Coach Williams says he wishes it never would have turned out this way


UNC-Chapel Hill Coach Roy Williams has regrets about an incident in which an opposing fan was ejected from the Smith Center in Chapel Hill on Dec. 12, but has no second thoughts about standing up for his team.

The incident took place near the end of a win against Presbyterian, when the fan yelled at Deon Thompson, a UNC forward who was shooting free throws.

Williams said yesterday that he wanted security personnel to only see what the fan’s problem was and that he did not order the fan evicted after turning around to see who had yelled at Thompson.

”It’s a nonissue. It may not be a nonissue to anybody (else), but I guarantee you it is a nonissue to me,” Williams said. “Add one thing: I’m sorry it happened. I wish it hadn’t happened.”

Williams said he thought that the fan was a UNC supporter and did not know until later that the person was for Presbyterian. Williams said his concern stemmed from an incident in New York during a game against Ohio State on Nov. 19 in the Coaches vs. Cancer tournament semifinals when a heckler upset the parents of at least two UNC players.

Williams said that he asked Madison Square Garden security to quiet the heckler but nothing was done.

”Nobody, none of you guys (sports reporters), people who have praised me or my critics, sat there and put up with what we had to put up with,” Williams said. “We have to live with that on the road, but I just don’t believe that we should have to live with it at home.”

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