Roy Williams: The emotional tolls of Tobacco Road

Roy Williams
March25/ 2016

The Ultimate ROY WILLIAMS Article …. From today’s Washington Post.  Pretty much everything you ever wanted to know about Ol Roy Williams…. and quite a bit you never knew you wanted to know.

It is NOT a “puff piece” nor is it an “eviseration”…. enough positives and negatives to “piss off” both warring camps.

WARNING… Pack a lunch…. it’s a loooong one.


Roy Williams: The emotional tolls of Tobacco Road

March 25 at 3:16 PM

 RALEIGH, N.C. — He eased himself up the stairs and toward the dais, holding on to the aluminum rails with both hands. Damn knees, supposed to be fixed last year. One more thing still unsettled. Roy Williams

Roy Williams made it, finally, smiling as he sat and leaned into the microphone. He began by explaining the things he would not be discussing on this sunny March afternoon. No green room and no past newspaper articles, nothing about the future or psychology or career plans of a 65-year-old coach at one of the most prestigious basketball programs in America.

“It’s going to be a calm or boring — whichever way you want to look at it — news conference,” Williams said.

The North Carolina coach was in no mood for nonsense, or “junk,” or “stuff,” as he often refers to the one topic he wishes would disappear forever: the slow-moving, ever-darkening cloud of uncertainty caused by an academic scandal that has been looming over the Tar Heels’ athletic department, in one form or another, for almost five years.

It could, depending on whom you ask, lead to sanctions of North Carolina’s athletic program or — eventually — just blow over. But don’t ask Williams about that, either. Not here and not now, when he has his top-seeded Tar Heels chasing their fourth Final Four appearance since 2005. He’s not going there.

These past few years have, by any measure, been difficult on “Ol’ Roy,” the folksy and silver-haired coach who can move seamlessly among emotions: defiance to pride to sorrow to glee in little more than a heartbeat. Williams wears his highs and lows with the best of them, carrying burdens that seem overblown to everyone but him. Long after top-seeded Kansas lost in the 1997 NCAA tournament’s third round, Williams still apologizes to those Jayhawks players who, as he tearfully put it in his Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame induction speech a decade later, “I failed, because I didn’t get you to a Final Four.” One of the prevailing responses after North Carolina’s 2009 championship was, of all things, relief because Williams sometimes awoke in the night with fear Tyler Hansbrough might suffer an injury or otherwise leave Chapel Hill without a title.



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