Two days after Roy Williams said he was disgusted with North Carolina supporters who sold their tickets to opposing fans at last Saturday night's game against UNLV, the Tar Heels coach again found someone clad in rival colors seated behind his bench.
This wasn't an opposing fan, though. It was none other than ex-Tar Heels star Rasheed Wallace.
Maybe 'Sheed felt like poking fun at Williams. Maybe all his Carolina blue sweatshirts were in the laundry. Either way, the above picture shows Wallace standing up while wearing a red hoodie one row behind the Tar Heels bench during Wednesday night's game against Wisconsin in Chapel Hill.
The issue of opposing fans getting on Williams' nerves popped up because a UNLV fan sitting next to one of the Tar Heel coaches' wives on Saturday night vocally supported the Rebels and disparaged North Carolina. Williams said on his radio show Monday, "I do not like that, will not like that, don't ever forget it."
"I don't like our fans to help the other team by either giving or selling their tickets," he elaborated during his news conference the next day. "That's disappointing. And to do it right beside our families, you know, that's the biggest thing. And then to have somebody that's just negative, negative, negative right in five feet of an assistant coach's wife for two nights.
"You know, you get tired of that. But it's something that's always bothered me. It will always bother me. A hundred years ago I'm watching in Lawrence, Kansas, and North Carolina's playing North Carolina State and there were five million red shirts in the crowd. And if I'd had a BB gun, five million red shirts would have had a burned rear end. Because I just don't like those kinds of things."
It's possible that rant was merely a well-timed smokescreen designed to take attention off the Tar Heels' poor performance against UNLV, but Williams has long been sensitive to opposing fans behind his bench. The North Carolina coach once famously was accused of having a Presbyterian fan removed from his seat behind the bench when he heckled a Tar Heel at the free-throw line.
Was Williams angry at Wallace? It's unclear since it appears he had other topics to address Wednesday night after the Tar Heels followed up their loss to UNLV with a wobbly 60-57 win over Wisconsin.
Hopefully Williams wasn't tempted to go after Wallace with a BB gun. The ex-Tar Heel's red hoodie certainly will pale in comparison to the steady heckling Williams will take from Kentucky fans at Rupp Arena on Saturday afternoon.
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