…. Anyone who didn’t see this one coming just go kiss Nancy Pelosi on the lips (BLEETCH!). An N&O reporterette (one who has not been “let go” yet) cornered Ol’ Roy Friday with “The Calhoun Question”. Which, of course, BobLee predicted would happen. It was not exactly my boldest prediction ever …. ORW’s complete answer is included here along with BobLee’s comments.
Would Ol’ Roy take paycut to help?
Submitted by robin pickeral on 02/27/2009 – 15:30
CHAPEL HILL — On the heels of UConn coach Jim Calhoun’s tirade when asked if he would would be willing to give some of his salary back to help in these harsh economic times, North Carolina coach Roy Williams gave a more level — if lengthy — response to a similar question posed Friday.
Williams’ salary, which averages more than $2 million per year, is not paid from state funds. But in a nutshell, the Hall-fo-Fame coach said that he is more sensitive than ever to the harsh economy because his son, Scott, recently lost his job with Wachovia Securities; that he continues to give back to the University via building projects and even video equipment; and that he really can’t give a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer to the question.
Here’s the full text of the question and his response:
Q: Would you be willing to take a paycut providing that it would help the University system? I am aware of the fact that your salary doesn’t come through the same revenue of other state employees, but even just as a gesture…would you be willing to do that?
WILLIAMS: “Well, I think first of all, there’s no way to answer that question. You way ‘yeah,’ but then somebody’s going to call today and say, ‘give it all to me back.’ And if you say no, you come across as being insensitive. Right now, I’m the most sensitive person in this room to the state of our nation’s economy. My son called yesterday, and it was a great day because they just told him he was finished. He’s a bond trader for Wachovia Securities, and it was bought by Wells Fargo, and Wells Fargo doesn’t do what Wachovia Securities did. So I’m more sensitive than anybody in here; I’ve got a son that’s part of the nation’s unemployed. Now he’s a cocky little rascal that think he’s going to have a job by tonight. I said, ‘Son, people aren’t hiring, they’re letting people go.’ ….
It’s a tough time. I’m also sensitive in that I do give a great deal of money to the University every year. I am sensitive to the fact that the initial contract I signed in the spring of 2003, that it was in the contract that we would revisit and renegotiate my contract after the second year. Second year was a pretty good year, we won the national championship, I never asked to have it renegotiated. In fact, I forgot about it. The athletic director came to me six months after we were supposed to revisit, and I said don’t worry about it. The next year, 2006, I had maybe the most satisfying year I’ve ever had as a coach. I was National Coach of the Year, and he asked me whether I wanted to renegotiate again. And I said I was fine, I was satisfied with it. And we did something the year after that.
I don’t think I’m in the business to make money. If you convince me that me giving something up would help somebody, then we would really have a great discussion. Because I’m willing to do a lot of things; I’m not willing to stand up here and say ‘yes,’ and I’m not willing to stand up here and say ‘no’ because I think it’s a question that there’s no good answer. I just know from my buddy Jimmy Calhoun that I’m not going to tell you to shut up.
These are tough times, these are times that nobody knows. I can look around the room and know that it’s affected the people in the room right here. But it is a fact … I am not paid by state funds, and we’ve had some success, and we’ve made a lot of money in men’s basketball. And if we start losing games and losing money, they’re not going to ask me to give any of the money back, they’re going to fire me. And that’s something else I understand.
But again … I don’t believe there is anybody who is more sensitive to it than I am. I do believe I give a great deal of money whether it’s Carolina Covenant or other programs here in our department or to build other buildings over there, or to help build baseball stadiums. So I’m very proud of what my wife and our family have done there, and I’m going to continue doing it. We have video equipment in our office that used by … six other teams here that I bought. If they fire me tomorrow, I don’t think I’m going to give a darn about that video system. It was a system that was good for other people, and there wasn’t necessarily a place in the budget for it, so I bought it. And I could care less – if they fire me, I have 13 free weeks at the Maui Marriott. And I am not going to give a darn about that video equipment at that time, so they can keep the sucker.”