Gee whiz, Roy
How often have you been to an athletic event and seen some fan escorted from their seat by security or the police for some indiscretion? Anyone who has been to more than a few sports events have seen this. Usually the person is obviously inebriated, agitated and animated. The best place for that person is outside the arena.
How many times have you been to a football game where a kicker was lining up a field goal, or to a basketball game where a player was preparing to shoot a foul shot, and heard a fan say, "Miss it!' to the player? Chances are you hear someone yell "miss it" at virtually any sporting event.
Now, how many times have you been to a sporting event and the person who yelled "miss it" was escorted out of the arena? Chances are you haven't seen that happen. Not saying it hasn't happened, but it would be a unique circumstance.
Last Saturday night in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the University of North Carolina was playing Presbyterian in a college basketball game. Sounds like a mis-match and it was, as UNC won 103-64. Such a blowout usually won't garner much attention nationally, but this game was different. With six minutes left in the blowout and Carolina's Deon Thompson on the foul line, a Presbyterian fan behind the Tar Heel bench yelled, "Hey Deon, miss it."
What followed, and this was on videos all over the internet Monday, was some questionable behavior from a Hall of Fame coach known for his demeanor as a gentleman. UNC coach Roy Williams heard the taunt and took exception. Williams singled out Brian King and yelled to him to shut up. King was like, "Who, me?" and Williams said, "Yeah, I'm talking to you."
Williams then signaled to security and had King removed. As it played out on the video it was hard to actually tell if there was any reason for the action taken by the UNC game staff. There was no audible discourse on the video, but news accounts have painted a pretty clear picture.
University officials said King was removed because he was intoxicated and in the wrong seat. In a post game interview, when asked about the incident, Williams said, "I don't think anybody should yell anything negative at our players. Period. Let's don't make it a bigger thing than it is. But I just don't think anybody should yell negative things toward our players when you come in on our tickets to watch the game."
That last sentence hits on Williams' issue with the matter. King, a 1996 graduate of Presbyterian, was in premium seats about 15 rows behind the Carolina bench. You know, the kind of seats the well heeled boosters get.
King went public on Monday, not to defend himself so much, but to make a few points clear. King said he was not drunk and he was invited to sit in the seat by some childhood friends who had tickets. King said he could have shown the staff a ticket had they asked to see one. King actually said he was embarrassed by the whole thing and didn't blame Williams for being upset.
If these accounts are accurate, Williams should be the one explaining and apologizing. There was no vulgarity or anything else that would warrant the head coach of one of America's top basketball programs to single out a Presbyterian fan for supporting his team. If it bothered Williams that much, a better approach may have been to summon an assistant, or graduate assistant, to have security check it out. Even that would have been bush league, but the public drama would have been abated.