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#pounditTuesday, June 22, 2021

Is this one of the big reasons Roy Williams retired?

Roy Williams UNC

Roy Williams surprisingly announced on Thursday that he was retiring at the age of 70. There were no real hints that he would be calling it quits, so this was a surprise.

So why did Williams retire? Why now, especially when he won a national championship as recently as 2017? We may have a few ideas.

Williams said in his final words that he no longer felt he was the right man for the job. What makes him feel like he’s no longer right for the job? USA Today’s Dan Wolken tweeted that he was told by someone who knows Williams that the coach had become fed up with the direction of college basketball. Also, that person believed the transfer of Walker Kessler was the final nail in Wiliams’ decision.

One of the big changes recently with college basketball was the addition of the transfer portal. That essentially gave the ability of players to transfer anywhere, at any time, without penalty. Though it is nice to give players this freedom, you have to ask whether this is best for players in the long run. Does running away from adversity rather than fighting through it make someone better? Probably not, but the ability to transfer so readily gives players the easy way out.

Maybe when Williams saw a guy like Kessler leave, he couldn’t take it anymore. Kessler was a McDonald’s All American and didn’t play much for most of his freshman season. But he started to significant minutes over the last month and a half of the season and had five games where he scored in double figures.

Jim Boeheim, who outlasted Syracuse’s attempts to push him out, called Kessler’s transfer decision “crazy.”

Boeheim also was one of the only figures in college basketball who called out Jalen Johnson for quitting on Duke.

Many coaches began and remain in the profession because they enjoy building teams, building programs, building men, and building winners. It’s increasingly more difficult to accomplish any of that when players don’t give you an opportunity and when so many factors in the sport are fighting against that as well. What are some other directional issues? The NBA’s G League is competing with college programs for players too, and even stealing their recruits.

H/T Big Daddy

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