North Carolina emerges victorious very often on the basketball court. It is indisputable that Roy Williams has sculpted a perennial contender and a national powerhouse in Chapel Hill. That being said, while Williams has no problem picking apart the top teems in the ACC on the court, Williams has trouble winning off the court matches against the NCAA.
The NCAA has a rule stating that teams can not travel to an away game more than 48 hours before the game starts. The Tar-Heels play against Long Beach State on November 16th at 11 P.M. eastern time. That means, according to the NCAA’s rule, the ‘Heels can’t leave any time before November 14th at 11 p.m. The problem here for UNC is that the last commercial flight leaves at 5 P.M., which is of course 6 hours before they are allowed to leave.
Obviously, Coach Williams appealed the the NCAA asking them if they can make an exception for him. He asked them twice, and both times he was rejected. The frustrating part for UNC is that they would not have missed a class on Wednesday regardless if they left at 5 or 11. So the Heels have to leave early for no reason, other than the NCAA sticking to their rules. Just that reason alone is enough to annoy Coach Williams.
Now, add $120,000 dollars to the equation and you have one truly livid coach.
The $120,000 bucks is the cost of the charter plane that the team now has to take in order to fit the time frame set by the NCAA.
Coach Williams showed his disgust in an interview with ESPN’s Andy Katz. He explained how last year when they played the game on the Carrier Ship against Michigan State, they were allowed to break that rule. He said that because the President was at the game, a loophole was created.
Coach Williams is probably right that a nationally-televised game where the President is going to be in attendance is more important than a game against Long Beach State. No disrespect against Long Beach State of course, but let’s be realistic.