We hope to have the video link up from WRAL's website shortly, but in case you missed it, WRAL had a truly remarkable and in-depth interview with UNC Coach Roy Williams this evening. On the eve of his team's NIT Championship game, Williams was reflective, melancholy, and, at times, almost apologetic about the struggles he and his team have faced this season.
We backtracked the interview a few times on our DVR and copied down some of the quotes. Perhaps the headliner (and shocker) from this interview is that Williams offered to forego his salary from this season and return what he has received to date to two different funds at the University. A few of the quotes:
- "This season has been the most difficult of my professional career. I don't blame anyone other than myself. I take the responsibility. Don't blame my players, the fans, or anyone other than me. I didn't understand my players well enough. Heck, I didn't understand myself well enough."
- "This has been a bad year. Bad year for me. Bad year for UNC. But I can't sit on my butt and whine; I just can't. People here at the University have lost their jobs or have seen their salaries cut through no fault of their own. They worked hard but suffered. I didn't work hard enough, but no one asked me to cut my salary, so I'm going to step up and do it myself."
- "I said some dumb things this year about disasters and suffering. I didn't mean it and feel bad about it. I guess I was too much of a fan and too little of a coach. I was self-absorbed and full of myself. But I'm going to make it right."
- (And one we admit we chuckled at) "I'll tell you one thing - I'm not about to have another deep conversation with a massage therapist! A deep massage maybe but not a deep conversation." (To Roy's credit, he laughed at that as well).
According to WRAL, Williams later said that he was going to donate half of his salary to the University General Fund, which supports the overhead and daily operating expenses of UNC, and the other half to restart UNC School of Law's Center on Poverty, Work, and Opportunity. That center's founding director was former Senator John Edwards(here's a link to hisselection:) and since his ignoble scandal forced him to resign that position, the center has been reeling in a chaotic leadership and fundraising vacuum.
It's not clear what Williams means by his "salary." According to a WRAL investigative report last September, his most recent salary revealed by the University was $325,000, although a "supplemental" amount of $1.2 million was also included in his contract. None of this, according to WRAL, includes his "free vehicles, country club memberships, a percentage of ticket sales, endorsements and more." Moreover, he also receives bonuses for his team's post-season appearances. It is unclear if that includes NIT appearances.
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