Posted: 3:41 p.m. Monday, July 15, 2013
By Brian Barbour
After opting for silence on the issue of P.J. Hairston's various problems, Tar Heel head coach Roy Williams issues a statement today.
"I initially decided not to make a statement about PJ (Hairston) until the legal process had been finalized. I believe that is the fair way that everyone should be treated and is the way of our country.
PJ and I have had several discussions already and he knows he has made serious mistakes and there will be serious consequences as a result. Certainly the idea of suspending PJ has been discussed. However, he is not currently enrolled in summer school, is not practicing with the team and we have no games until November. There are several options available in terms of discipline but we are going to wait until the process is complete to decide on those options.
Other issues have been written about recently that are disturbing and bother me deeply. Our basketball program is based on great ideals and these issues are embarrassing. These are not common in my 10 years as head coach at UNC and they will all be dealt with harshly and appropriately at the correct time to ensure that our program will not be compromised.
We will care about each individual but there will be serious actions taken that will fix these issues. I take pride in our values and how we have conducted ourselves for a long time here at Carolina and this time will pass but it will be dealt with strongly.
We are talking about a program that has been a model of success on and off the court and it will be again. I want to thank our fans for their patience, understanding and support."
Ol' Roy is not happy and he really likes to use the word "serious."
Williams gave the masses and media what they wanted which was a statement expressing embarrassment over the situation with P.J. Hairston while promising both "serious" consequences. What those will be, Williams isn't saying at the moment since any penalties now would be meaningless. As noted by Williams, Hairston is not in summer school presently. He did not register for the second session due to his participation in World University Games tryouts. Since he is not in summer school, he cannot participate in team summer practices and with no games until November, a suspension at this stage would have little impact. Besides, if there are NCAA issues then some sort of suspension is likely coming effectively taking that out of Williams' hands. Knowing that could be the case, issuing any kind of discipline now is pointless. Let the NCAA do what it needs to do and go from there.
Pretty much the only value in this statement is Williams is expressing the right emotions concerning what this situation is doing to the program's reputation and certainly his own. Beyond that it does not change what we already knew about Hairston's situation nor does it provide any clue regarding when it will be resolved and what that resolution will look like. In short, Roy Williams is upset about the current situation but it will be dealt with at the proper time.
Exit question: Given the death grip UNC had on the notion of radio silence, why issue a statement now?