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The Roy Williams Excuse: "I'm From the Mountains"

By now, most of you have probably heard about this thanks to a link in the FanShots by A Sea of Blue member tippey.

As you can see, Ol' Roy throws out a Presbyterian fan who had the effrontery to sarcastically say in the general direction of Deon Thompson, "Hey Deon, don't miss it!" while he was shooting the second of two free throws.

Rush The Court excoriates Williams for abuse of position, comparing him to an unpopular former vice president:

They say that suppression of dissent is one of the first steps toward totalitarianism, and in a showing of power drunkenness that would make even Dick Cheney blush, Roy has taken his standing to show up someone with whom he merely disagrees to an entirely new level.  As he put it in the postgame comments, he doesn’t believe that "anybody should yell negative things toward our players (when) you come in on our tickets to watch our game."  EXCUSE ME??

Heh.  Strong words.  I suppose under the new Roy Williams standards, we should go ahead and cancel our visit to Chapel Hill now.  If being manhandled by security is what happens for such a tiny affront, surely booing North Carolina is a felony offense.  And when Duke comes in to play?  The jails in Chapel Hill are likely to be full of miscreants in that one.

Dan Weiderer of The Fayetteville Observer observes:

I do, however, still hold firm in my opinion that Williams was being too snippy in a home game his Tar Heels were winning by close to 40 points. There’s no question Williams’ annoyed reaction came immediately following one of the more harmless heckles you’ll ever hear in a college basketball arena. That’s what made the whole situation so bizarre and so newsworthy. On a night where UNC was delivering a pretty superb performance on the court, Williams’ annoyance with a visiting fan seemed odd.

Odd?  Well, yes, more than odd, in fact.  His behavior was reprehensible and wrong.  And being "from the mountains" does not excuse that.  In fact, I'll wager that most people from the mountains would find Ol' Roy's thin skin funny at best

Follow me past the jump ...

Chris Chase of The Dagger gets it right:

Because Roy is normally such an affable guy and this came in a meaningless game in the middle of December, there won't be much criticism lobbed his way. There should be. It's was inappropriate for Williams to censor a fan that wasn't breaking any rules. He overstepped his bounds and should be embarrassed about his actions.

Of course, Carolina fans are mostly reacting with a shrug, and I honestly can't hold that against them.  Williams has brought the Tar Heels two national championships and a ton of good basketball, so you can hardly blame them for ignoring the incident.  But since we have had to live with Gillispie and Calipari jokes for the last four years, and I think it is only fair to take notice when a rival's coach misbehaves in public.

I'm not a Roy Williams hater, though.  I think he is a great coach and a good man, although the media has given him a pass on the NCAA violations he created at Kansas, ignored some at North Carolina under the rubric of political freedom, and generally lionized the guy.  I know that surgically repaired shoulder is hurting him and all, but Williams had a bad night, and was a straight-up jerk both on the court and in the news conference when he refused to talk about it.

Dress up that halo, Roy.  It has a noticeable list to starboard.