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UNC Now is your place for Tar Heel sports. Beat writer Andrew Carter has up-to-the-minute news and analysis. Columnist Luke DeCock also contributes. Follow us on Twitter at @_andrewcarter or @accnow.

UNC coach Roy Williams unaware of increased academic standards

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UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp said the university would likely raise entrance requirements for incoming athletes, but coach Roy Williams said he is unaware of any impending changes. CHUCK LIDDY

CHARLOTTE — University of North Carolina Chancellor Holden Thorp said in an interview with The News & Observer last month that the university would likely raise entrance requirements for athletes ahead of a more stringent NCAA policy that will go into effect in 2016.

But Tar Heels basketball coach Roy Williams said here on Wednesday that he was unaware of any imminent changes to UNC’s admittance standards for athletes.

“I’m not so sure that everything that appeared is exactly what Chancellor Thorp meant,” Williams told reporters at the ACC’s annual basketball media day. “I personally don’t think that anybody in the ACC is going to try to do any of those new measures before everybody else does them.”

Beginning in 2016, the NCAA will raise the academic standard for incoming college athletes. Beginning then, athletes will need to graduate high school with a 2.3 GPA – instead of the 2.0 that’s needed now – to be eligible to compete during their freshmen year.

Thorp last month said UNC would likely raise its standards before the NCAA’s policy goes into effect.

“I suspect that we’ll end up raising our standards ahead of that time,” Thorp said. “We’ll be ahead of the curve.”

Thorp’s comments reflected his frustration with academic scandals related to athletics that have tarnished the university’s reputation during the past three years. The NCAA’s investigation into academic fraud led to the football team’s one-season postseason ban, and the violations also resulted in probation and scholarship reductions.

During his interview with News & Observer reporters, Thorp said, “Academics are going to have to come first. And it’s clear that they haven’t to the extent that they should.”

Williams, though, said he was unaware of any increased standards that could be coming for incoming athletes.

“I think North Carolina always has some high standards,” he said. “We’re going to always have [high standards]. And I’m not against those whatsoever. But I don’t see in my own mind, I don’t see us just jumping out of the window and doing something crazy now. 

“We’ve had a problem. We’re trying to fix the problem. We’re making a lot of changes for the problem.”

As far as Williams knows, though, those changes don’t include increased admittance standards for athletes.

“The whole NCAA has got some new entrance requirements that are going into effect,” he said. “And I think that North Carolina will go along with those. If something is done earlier, I don’t have any idea. Nobody’s told me we’re going to do those things.”

Thorp did not return a message seeking comment on Wednesday night. Bubba Cunningham, the North Carolina athletic director, said various UNC departments are working together to prepare for the increased NCAA standards. Cunningham said “a lot of our [athletes] are already beyond” the standard the NCAA will introduce in 2016.

“We only admit [athletes] that we think can be successful and we’ll continue to do that,” Cunningham said.

Williams last month underwent surgery to remove a tumor from his right kidney,  and he had a biopsy two weeks ago on another tumor on his left kidney. Doctors determined both tumors to be benign.

He said he wasn’t focused on the potential of increased academic standards for athletes.

“I’m not worried about that,” he said. “Four [weeks] ago, guys, I was wondering if I was ever going to freaking coach again. You think I’m worried what the hell we’re doing in 2016?”


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Den of Snakes

It's time to fumigate this den of snakes. Draft the student body into the military. Cancel all extant degrees. Turn the physical plant over to NC Central or some other Durham area educational institution.

What an idiot

"Would likely" does not mean "will." In other words it was not a slam dunk to change anything. What Roy is saying is that nothing has changed as of yet. Any idiot would know that except this guy. Go do an interview with Michael Snaer or Coach Hamilton.

Just more crap and garbage from a few with an axe to grind.

Now Roy, tell the N&O what

Now Roy, tell the N&O what you think of them....rag that it is

Is it normal for a

Is it normal for a basketball coach to cut a Chancellor's b@lls off in public?  I guess we know who is REALLY in charge over at CHeater Hill.


Can someone provide evidence that UNC*CHeat is anything other than a vehicle for athletics and federal funding?

UNC coach Roy Williams unaware of increased academic standards

In other words, the Rams Club will make sure the standards are never enforced.

College sports, the biggest taxpayer and student rip-off around.

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About the blogger

Andrew Carter is the University of North Carolina beat writer for the News & Observer.