Jim Boeheim and Roy Williams not upset with Rick Pitino's absence

ByCL Brown via ESPN logo
Monday, November 2, 2015

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Of all those upset about Louisvillecoach Rick Pitino's absence from the ACC's Operation Basketball media day, Syracusecoach Jim Boeheim and North Carolinacoach Roy Williams are not among them.

Both Boeheim and Williams faced tough questions last year from the league's media contingent, which grilled them about their respective schools' NCAA investigations.

Both coaches admittedly would have rather skipped the event, with Boehiem even warning reporters when they first gathered around that he bet he'd "get up in 15 seconds." Yet both stayed put.

Both coaches endured the scrutiny. "I don't enjoy [media] day, but last year was the most disappointing day that I've ever been involved with human beings," Williams said. "It was just the same questions over and over and over and over."

Pitino would have been subjected to the same monotony. But while Louisville and the NCAA investigate allegations that former director of basketball operations Andre McGee hired escorts for recruiting visits, Pitino, at the advice of counsel, was the only coach from the league's 15 members not present at the annual media day.

Pitino's absence brought a collective shrug from Boeheim and Williams. "Every situation is different," Boeheim said. "I don't know what's involved there. I have no idea."

Williams said a major difference between Louisville's situation and those of Syracuse and North Carolina is that the investigation into the Cardinals program is still in its infancy.

This time last year, Syracuse was about to go in front of the NCAA's Committee on Infractions, and North Carolina had a week to dwell on findings from its independent investigation into widespread academic fraud, which involved multiple athletic programs including men's basketball.

"I know that last year was hard for me; I was very disappointed at the end of the day because all I did was answer questions about things I was not involved in," Williams said. "But on Rick's behalf, he's got an attorney who is telling him he shouldn't do it. And so I'm not condemning him by any means because every situation is different. Jimmy Boeheim's situation is different. Roy Williams' situation is different."

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