North Carolina coach Roy Williams apologized for leaving five bench players on the court to finish the game against Florida State after the rest of the team left for the locker room Saturday.
Williams arranged for his players and coaches to shake hands with the Seminoles with 14.2 seconds left in the game. Florida State had blown out UNC, so Williams figured it was safer to get his players off the court before the students rushed the floor. Only one problem: though he thought he had cleared his team out, five bench players remained on the floor to finish the game.
“I said, ‘Guys, I apologize. There was a miscommunication between [assistant] coach [Joe] Holladay and myself. I would never have left you out there to play the game.’” Williams said on his radio show Monday. “What I wanted to do — needless to say, we’re not going to erase a 33-point lead with 14 seconds left — [so] I was trying to get my entire team off the court, apologize to Florida State, make sure they weren’t interpreting it the wrong way; I was just doing it for safety.”
Williams says it wasn’t until he watched the game on tape that he realized he had left the bench players on the floor. He says he’s even criticized other coaches for doing the same thing.
So are you buying his excuse? Given how frantic he must have been — not to mention upset — I believe him. At least now he knows to make sure he takes care of all his players in case UNC gets blown out on the road again.