalk chant lulls the whole building into a trance and seems to make the season crawl to an end, I can't imagine the emotions that Roy Williams will be feeling. But the rest of us KU fans would be elated to win whether we were playing UNC or anyone else.

Dyrk Dugan 14 years, 1 month ago

The KU players and Coach Self want to win this game because it's the Final 4...a chance for their own place in KU history....and a chance to play for a national title.They really couldn't care less about KU fans' revenge for Roy leaving. And that will be motivation enough. Think about it. Bill Self and KU really haven't beaten a name school, or a high seed, in the NCAA tournament. Sure, they beat Kentucky last year...but they were an 8 seed. This is our next chance, against a big time program....and a win here would cement the acceptance of Bill Self being a big time basketball coach...and these players with their own great legacies. Go Jayhawks!

pajhawk 14 years, 1 month ago

Good posts. I too have been able to move on post-Roy, although living in the Charlotte area makes it AWFULLY tough. When it's all said and done, this game IS about KU's team vs. UNC's team, but these other storylines are absolutely intriguing to me. It's almost surreal for me to imagine Roy, Jerod, CB, Coach Robinson, etc. sitting on the other bench. GO HAWKS and I hope and pray Darrell decides to pull his head out this weekend!

tis4tim 14 years, 1 month ago

I think Hartsock is a pen name for Bedore. Also, I think it's great Williams will have conflicted feelings about this game, because I know Bill Self will have no qualms about kicking UNC's a** Saturday.This is our team's time and Bill's time to assert himself once and for all. Rock Chalk!

Jacobpaul81 14 years, 1 month ago

It's only "Novel" cause idiots in the press think it's "novel", and cry-baby roy will just play it up.

jayhawkstacey 14 years, 1 month ago

i think the reference to "some team" was probably worded that way because of the way the question was asked.....

AgHawk 14 years, 1 month ago

Hawk fans. The feelings that most of us have for Coach Williams are like that prized girlfriend that decided "She just wants to be friends" and moves on to another guy. On the surface it hurts and we want to talk bad about him, but deep down, we hurt because we loved him and a can't help but feel jealous that he left us for UNC. We love our Coach Self and we still love Coach Williams too. Roy left his mark on our program and coach Self has built on that foundation. Coach Williams and Self are outstanding coaches and outstanding human beings.

KU 14 years, 1 month ago

AgHawk.......You liken Roy and KU fans to a boy who got jilted by his girlfriend. (Personally, I can't relate to that because I never got jilted.) So when you say "Roy left his mark on our program" is that like a hickey?

kc_wildfire 14 years, 1 month ago

This is to all the bitter, Roy-haters out there...What happens if KU doesn't win Saturday?All this talk from the fans the last four or five years about wanting to meet Carolina so they (the fans) can extract some revenge on Roy. Well what if that doesn't happen? Will you become filled with even more hate?More bitterness?More disdain?Or...Will you finally get on with your lives and realize that a man made a personal decision based on a number of factors not even related to KU or even basketball?Will you admit that for fifteen years you were honored to have one of the best basketball coaches in the country lead your team?Will you congratulate the current coach and players on an outstanding season that ended up two wins shy of the ultimate goal?

KU 14 years, 1 month ago

kc_wildfire......If KU loses it will be nothing more or less than Ol Roy was able to bring Jayhawk Nation in 15 years.I think most KU fans don't hate Roy; we just have a healthy disinterest in his professional success on Tobacco Road. In my opinion, any KU fan that wishes UNC the best is foolish because we, as KU fans, should aspire to having the most wins in program history, a record that is currently held by UNC if I'm not mistaken.Evidence of our disinterest? There has been VERY little chatter about Roy on this site all season long. (Except for a week ago when the sportswriters tried to stir up a hornet's nest with a story on Roy.) In the past 4 years, there had been (past tense) endless comparisons of Roy with Bill on this site leading to bitter contension.I think most KU fans have moved on and feel the program is in great hands. And that's a testament to the abilities of Bill Self.Rock Chalk!

Kyle Rohde 14 years, 1 month ago

NH_JHawk, "standard of excellence" from Larry Brown? The guy left us quickly, like he's left every job he ever had, and left us on probation. Roy did more for this school than any coach other than Phog Allen and deserves nothing but praise for it. Like Greg Gurley said on the radio yesterday, how can KU fans cheer Brown to no end and boo Williams? Get over it folks. Its been five years and we have a great coach and a great program still. Get over it.

ahawk4ever 14 years, 1 month ago

I am tired of hearing about Roy Williams! I don't understand why everyone is so obsessed with this. In some ways it is taking away how great of job Coach Self has done and the players. It's time to get over it! Heck it was time to get over it 5 years ago! Sure we all know that Roy is a liar and Smith backstabbed his alma mater that's why the are at North Carolina and not the greatest school in the country. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

Linda Daxon 14 years, 1 month ago

NH_JHAWK,You are dead on. We had a great history before Larry B/Roy W. but we didn't have much of a "present." Owen's teams in 60s/70s and early 80s were good, and he recruited some talented players but not nearly with the consistency of Roy during his 15 year tenure. Roy was able to sustain what Brown started (minus a national chapionship, of course) but for 15 yrs instead of 5, and without that, we might not have been able to lure Bill Self away from Ill. I live in Okla. married to an OSU alumn and I have to hear all the wishfull thinking that B. Pikens will be able to buy Self off and get him down here. Aint going to happen. Leaving KU for Carolina is one thing. Leaving it for Okie State is stupid. (Thank goodness my husband doesn't read this board!)

jayhawk1967 14 years, 1 month ago

Dean Smith is the only villain in this story. Who else would be going against their alma mater to recruit a coach.

carolj 14 years, 1 month ago

Sure Kansas fans took the "I'm staying" press conference as a lifelong declaration of Roy's commitment to KU. Have you forgotten that he was asked during the press conference how long he would be at Kansas and he said "Until I retire or I'm fired"...sounds pretty much like an "until death do us part" declaration to me.But, hey, we got Bill Self out of the deal, and he's a much better coach anyway. Rock Chalk!

jayhawk1996 14 years, 1 month ago

Stay classy, Jayhawk fans. Don't turn into the whiny K-Staters who boo every call that goes against them or the nasty, bitter Mizzou fans who celebrate their own mediocrity and the failures of their biggest rival.Roy Williams made KU a better program and a better place. We should be thanking him, not bashing him.That said, he'll be an emotional wreck on Saturday. The weeklong distraction, combined with KU's edge on defense, will lift the Hawks to victory in an up and down game similar to this year's Big 12 title game in K.C. I can't wait.P.S. Andrew Hartsock has been with the JW for more than 15 years. He covered KU baseball when I was a student and has been an editor on the sports desk since then. He's a good man who knows his KU history.

Kyle Neuer 14 years, 1 month ago

I have alot of regard and fond memories of Coach Williams and his time in Lawrence.I'm also looking forward to dropping a proper(blanking Dukies) "Rock Chalk" chant on him and his squad with 2 minutes to go.

mwilliam 14 years, 1 month ago

Roy did give KU 15 years of his heart and soul; and the fans of KU gave him 15 years of our heart and soul. Who would begrudge a man who is able to achieve his dream, which obviously, coaching his alma mater was his dream. If people want to have a hate for anyone because Roy left, it would be against Smith, who came after Roy, not once but twice. True enough, Smith recommended Roy for the KU position and one would think he did it because being a Kansan and a Jayhawk he wanted what was best for the KU basketball program. Dean demonstrated that North Carolina means more to him than being a Kansan, I would put the blame/hate towards him. You could even go so far as to put Guthridge in the same bag, he too is/was a Kansan. Ol' Roy left to full fill a dream, what were Dean and Bob doing.It's been five years, let it go, let's go to the Alamo and kick some UNC butt, regardless of the coach. Let's support our team because they are our team and we want them to win the championship; the seniors deserve it as does most of the team generally. I guarantee you there is not another team in the final four with the "student athletes" that represent the Jayhawks--academic performance as well as athletic performance. Let's show the country, the world what Kansas and Jayhawk basketball is all about. Go Jayhawks!!

Kyle Neuer 14 years, 1 month ago

jawhawk1967-You want a villain in all this-look to Strong Hall.

ahawk4ever 14 years, 1 month ago

I can't believe we cheered Dean Smith when he came back for the reunion after what he did before the '03 Championship game. Recruiting Roy before the biggest game of his life...If you are mad a Roy you should be just as angry with Dean Smith who backstabbed his alma mater...again that's why they are both at North Carolina...that's how they do things their!

Alan Braun 14 years, 1 month ago

Yes, Larry Brown left us quickly and left us on probation. So did Roy.

RonBurgandy 14 years, 1 month ago

It's not a matter of "let it go", people just trying to take the high road are annoying. He coaches a school that rivals KU as one of the top in basketball, therefore, I don't like him. Just like I don't like UNC, Duke, UCLA, or Kentucky. I want my Jayhawks to be the best, the cream of the crop, which I believe they are.I will not wish him well, I do not want to see UNC do well. I don't care how long he coached here, he did not win a championship and I believe we could have had success with a number of other coaches. He left KU, he broke ties with my school, therefore I do not care about him anymore. Things could have been different for some people had he left the first time around, but not really for me. I don't think there is a better place in the world than KU. Enough of the "let it go" crap. People aren't going to, and they shouldn't have to. They should have the right to hate the coach on the other side of the scorer's table. Come down off your high horses and realize that.

cklarock 14 years, 1 month ago

^Ron, sports fans love to hate the other guy, but this particular other guy did do a lot for our program, and we at Kansas also like to pride ourselves in being classier than the average sports fan.For fifteen years, KU had the best coach in the country. Thank you Roy Williams -- you were an excellent caretaker of the Kansas tradition.Luckily, when Roy left, we got the best coach in the country to come replace him.Bill Self is the man, and I'm really glad we got a chance to grab him before he ended up at another destination job.Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

rockchalk80 14 years, 1 month ago

Let me preface my comment that I like Roy and appreciate his contributions to Kansas ---that said, I get upset with those like Andy Katz (ESPN)...that make comments like he did yesterday on First Take (ESPN2)... "Roy brought Kansas to an elite status"... gee... you would have thought we were a backwater basketball school.

RonBurgandy 14 years, 1 month ago

This guy continued KU's status, he didn't elevate it, there was no where to which it could be elevated. He left, showed his true colors, so I am done with him.Besides, Self kicks Williams a**.

lshafer1940 14 years, 1 month ago

Having lived in NC for over 3 years I have to listen to the praises for Roy every day. I think we have better coach in Bill Self. I will be Rock Chalking during the whole game

mulsow3 14 years, 1 month ago

I don't know how any of you True Jayhawk fans can just "let it go" when it comes to Roy. I for one spent six summers supplementing his income by going to his basketball camps because all I ever wanted to be was Jayhawk. And when my time came the only choice was KU and to live and die with every second of the NCAA tournament every year since i was a child can leave a lasting impression on a young man, one that five years is not going to wipe clean. The only thing that can make me feel vindicated is for a National Championship and I have always said this, it just so happens that this year we have to go through Roy to get there and nothing would be sweeter than tasting his sweet tears of sorrow as we cut down the nets and hoist the National Championship trophy why him and psycho T siscor eachother.

northleavitt 14 years, 1 month ago

jayhawk1967 and ahawk4ever are exactly right: Dean Smith is the "villain" here. If I'm going to direct any mild hatred toward anyone for the Roy departure, it's headed Dean's way. He clearly had a conflict in this situation. Not that college basketball is the most ethical environment, but I would have expected that someone of Dean's purported stature and alleged class would have not played a central and pivotal role in recruiting a beloved coach away from his alma mater. Dean seems smug and egocentric to me. Just wait until you see him in his Carolina blue blazer on Saturday in San Antonio -- "once a Jayhawk, now a Tarheel."Boiled down, Roy left KU to be closer to his family. You cannot blame anyone for that. Roy gave us 15 good years. Did he win a national championship? No. Did he choke in 1997 against AZ? Yes, the worst KU loss in the last 30 years other than his inability to stop Jerry frickin' McNamara in 2003.At the end of the day, we are not MISSING ANYTHING with corny Aw-Shucks Roy in Chapel Hill. Did anyone listen to him trying to articulate why Carolina did not have a home court advantage last weekend in Charlotte? Disingenuous to say the least. Pitino correctly called him out. This is the Self era. Better defense, tougher players, and hopefully a national championship or two.

Christopher Johnson 14 years, 1 month ago

It seems that the overwhelming majority have decided as much as we still have some deep hard feelings against Roy, we also realize he brought us to a level of consistency nobody else had before. Now we have Bill Self who has kept that exact same level of consistency (minus a couple early losses in the tournament - but sh*t happens). Who else but Bill self would've given us 5 years of consistent top 10 performance? We have a great guy and we have to remember we HAD a great guy. Roy left his permanent mark on KU basketball that will forever help us to be a top notch program. I hope to see KU fans at San Antonio give Roy a standing ovation. He deserves it for what he gave us (and as I said earlier this week, may mess with his emotions even more - we all know how emotional filled guy he is). He is a legend. Its unfortunate for us he's not with us, but we've still continued our great tradition, so we're doing fine!

14 years, 1 month ago

Thanks for the link, jayhawkinatl. I hope Cory is right!

kupopp 14 years, 1 month ago

How short people's memories are. On at least two occasions Dean Smith was rejected by KU basketball coach search committees. To find the villain, all we have to do is look into the mirror. I don't blame Coach Smith one bit for recruiting Roy away from the school that rejected him.I thank Roy for the time and success he gave us and I thank Bob Frederick for the insight for signed up Roy in the first place, as well as Coach Smith for recommending him. I also thank Roy for the additional three years he gave us when NC first came calling, because Coach Self had signed with Illinois the week before. Otherwise who knows who we would have gotten.Get over it. The sun rose in the east and we are in the Final Four! Life is good.ROCK CHALK!

Dale Koch 14 years, 1 month ago

Well said rohdek. I totally agree with you.

oldboy 14 years, 1 month ago

Folks, I am a forever respecter and "lover" of Roy Willliams. I was 56 years old when he came to KU and right off I thought I saw something in him that meant greatness for him and his teams. As an old high school basketball coach I was in much awe of the way he coached the game. I wanted so much to be one of Roys boys but that being impossible I took part in the old Big XII discussion boards, (KU) with a name of Roysoldboy. I liked that name so well that I took it to other forums all over the nation and today people just call me Roy on those things. Most of them have no idea why I took that name but who cares.I taped every game the team played under Roy (I missed 5 for various reasons. I still have all of those tapes and watch them often partly just to watch Roy do his thing.Why do we have to hate the man for what he did? I just don't understand it because he really did what he thought best for him and his family. Isn't that what a kid does when he comes to KU on a basketball scholarship? Didn't Roy help a lot of them become the successes they became both in basketball and life? Didn't he really give himself to KU completely for those 15 years? He didn't actually stab anyone in the back when he made that decision. Maybe me being 70 years old then had something to do with how I got over being really mad at him. Maybe it was easier for me since I am not an ex-KU student but I still think of him as I always did and surely some of you people who have existed the past 5 years with all that dislike for him will get release from all this someday. I sure hope so, because there is nothing in what Roy did that should cause all of this dislike that borders on hate that seems to grow with some people.Lets all just ignore the desire of the press to stir these emotions the rest of the week and revel in what the present team managed to do without Roy and really want them to win for themselves instead of to get even with Roy Saturday night.

truehawkfan 14 years, 1 month ago

The reason people, myself included, were so bitter when Roy left, was because he was such a part of our KU lives. He was involved, loving to his players and fans, and wore his emotions on his sleeve. The nasty things people say are going to happen because of the love we felt for Roy. This game is not about Roy and us, it is about the players on the floor, but the media had no choice but to bring up what every KU fan was thinking, a chance to play Roy and his Tarheels. I like to think of Roy as more of a wife you had children with, telling you she loved you and would stay with you regardless of who came knocking, then, 3 years later, she says, "honey, you are great and I gave you 15 great years, but I have to go home to my old husband who I love very deeply right now." If that happened to you, or one of your buddies, no matter how good the wife was, you would say some pretty nasty things about her. I agree with what all of you are saying. Yes we need to let it go, but it says a lot about Roy, that some of us just can't. Yes, we have remarried to a much better person, and we are happy again, but the pain is going to resurface, no matter how much we try and fight it, especially now, so lets get all the words out, so come game time, we can just focus on rooting our Jayhawks and our much better person, Coach Self, to a National Championship game. Love you Roy, and I understand why you left, but that does not mean it didn't hurt, and some of us will enjoy beating your tarheels back to your "homeland".GO HAWKS

dbenton6 14 years, 1 month ago

If any of us grew up in a specific city and got a job in a different city doing what you love and after 15 years you were offered the same type of job for more money back in the home town you grew up in and your family was at, wouldn't you accept it? I know I would. Roy treated everyone with respect when he was with us and I feel he even has more respect for us now that he is gone. I wish him and his family all the luck and good fortune always (except between 7:30 and 10:30 on saturday)

northleavitt 14 years, 1 month ago

Well, I'm sure the media will play this angle, too. Reports that Sutton was fired today. I wonder if Bonnie will ask Bill if he's going to pull a Roy? What a bunch of clowns at OSU. Self will not take the job, but it's certainly going to detract from KU's accompishments. http://www.koco.com/news/15761899/detail.html?rss=okl&psp=news

Ed Brown 14 years, 1 month ago

Roy did give his heart and soul and deserves credit for that. He was pretty much a class act. I personally don't like the way he waffled at the end and literally snuck out of town with his tail tucked between his legs like a coward because he lied publically.I am glad he has gone because his temper is out of control, he bashes competition like his battles with Coach K this year and in his "older" age, he is one step from Bobby Knight when he was out of control. Roy is getting to the point that anger managment classes would serve him well.All I can end this with is I certainly am hoping to see him sobbing during the press conference after the game because Kansas won.ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK! GO KU! We have the greatest team from the coach down to the staff. I wish Julian would have experienced this week. I also wish KU wouldn't have taught me to hate losing so bad! :)

Brian Berry 14 years, 1 month ago

if you are still hung up on Roy leaving 5 years ago...get a life.

Linda Daxon 14 years, 1 month ago

I think KU fans ought to show some real class Saturday and give Roy a standing ovation when he is introduced. Not only will it make us look good, it will make Roy look bad for leaving us and, if he still loves us like he says he does, it will mess with his mind the whole game.

Mike Crosbie 14 years, 1 month ago

mvjayhawk said it best, this isn't about Roy, this is about OUR Jawhaks, our team, our"Self" lets talk about them, and their time in the spotlight. We do our team a disservice by only talking about "Roy"We have seniors Kaun, Jackson, and Robinson who are getting ready to play their last two games as a Jayhawk. I think it would be so much better posting about them.Rock Chalk !!

chicagohawk52 14 years, 1 month ago

Let's hope this isn't dejavu since Sean has now resigned from OkState...

Mike Crosbie 14 years, 1 month ago

Idaxon is right, all KU fans need to give Roy an ovation and maybe even Chant Roy...Roy, for a minute, that really could scew up his head, as I'm sure he wouldn't expect it.

JayCeph 14 years, 1 month ago

Just because Roi 'meant it at the time' when he said he was going to stay at KU in 2000 doesn't make it okay that the landscape shifted right out from under all parties involved during that fateful spring in 2003.If I were to go pick up a hooker and then get caught, I doubt that the rationale that I 'meant it at the time' when I said my vows to my wife would suffice as an excuse to do something other than what I had earlier promised.Nobody thinks that what Roi did during his 15 years at KU was superfluous and uneventful. Nobody is mad at him for that. To continue to bring up those 15 years is just a tactic of misdirection.The real issue is, on one level, how Roi handled his departure but supremely rests with UNC and how they crapped in the mouths of the entire college basketball community just so they could have their way... regardless of the fallout.This has nothing to do with how much people like Self and the great place we (the KU faithful) are in today. It has everything to do with UNC and how they put everyone in a bad spot. Such a bad spot that their fair haired boy Roi now has to confront the fact that he chose to side with a school that has very little class and integrity.People who argue about anything but the main issue are just confused, blind or attracted to shiny things.

vmyers 14 years, 1 month ago

Hey, people at the Journal World!!I have some free research for you, courtesy of me being very bored at work yesterday.When KU and UNC meet on Saturday, it will be the fourth time that KU and UNC have met in the Final Four since the NCAA Tournament began in 1939 (1957, 1991 and 1993 being the others). That is the most occurrences for any single matchup in Final Four history. Two other matchups have occurred three times -- KU vs Duke, and UCLA vs. Louisville. By my count, 18 matchups have occurred twice, two involving KU -- KU vs. Indiana, and KU vs. Marquette.Also -- and I have not researched this thoroughly, but giving it the eyeball test it seems to be true -- I believe that Roy is the only coach to ever coach on both sides of a single Final Four matchup.

Pat Bell 14 years, 1 month ago

One thing I haven't heard mentioned was the way the fans turned on Roy during the Pre-season NIT that last year. The comments were so filled with hate after we lost those two games that he quit even opening his mail so he could keep his focus on the team. This from the fans who promised undying devotion when he said he would stay. Perhaps both sides promised more than they could deliver.That said, this year has been an incredible one and I'm as excited as I have ever been about a basketball season. Win or lose, it's been a fantastic ride.

jayhawkinATL 14 years, 1 month ago

No problem txrockchalk. Liked his analysis and, more importantly, I hope he's right too.

Michael Leiker 14 years, 1 month ago

Great Omens Today. I was out making sales calls and just happened to walk in to the place here in Omaha that makes every single NCAA Championship trophy. They were the ones who came up with the new design, kind of the arch shape. Amazing, the shop only has about 10 people in it. They were already working on the individual volleyball trophies for 2008. Very cool place.I figure this has to mean that KU will win it all. I was nervous but now I'm pumped. Beak Em Hawks!!!!

jayhawkinATL 14 years, 1 month ago

Yep, let the Self/OSU rumor mill begin!!!!!!

Chicago_JHawk 14 years, 1 month ago

I don't know what I'll tire of more quickly...the "Roy against his old team" angle, or the "Self to OSU?" angle.

KUglow 14 years, 1 month ago

It's Deja Vu all over again, Yogi. And to think, I used to root for the Cowboys when they were not playing KU. No more. Whether they hire Self or not, to pull this crap during this week? Ugh.

hawk_bred20 14 years, 1 month ago

I think the "Self to OSU" angle is going to get a lot more annoying.

jayhawkinATL 14 years, 1 month ago

If I were Self, I'd be pissed that OSU took this action the week of my "coming out" party!!!!!

jayhawkinATL 14 years, 1 month ago

Could this all be an elaborate April Fool's Day joke???

KUglow 14 years, 1 month ago

ATL - That is the same exact logic we used five years ago to try and justify why a coach would stay. I think it is a hard decision for the Coach, if it is one he has to make, to be quite honest. If you don't think so, just look at the postings over the past two days and the amount of passion and energy that we all have for our alma mater. How can we talk out of both sides of our mouth here? Wouldn't you expect the Coach to be just as passionate and fired up about OSU? Self could have a chance to go be a hero in his home state for $40 million. That sounds pretty good to me.

Chicago_JHawk 14 years, 1 month ago

It is something I think he'd only consider if KU and OSU were in different conferences.

jayhawkinATL 14 years, 1 month ago

I hear ya, KUglow. But why would OSU choose such timing? They've gotta believe that they're NOT helping themselves because they're doing it at Coach Self's highest moment. It's got to peeve him to no end and cause him to be somewhat bewildered with them. OSU could have waited another week to make the move.

Chicago_JHawk 14 years, 1 month ago

Also, that CBS article is just a rehash of all the articles from the past couple months that Self repeatedly brushed aside, but now it says "OSU fires Sutton" instead of "IF OSU fires Sutton".

KUglow 14 years, 1 month ago

Yeah, I agree, ATL, if Self is indeed the number one candidate for OSU, then at least wait five more days. It is not like they are going to be working the FF knowing Bill is their number one target. Bill Self presser at 3pm - his pre-San Antonio press conference - not in reaction to this news, FYI.

SSgtB 14 years, 1 month ago

There is not another program in the nation that Coach Self would take other than OK St. With that being said there is a 99.9999999% that Coach Self will not go to OK St. That is not a program that one would leave Kansas for. Or at least a sane person.

northleavitt 14 years, 1 month ago

Given the timing of Sutton dismissal, one would like to infer that OSU has credible information that Self has no interest in the position, and OSU is simply trying to jump in the hunt for a coach when there are a number of decent jobs available (Indiana and Cal). However, this is eerily similar to the 2003 situation. In my opinion, Self has one option here if he doesn't want this to affect the UNC game: an unequivocal and unwavering denial of any interest in the OSU position TODAY at his press conference. He cannot dance around this question, and I would hope that he would throw some support Sutton's way. Perhaps he'll even criticize OSU for throwing a former player under the bus in just two years. Of course, he may stay silent and use this situation as leverage for a new deal, but this issue could affect the players and the game on Saturday. He has a big public relations decision to make in the next 24 hours.

chicagohawk52 14 years, 1 month ago

If this were my alma mater (KU) pulling this stunt I would have no reason to talk to them. Dont' steal my thunder and my accomplishments as a professional so that you can bring your dismal season to the forfront and lead everyone to believe that my accepting a job there is in the bag. That is what OSU has been doing this whole season. I am a first genration Jayhawk and would have been a 3rd generation Cowboy and with this I am glad I made the choice I did. I have now lost all respect for the alumni at OSU who forced Sutton out.I think our loyalty showed in '05 and in '06 when (well we all know) happened. If Bill is as smart as I think he is he will stay right where he is and retire a hero at KU rather than just another good coach at OkState...

hardwick15 14 years, 1 month ago

I don't think the media understands how deep this goes. They act like KU is just another basketball school who lost a coach to the all-powerful UNC. That is NOT the way it happened. Even looking back to the original Benedict Arnold, Mr. Dean Smith himself, these schools have been trading coaches and bad blood for centuries.To all of you who are saying "let it go," I don't think there is anything wrong with people harboring ill feelings about the WAY that Roy left. If people are pist that he went home, then it is time to probably let that dog rest. But, if you are like me, and grew up watching KU basketball under Roy, and also saw how happy Wayne Simen was that he played for Roy Williams at KU, then the fact that Roy left without really meeting individually with him or any of his other players is perfectly justified.But, for those that just call him Benedict Williams because he left to go home, I pose this question:If you were coaching at Oregon State, took the team to four final fours in 15 years, and the Phog came calling...how many of you would even think twice?

NH_JHawk 14 years, 1 month ago

@ rohdek - ""standard of excellence" from Larry Brown?"I'm sure you would agree that "standard of excellence" is measured by Conference Championships, Final Fours, and NCAA Championships. So let's review Larry's 5 seasons:1984: 22-10 1985: 26-8 1986: 35-4 (Big 8 Champions) (Final Four) 1987: 25-11 1988: 27-11 (Final Four) (National Champions)You're really going to question whether or not that is EXCELLENT when compared to the previous 8 seasons from '76-83 where we had ONE Big 8 Championship period and Owens was subsequently fired? I don't know how old you are, but I suspect not old enough to have followed those 8 seasons in the 70s/80s under Ted.Then Williams continued that standard set by Brown in his 15 years and Self has too in his 5. My post is 100% accurate and confirmed by others like Idaxon!

JHawker19 14 years, 1 month ago

"There may be some talk about it, all those things. But our focus will not be on that. Our focus will be on their team. When fans get upset, all that is a backhanded compliment because they didn't want you to leave. I'm sure Roy knows that. But this should be about players instead of coaches." This statement by Self says it all, those that got upset are basically just giving Roy a backhanded compliment. If as a Kansas fan we truly want our team to advance on Saturday, I say we quit putting so much into the Roy thing, move on and support our team and our current coach Bill Self!

jayhawkarmy 14 years, 1 month ago

New rumor i was watching espn and osu fired sutton and are going to go after self????????? another ROY BOY anyone

jayhawkinATL 14 years, 1 month ago

I agree, chicagohawk52...if KU were to come after me and I was on the verge of a national championship, I would be so pissed off and (even considering how much I love KU) I would tell KU to go straight to hell.

Dan Harris 14 years, 1 month ago

truehawkfan- well said. All of us were hurt when Roy left but I would challange any TRUE KU fan to look in the mirror and say that they wouldn't do the same thing if in that situation. It is time(actually way past time) to let the anger go and give coach Self all of our support. We need to stop living in the past or it may repeat itself. Go Hawks crush the tarbabys!!!

Dan Harris 14 years, 1 month ago

I made my post before Sutton was fired, it's just a coincident, not history repeating itself , right?

speedy 14 years, 1 month ago

APRIL FOOLS???????????? what,s this crock ESPN is saying about replaying the final 16 secs of the davidson game?? collins should not have been in the game? thats not the same as being out of the game with a 5th foul by mistake. the 3 talking heads all picked the other 3 schools to win it all. NOONE PICKED KU!. just comments that texas should have been a no. 1 and that davidson "shouldhave won" crud. we need the phog and naismith to step up again. the NCAA is doing the right thing? smacks of russia and america at the olympics way back when. how many trys will they get?

speedy 14 years, 1 month ago

jay bilas still has KU winning it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!and erin has too! so not everyone at ESPN is as stupid as i thought.

KU 14 years, 1 month ago

Who cares what ESPN has to say? We haven't gotten any play on their website all season. We're under the radar and we're the underdog and I, for one, LIKE IT LIKE THAT!

Jeffery Barrett 14 years, 1 month ago

I'll never get back the five minutes I spent reading the above article.

hollpat 14 years, 1 month ago

Anybody else want payback for that whuppin UNC put on us in the 02-03 NIT in Madison Square ?? Its funny how if May wouldnt have broken his leg against Iona later that year, how much the last 5 years would be different. Daurghty(sp) wouldnt have been run out of UNC and we would all hate Bill Self as the Illinois coach.

Mitch_4_KU 14 years, 1 month ago

I was a huge Roy fan. I did not blame him for leaving to "go home". I was a little peed off at Dean Smith for even going near Roy at the Final four( which he did ) and not waiting to contact him later. I was shocked and dismayed when the news came that Roy was leaving. BUT I was and still am LIVID at Roy for the press conference he gave when he arrived at NC. I'm sure we all remember his weeping about how he wished there was some way the recruits that had commited to KU could come with the "coach". At that point he was the NC coach and not the KU coach and he was meddling in OUR business. I, for one, realized just where his loyalty lay, with Roy! Stay away from Kansas players Roy, leave Case alone,don't even mention his name again. he is a JAYHAWK, he is NOT your player. I have no respect for him after that business and never will again. I want this win more than any other ever, and yes I will be devastated if they were to win and would root for Al Qaeda if they had a team to beat him. Roy has finally given me a reason I could root for Missouri ( choke, puke, gag).Sorry folks for the bitterness but I just can't help it.

actorman 14 years, 1 month ago

The problem with reading a boatload of comments like these is that there are so many respond to. So (taking a deep breath and apologizing in advance for the Jaybate-like analysis) here goes:"Roy always talks about how 'I gave them 15 years blah, blah, blah...' He doesn't talk about how much KU and the fan base gave him. With Roy Willliams it's always about Roy Williams."In the article, it quoted Roy as saying, "I'm never going to lose those memories. I'm never going to lose their appreciation for basketball, their passion for basketball. I'll always appreciate that." So please explain to me again, oh wise Solomon, how Roy doesn't talk about how much KU and the fan base gave him."In my opinion, any KU fan that wishes UNC the best is foolish because we, as KU fans, should aspire to having the most wins in program history, a record that is currently held by UNC if I'm not mistaken."You ARE mistaken, KU. As has been posted numerous times on this site, Kentucky is number 1, with UNC something like 20 behind and KU another 10 or so behind UNC. That being said, I agree with you that it would be great if we could catch the two of them."Evidence of our disinterest? There has been VERY little chatter about Roy on this site all season long."You're kidding, right???"Yes, Larry Brown left us quickly and left us on probation. So did Roy."15 years is quick??? Aside from that, Larry Brown left the team UNABLE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT. Sadly, KU is still the only defending champion to not be allowed to even have a CHANCE to defend its title. So whenever people give LB praise for delivering the title to KU, he should also be blamed for that ignominious mark on our record. On the other hand, the probation that RW left us with was extremely minor and doesn't seem to have had any effect whatsoever on the program. So there's simply no comparison."I get upset with those like Andy Katz (ESPN)...that make comments like he did yesterday on First Take (ESPN2)... 'Roy brought Kansas to an elite status.'"Sorry, but he's not really off base. Although KU had had an elite status years earlier, Ted Owens' record was shaky at best (despite two Final Fours many years earlier). As someone else mentioned, KU was a good program but not a great program. And even though LB took KU to two Final Fours and won a championship, if you look at the records posted above they weren't great. He wasn't winning 80% of his games at KU and he wasn't getting consistenly great recruiting classes. Like it or not, folks, RW DID take KU to another level. And it's ridiculous if you can't see that."This guy continued KU's status, he didn't elevate it, there was no where to which it could be elevated."See above."he bashes competition like his battles with Coach K this year and in his 'older' age, he is one step from Bobby Knight when he was out of control."You're kidding, right???????

actorman 14 years, 1 month ago

Part 2:"Nobody thinks that what Roi did during his 15 years at KU was superfluous and uneventful. Nobody is mad at him for that. To continue to bring up those 15 years is just a tactic of misdirection. : People who argue about anything but the main issue are just confused, blind or attracted to shiny things."That's simply wrong on many levels. There are plenty of people who give Roy basically NO credit for his incredible accomplishments at KU, simply because he didn't win a championship. Forget winning 80% of his games, forget the four Final Fours, forget the class program, forget everything else. Just remember that he didn't win a championship. As for the second part of your argument, people have every right to mention both the good and the bad when talking about RW. It's not simply either/or. Yes, the way he left was horrible. And yes, he deserves credit and praise for his 15 tremendous years at KU. People who argue that his 15 years are irrelevant are saying that one bad thing should define someone and nothing that person has done that is good should count whatsoever.Thanks, JayCeph, for the nice link to the Davidson article. It really makes you feel for them. Too bad they couldn't have played (and beaten) one of the other Final Four teams."If I were Self, I'd be pissed that OSU took this action the week of my "coming out" party!!!!!"Here here. It's hard to believe that we have to go through this cr*p AGAIN. I like what Self said today, but it will still be a distraction. A damn shame that OSU couldn't have waited one more week. On the other hand, if they're not going after Self, it's understandable that they would want to try to get the jump on other programs in looking for a good coach. It's still irritating, though."But, if you are like me, and grew up watching KU basketball under Roy, and also saw how happy Wayne Simen was that he played for Roy Williams at KU, then the fact that Roy left without really meeting individually with him or any of his other players is perfectly justified."Are you saying that the fact that he faced his players as a group and told them of his decision counts for nothing? He should have met with each player individually? I wonder if there are ANY coaches out there who would do that.Given all that's happening, man is this week going to be tough!!!

jayhawkliz 14 years, 1 month ago

The knife is still there but does not hurt as much lol! I will never believe one word that RW ever says! I am glad and proud we have BS, he is honest I believe! Rock Chalk! Kick some UNC butts lol!

KUbsee69 14 years, 1 month ago

Wanting to play UNC and beat them does not have to be about a grudge against Coach Williams. When he coached at KU, I really enjoyed our games with UNC, even if he dreaded them. It was about the student beating the teacher quest. Playing them now is kind of a "don't you wish you had stayed" thing rather than a Roy hating thing. But, upon soul searching, I want to beat UNC for Wilt ... to avenge the '57 loss. That's above all.Rock Chalk.

hardwick15 14 years, 1 month ago

Actorman, YES he was supposed to sit down with each players. A person who cares about his players like Roy claims to do would set up times and explain his decision to each player individually so that they would not hate the guy who recruited them to KU under the premise that he would be their coach. Hell, when my NAIA baseball coach left took a position with the athletic department at KU, he had the class to sit down with each of his players individually.Bottom line is that he told the media he was leaving before he even spoke with the kids. The "team meeting" you are talking about lasted 6 minutes. You area joke if you think that he handled his exit in the right. At the very least, he had a duty to let them vent and try to comfort his kids. These are 18-22 year olds. Or have you forgotten this?Besides, who are you to say what KU fans can and cannot be mad about? Granted, I agree with some of your rant but think before you write next time.

Mitch_4_KU 14 years, 1 month ago

Well I have read some of the other postings and thought about and I am wrong, I can't root for Missouri even against Roy.Go KU.

HillbillyHick 14 years, 1 month ago

Shucks, I guess thats why he drinks so much COKE!!!!

hawkson 14 years, 1 month ago

Here's the problem with Roy: His ego had clearly gotten to the point where he thought he was bigger than the program. Only at his exit was it totally clear, however. All of the crying..."This is so hard for ME" ... "Kansas is such a special place to ME" ... ME ME ME ME . If its so hard why leave, Roy? He wanted KU fans to feel for HIM while he's jilting us. Only a totally self obsessed guy can't see why that's ridiculous.Here' the best analogy I can think of....While firing you, your boss keeps saying how hard it is on HIM to fire you. Its the lack of perspective that is so galling.Now if Lew had been AD not Bob "If I keep Roy happy, there's no way Hemingway would ever fire me" Frederick, then...well that's a rant for another day.

hawkson 14 years, 1 month ago

BTW....the reference Frederick in the previous post refers to the years leading up to Roy's exit....not the Al B. days at the time of his exit.

PapaHobbs 14 years, 1 month ago

Hawk Fans,Remember we are in the Midwest. The Big Boys(ESPN, etc.) can only see the east and west coasts. They can not see very far nor can they remember all of the great KU tradition. We have a class coach and a class team. All of us need to quit listening to all of the "Roy and OSU" stuff. Our teams and coaches need to also. We are two wins away from the whole enchalada. GO HAWKS!

WisconsinJayhawk 14 years, 1 month ago

OK. Its Tuesday. I've already had all the Roy (old) news I can handle. New rule: from here on out, NO MORE ROY COVERAGE from our hometown paper! There's a game coming up, for Frick's sake!

Kaw Pickinton 14 years, 1 month ago

I for one am glad we get to wear blue from here on out. This WILL be the year of the "Underdog"!

Mitch_4_KU 14 years, 1 month ago

WiconsinJayHawk, You are so right, the players probably don't need the BS attention, but they are the guys who worked hard ALL YEAR to allow us all to gloat and smile as JayHawk fans and they deserve the press. The article about Chalmers, as an example. I am truly sick of the OSU and Roy crap and will probably ( maybe ) just wait till Crimson and Blue line on Saturday to listen to radio again. I am such a wus I might listen a little.ROCK CHALK!

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