Dan Kane (N&O) got the opportunity to directly ask some pointed questions of UNC-CH head basketball coach Roy Williams on Thursday, at UNC-CH’s basketball media day.Â How the now infamous Mr. Kane was able to gain access to the affair I’m still not sure.Â The fact that he made it back off campus still breathing is a minor miracle I suppose.
Nonetheless, Ol’ Roy’s answers weren’t particularly forthcoming (fayobserver.com).Â In fact his deflections say more about the state of things on the hill than any actual answers he gave (hint: there weren’t any)….
KANE : …. from 2007 to 2009, there were 23 enrollments of basketball players in these classes, but then they stopped. I was wondering if you or somebody in your operations saw a problem and looked into this?”
WILLIAMS:Â …. To answer your question, Iâ€™m sort of tired of answering those questions. I think Iâ€™ve made a statement every time about weâ€™ve tried to do everything the right way. Iâ€™d rather just leave it at that.”
Now, in the interest of full disclosure, that is not Coach Williams’ entire answer to that question.Â However, I assure you that it’s as close as he ever came to answering it.Â For the sake of brevity and bandwidth, the rest of whatever it was he said (I’m honestly still unsure quite frankly) was edited out by me.
But anytime anyone says “To answer your question”, and then follows it up with an obvious non-answer, I tend to be a little suspicious of anything else that might happen to find its way past their obvious conscious efforts at editing themselves.Â Just saying.
You can read the rest of this “answer”, as well as the other questions and non-answers, at the link provided above.Â Be sure to have the trusty CHeatspeak 5000 Translator handy, however.
As an aside, at one point Roy becomes a bit befuddled, and must be rescued by UNC-CH basketball PR man, Steve Kirschner, who also gives the traditional non-answer.Â Though he is a bit more smooth about it.
Roy also goes on to admit in passing that he knew about the class, though I’m not convinced that even he realizes yet that he did so.Â At the time he was too busy reminiscing about his own exploits at Carolina as a crappy “student” athlete.Â Though stories of crappy “student” athletes in Chapel Hill have now become so commonplace, I’m not sure why he thinks anyone would care about that.
Kane’s N&O article, published Thursday evening, can be read here.Â Perhaps the most telling part of the article has nothing to with anything Roy Williams avoided saying, but rather something that former UNC-CH guard and current director of basketball operations at UAB, Bobby Frasor seems to have volunteered rather easily for some reason….
One of the basketball players who took the class, Bobby Frasor, said in an interview last week that the instructor, Lt. Brian Lubitz, told academic counselors assigned to the basketball team about the class, and the counselors then recommended it to the basketball players. The class grade was largely based on a two- to three-page paper and a 20-minute oral presentation that was split among groups of five students. Students averaged a grade of 3.63, or nearly an A minus.
The current head of the Naval Science Department at UNC, Capt. Doug Wright, said the course work requirements in the class had troubled his predecessor, Capt. Stephen Matts, so much that Matts told subsequent instructors he wanted them changed. Course outlines later showed quizzes, tests and papers or presentations.
Wright said he would have made the same changes because the class as structured under Lubitz would make it hard to know whether the students were learning the material. Lubitz, who taught the class only once before leaving the university, has not responded to interview requests.
Most of you guys know me by now, and know that I do not believe in coincidences.Â As such, I believe this particular nugget is a big deal.Â For the record, these are the “coincidences” that bother me in this particular case….
1)Â Why would a professor of a class, ANY CLASS, feel the need to contact anyone in the athletics dept. about anything, let alone to (allegedly) notify them of a class that is being taught?
2)Â Why, after this (alleged) heads up by the class’ professor, was there an apparent rush by basketball players to suddenly learn about naval weapons?
3)Â Why is the professor of that class no longer with the university?Â But more importantly, if there were no improprieties, why won’t he answer the phone and say so?
4)Â Why won’t Roy Williams answer a damn question for once in his life?Â He talks about having answered these same questions repeatedly, yet all I’ve heard him say so far (ad nauseum) is that he feels good about what they’re doing now and that they’ve made some mistakes and that it apparently makes him sad.Â Please, someone….if I’ve missed the repeated answers he’s given on this or any other related subject…..PLEASE speak up or point me in the direction of those answers.
My opinion on this is that this could well be the lynchpin that ends up pulling the basketball program into the fray in a very public and embarrassing fashion.Â This smells to me like pretty much the same stuff we’ve heard before, yes.Â But in this case it seems to be isolated to basketball players, as thirty of thirty-eight enrollments were Roy’s boys.
More than that however, if Bobby Frasor’s statement is to be believed and/or can be corroborated, the “pre-meditation” factor, to borrow a legal term, is quite obvious.
Organized.Â Systemic.Â Cheating.
Now the question becomes whether anyone, especially the NCAA, cares enough to even look into it.Â I won’t hold my breath on that one.
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