Thursday, April 10, 2003

Carolina to talk to Williams

By David Droschak
The Associated Press

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - North Carolina contacted Kansas on Wednesday about speaking with Roy Williams about the Tar Heels' coaching job.

On the same day that he fired his own athletic director, Kansas Chancellor Robert Hemenway said North Carolina athletic director Dick Baddour called him and said UNC officials planned to talk with Williams.

"It's a little hard to say if it was asking permission or if it was notification, but they said that they wanted to talk to Roy, and I was not surprised that they called," Hemenway said in Lawrence, Kan.

Baddour did not return a call from The Associated Press seeking comment Wednesday night.

Hemenway fired Kansas athletic director Al Bohl, whose relations with Williams had been strained ever since Bohl was hired two years ago. Bohl claimed Wednesday that Williams orchestrated his dismissal.

Williams, a Tar Heels alum who played for Dean Smith and was one of his mentor's assistants, is expected to be offered the job that became vacant when Matt Doherty resigned on April 1.

Hemenway denied he fired Bohl to convince Williams to stay at Kansas. Hemenway added that Williams never indicated to him he wanted Bohl fired.

Williams said Tuesday he planned to talk with Smith that night. There was no word from either man about what was discussed.

Smith refused to comment, sending word through his secretary that he wasn't in a position to talk about the coaching search and referring all such questions to Baddour, who was on campus Wednesday.

Some North Carolina players who have talked about whether their next coach could be Williams, Larry Brown, Tubby Smith or even George Karl are beginning to wonder what's taking so long.

"We're real anxious to get this thing going," forward David Noel said Wednesday, eight days after Doherty's forced resignation. "It's been hard going through workouts knowing you don't have a coach. You've just got to push yourself.

About Williams, Noel said: "I know it's a tough decision, because he has his own legacy at Kansas. It would be tough to leave that, but this is North Carolina."

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