Following a 91-87 win over Duke last week, two North Carolina Tar Heels players were seen celebrating maskless at a postgame gathering.
Video released by The Daily Tar Heel showed underclass big men Day’Ron Sharpe and Armando Bacot breaking multiple university COVID-19 guidelines. As a result, UNC was forced to cancel it’s matchup with Miami earlier this week.
According to a statement from the program, Sharpe and Bacot weren’t the only Tar Heels involved in the celebration. While the team issued a joint apology on Tuesday, there was never an official announcement on punishments for the involved parties.
In a press conference on Friday morning, head coach Roy Williams said the Heels had “handled it internally.” When asked about the discipline process, Williams had an interesting response to say the least.
While the 18th-year Carolina coach is well known for his colorful anecdotes, this one had a sharper tone than usual.
“I was upset about it, I’m still upset about it. But let’s not make it out like we charged the Capitol building,” Williams said, per Mike Barber of the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
UNC coach Roy Williams said discipline for players was “handled it internally.” “Let’s not make it out like we charged the Capitol building.”
— Mike Barber (@RTD_MikeBarber) February 12, 2021
The Tar Heels certainly got plenty of heat this week for their poor celebration decisions — but comparing it to the backlash from the Jan. 6 terrorist attack on the nation’s Capitol may have been in poor taste.
That being said, Williams acknowledges that his players made a mistake. Along with the joint apology from his players, the long-time head coach released a statement of his own.
“I appreciate the players voicing their apology,” Williams wrote. “They made a mistake. They’ve been fantastic for more than eight months in the way they have dealt with the whole situation with the virus. But they realize they did make a mistake, for which they are paying a very significant price.”
The price they paid may have had some pretty major implications.
At 7-4 in conference play, the Tar Heels currently sit at No. 5 in the ACC. A chance to notch a likely win over a struggling 3-10 Miami team was much needed as Williams’ young squad heads into a tough end-of-season stretch. Over the next five games, North Carolina will take on each of the conference foes ranked above them: ACC No. 1 Virginia, No. 3 Virginia Tech, No. 4 Louisville then No. 2 Florida State.
The gauntlet will tipoff when the Tar Heels take on AP No. 9 UVA at 6:00 p.m. E.T. Saturday night. North Carolina will bring out a full roster as no suspensions have been served.
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