Williams Outspoken Against Academic Plan

Inside Carolina
Posted Oct 17, 2012

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Roy Williams told reporters on Wednesday that he’s not aware of any plans to increase North Carolina’s admission standards ahead of the NCAA-mandated change in 2016.

The NCAA is set to increase its required minimum GPA from 2.0 to 2.3 in 2016, which applies to the current high school freshman class.

The Raleigh News & Observer reported last month that UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp indicated in an interview with the newspaper’s reporters and editors that UNC may accelerate the NCAA timeline.

Williams addressed the issue when asked how the Chancellor’s proposed changes would affect North Carolina’s recruiting.

“I’m not so sure that everything that appeared was exactly what Chancellor Thorp meant,” Williams said at the ACC Operation Basketball media event. “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.

“I’m not trying to criticize my chancellor here, because I love him to death, but there are some things that can’t be done. It’s just not right, not fair and not giving somebody time to prepare. I don’t know that that’s going to be done.”

Williams stressed that North Carolina has always had high standards and that he’s not against those standards.

“I don’t see us just jumping out of the window and doing something crazy now,” Williams said. “We’ve had a problem; we’re trying to fix the problem. We’re making a lot of changes for the problem, but to me, I think that we’re trying to move ahead.”

The 10th-year UNC head coach said he's received no indication about a change being made prior to the 2016 mandate.

“Nobody’s told me we’re going to do those things,” Williams said.

North Carolina athletic director Bubba Cunningham told InsideCarolina.com on Wednesday evening that the athletics department has spent a lot of time on campus with both the Chancellor’s office and the admissions office discussing the 2016 standards and moving toward those standards.

“What we have done all along is admitted students that we think will be successful at Carolina,” Cunningham said. “Our biggest challenge is ensuring that high school students know what the requirements are by 2016. And we’re going to continue to work with admissions. The vast majority of the students that come to participate in sport exceed the 2016 standards now, but we want to make sure that we’re fully prepared for all of the students by 2016.”

When asked if North Carolina would increase its GPA requirements ahead of the NCAA timeline, Cunningham reiterated the school’s emphasis on admitting qualified student-athletes.

“We’re going to continue to admit students that can succeed at Carolina,” Cunningham said. “As I said, a lot of them currently exceed the new standards in addition to today’s standards. We’re going to continue to admit students that we think can be successful. We’re going to continue to work with admissions and our faculty committee to admit students that we think will graduate.”

In July, Williams told ESPN.com’s Robbi Pickeral that he didn’t believe the NCAA’s move to a 2.3 GPA requirement had been properly planned.

“Several years ago, we went to increasing the number of core courses,” Williams told ESPN.com. “There was a massive publication, a program to educate the high schools on what was going to happen. I haven’t seen any of that now; none of the high schools know what is going on. Then, in my opinion, there was a massive educational process to tell them, ‘This is what’s going to have to be done.’ But right now, I haven’t seen that.”

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