UPDATE: William has an excellent piece on Roy and Kansas over at his blog, Quaker Fox. I encourage you to head on over there and check it out.
As told by the respective coaches.
Well, you know, it is a big deal. But I don’t think it’s near as big a deal because Roy’s coaching against Kansas, I think it’s a much bigger deal to me personally because our team is participating in it. But fans will make a big deal out of it. And I said this yesterday, when people are upset that you leave — and I’ve gone through this myself and of course he went through it at a very high level — it’s a back-handed compliment because they didn’t want you to.
I’m sure he knows that and understands that and that’s the nature of the business. But, you know, at the core of all Kansas fans — and I’m not in touch with everybody, but at the core I would think everybody’s very proud of the time he spent here because he gave this place 15 years of excellence.
So I don’t think that — although I think feelings were hurt initially and all those things, but I think five years is enough time for people to let a few things go. And I think that’s certainly been the case here.
I gave some school, some basketball programs, some state, whatever you want to call it, and especially the players, 15 years of my heart, body and soul. So I’m never going to lose that. Some of the greatest memories in my life were at Kansas. I’m never going to lose that. I’m never going to lose their appreciation for basketball, their passion for basketball.
“I’ll always appreciate that and love that. Each and every year it gets different because the players that I left there are gone. We recruited Jeremy, but everybody else is gone. And we knew Darnell, he used to come up to games. We knew Darrell used to come up for games. But this is Bill’s team. This is the University of Kansas’s team without Roy Williams.
“I can put it to you this way: In my summer camp we have a lot of little kids running around and they’re instructed on the first day they can wear North Carolina stuff or they can wear Kansas stuff, but they can’t wear anybody else’s stuff.
“And that’s the way I’m always going to be. I’m going to be always be a huge Kansas fan. There were some things said or done that hurt at first, but time has a way of healing things and I am hopeful it will heal with some people that still may have some bad feelings.
“But the good news is it’s a wonderful Kansas team playing a wonderful North Carolina team on college basketball’s biggest stage. And I wish it would be Monday night as opposed to Saturday.”
Now these well thought out remarks by both coaches should put an end to any media discussion of Roy vs Kansas. As I said earlier the only people that would make a huge deal about this were segments of the Kansas fan base. And Roy indicates that Kansas will always be special to him and rightfully so since he did spend 15 years there and he built his career there before leaving for North Carolina. And that is it.
Please move along.
Nothing to see here.