Discipline for North Carolina basketball players and managers has been handled inside the program, Coach Roy Williams says, but he adds that the players shouldn't be treated as if "we charged the Capitol building."
Williams wouldn't offer details about what he said in a statement this week would be a "very significant price" the players and managers are paying after being captured in a Snapchat video at a party but without wearing masks. He did say all players should be available to play against Virginia on Saturday night.
"We said we would handle it internally, and that's what we've done," Williams said Friday in a video conference with journalists. "This'll be the only statement, so if every one of you — and I'm seeing 15 faces (in a video conference), so if you want to ask another question about what happened this weekend, just forget it because I'm not answering anything after this — but it was not at a fraternity house. It was not on Franklin Street. It was within our group of players and managers, and a few, very few, other people got involved.
"It's something — and I don't think Jeff Lebo would mind me saying this — I told Jeff Lebo that our team did the same thing he did a hundred times, but there was nobody putting it on video. I was upset about it, I'm still upset about it, but let's not make it out like we charged the Capitol building or anything like that. That's not what it was. It was not a freestanding party at some fraternity house or in the middle of Franklin Street. I've handled it in (a way) I think is very appropriate."
Players and others were seen at a party after the victory over Duke on Saturday night. Reports of the video surfaced late Sunday in a report by the Daily Tar Heel, Carolina's student newspaper, and again Monday and triggered the postponement of the Miami-North Carolina game about two hours before tipoff. The ACC announced the postponement and would not disclose a reason, but Miami coach Jim Larranaga told the Miami Herald that his team did not want to play and face the risk of coronavirus transmission.
"I can't ever remember anything that frustrated me like this," Williams said of the party and its aftermath. "I've never had a game postponed like that. It was not my favorite moment, I can tell you that, from midnight Saturday night when I stopped thinking about our game against Duke and started focusing on Miami. From that time until the last 24 hours or so was something I did not enjoy, did not like, don't ever want to go through it again. You've got to move on, and that's what we're trying to do, move on and put it behind us."
Eddie Wooten is sports editor of the Winston-Salem Journal and the News & Record in Greensboro.