Roy Williams: academic fraud investigation 'very, very sad time'

Saturday October 25th, 2014

North Carolina men's basketball coach called the university's investigation into academic fraud committed by athletes, including some basketball players, a "very, very sad time for me" in comments after the team's victory in an exhibition game against Fayetteville State, Andrew Carter of the News & Observer reported on Friday evening.

Williams said that the report's release reflected that the university and its officials had made mistakes over a long period of time.

He recalled noting with displeasure that the team had many players enrolled in the same major; but said that his staff had allowed players to choose what they wanted.

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According to Emma Wright of WNCN News, Williams stressed that he never chose a class or instructor for an athlete and that he disagreed with some information contained in the report.

"It was said in that report that, 'Roy Williams says it's your job to keep your guys eligible.' That meeting never took place. Never took place," Williams said.

"I've never had that kind of meeting. I've never said anything like that."

Williams also said that he was unsure of what punishment might be handed down by the NCAA, but added that he was not worried about it, Wright said.

The Wainstein report, released by the school on Wednesday, revealed how Department of African and Afro-American Studies chairman Julius Nyang'oro and administrator Deborah Crowder were able to create "paper classes" in which students were given high grades that did not reflect the quality of their work.

Wainstein notes in the report that Williams became uncomfortable with the classes and tried to direct his players away from the department. Former player Rashad McCants has accused the school of fraud.

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Previous probes have found that the problem dated to the 1990s, and Wainstein's investigation indicates that the wider culture at the university abetted the fraud.

The Tar Heels finished last season 24-10 and 13-5 in the ACC. The team opens its 2014-2015 season on Nov. 14, at home against North Carolina Central.

- Christopher Woody
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