Last month Hurricane Florence’s landfall along the North and South Carolina coasts devastated many residents. Professional teams, universities and countless organizations in the region have organized relief efforts.
As part of their already extensive contribution to those affected, UNC head basketball coach Roy Williams and Gamecocks head basketball coach Frank Martin agreed to come together for a scrimmage and have ALL proceeds benefit those impacted by Hurricane Florence. The only thing standing in their way was the NCAA – who would need to grant a waiver for the event to occur. They denied it.
“Our state and South Carolina had a terrible tragedy, a horrific storm come through, whatever you want to call it,” Williams said. “And I called Frank (Martin) to see if he would be interested in playing a game.
“I called him and said, ‘Nobody’s been hurt as badly as we have, North Carolina and South Carolina, with Florence.’ And we asked for a waiver to see if we could play. I’m not trying to gain an advantage on anybody, I don’t think we can gain an advantage on anybody, but we were willing to play each other.
“I wanted to take it to Charlotte because it would be closer between the two schools, and play a game and give all the money – all the money – to (relief efforts). And I was going to try to convince a guy that I know pretty well that owns the building in Charlotte (former UNC star and current Hornets chairman Michael Jordan) to give us a great rate.”
Williams said he still doesn’t understand why the waiver was denied.
“Some rule had been put in that they weren’t going to give waivers (because) we already had the other two games,” Williams said. “And, guys, if you guys can convince me how that was going to help North Carolina’s basketball team or South Carolina’s basketball team over somebody else, then I’ll listen to it. But that was not the intent.
“When you see the scenes of people’s stuff out on the street, you want to do something. And that’s sadly what we saw. We saw so many situations, people losing everything they have. And we had what I thought was one of the few good ideas I’ve ever had.”
It’s too bad that college basketball programs and fans from North and South Carolina couldn’t come to together to do something so impactful for the community.
Does the NCAA think this scrimmage would really give the Tar Heels and/or Gamecocks an unfair advantage or is it that they won’t be able to capitalize off of what could be a very lucrative event? You be the judge.