Roy Williams met with the media today and, rather than making what increasingly seems to be the inevitable announcement that P.J. Hairston ain't walking through that door (ever), he predicted UNC would finish 75-0 and he "wouldn't give a dern who's playin'." The colorful Carolina coach joked that the team, currently without its two best perimeter shooters in Hairston and Leslie McDonald, is "thinkin' about startin' five centers" for Friday night's season opener against Oakland. Ultimately, the Tar Heel starting five will be determined by "who brings [Roy] the best piece of dessert tonight."
Amidst the hilarity, Roy admitted to frustration over entering the season not knowing what penalties will be handed down from the NCAA regarding Hairston and McDonald. "There are question marks we don't have control over," Williams admitted, backtracking from previous statements that he, and he alone, will determine P.J.'s fate. When confronted with his previous statements about how the consequences would be solely at his discretion, Roy said, "I've never felt that (way)" and claimed his previous comments had been misinterpreted.
Hairston's fate is clearly in the NCAA's hands now, as otherwise he would be suiting up and playing tomorrow night since Roy has already expressed his belief that the extra conditioning he put P.J. through is punishment enough. Neither Hairston nor McDonald will play in the opener, but a resolution should come soon since Roy pledged that he and UNC will "try to continue working with [the NCAA]."
Other highlights of the press conference included Roy taking a dig at Reggie Bullock (who has been a DNP twice and only gotten two minutes per game when he has played) for leaving UNC early for the NBA: "Gotta find out why he didn't play last night," Roy snickered. When asked if he had always been honest with the media in his comments about the Hairston situation, Williams made a befuddling analogy to drinking. Roy said something to the effect of: haven't you ever said you weren't going to have another drink, but you had another drink. And you weren't lying, because you believed it at the time. Those comments, which ultimately seemed like an admission that Roy had not been forthcoming (or perhaps a blanket accusation that all media present had drinking problems), were followed by about 20 seconds of awkward silence and dead air on 99.9 the Fan.