Roy Williams Takes a Stand: Hecklers Be Warned?

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Opposing fans be warned: Don't taunt the Tar Heels while they shoot their free throws—not from North Carolina's seats at least.

In a 103-64 victory over foe Presbyterian, North Carolina head coach Roy Williams turned back towards a heckler in the stands and was visibly angry by the man's taunting. The fan had reportedly yelled, "hey Deon, don't miss it!" as forward Deon Thompson attempted a shot from the charity stripe. Seconds later, the fan was escorted by the arena's security personnel.

In the video provided online by WRAL, Williams' frustrated words were clearly audible despite the cheering. "Why don't you shut up?" Williams yelled. "Yeah, I'm talking to you." To see the entire video, click here.

On's "The Dagger" blog, Chris Chase criticized the coach of Duke's in-state rival and wondered how the public would respond differently had head coach Mike Krzyzewski taken the same action.

Because Roy is normally such an affable guy and this came in a meaningless game in the middle of December, there won't be much criticism lobbed his way. There should be. It's was inappropriate for Williams to censor a fan that wasn't breaking any rules. He overstepped his bounds and should be embarrassed about his actions.

Dan Wiederer makes a good point on his blog The Fast Break: If Mike Krzyzewski had ejected a heckler at Cameron Indoor can you imagine what the public outcry would have been? We'd be comparing him to Kim-Jong Il. When good ol' Roy does it, it's folky and home-spun and protective of his players.

Whether the coach actually asked the security to kick out the fan has since been a topic of debate. Wiederer has since updated the post on his blog after exchanging emails with the Tar Heels' sports information director Steve Kirschner. He posted this response from Kirschner on his blog:

“First, Coach Williams didn’t tell security to throw the guy out of the building,” Kirschner wrote. “He asked security to see if that guy had a ticket for that seat because he wanted to know who gave him the ticket to a seat behind our bench. Security tossed him because he appeared to be intoxicated and our security (and Duke’s, Maryland’s NC State’s and pretty much anyone else’s security staffs) eject fans if they think they are.”

Duke fans will be heading to the Dean Dome on February 10, but whether the Blue Devils' faithful will take Williams' warning seriously is a whole other question.


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