Roy Williams 'dumbfounded' as the rest of us after NCAA shut down Hurricane relief basketball game

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Roy Williams was perplexed as to why the NCAA denied a charity game raising money for victims of Hurricane Florence. (AP)
Roy Williams was perplexed as to why the NCAA denied a charity game raising money for victims of Hurricane Florence. (AP)

The Universities of North Carolina and South Carolina planned an exhibition basketball game between the two programs to raise money for recovery efforts after Hurricane Florence ravaged parts of the neighboring states.

Last week, the NCAA shut it down.

The billion-dollar organization that justifies making its fortune on the backs of unpaid student-athletes decided that two schools raising money for residents in their back yards who are truly in need was out of bounds.

Typcial NCAA nonsense

The decision was absurd and insulting. And completely expected from the archaic institution being exposed and unraveled daily this week in a U.S. federal court.

North Carolina head coach Roy Williams spoke publicly for the first time about the canceled game on Tuesday, and his reaction was as perplexed as the rest of us.

Roy Williams ‘dumbfounded’

“I was dumbfounded when the waiver was not granted,” Williams told reporters in Chapel Hill, N.C., per the Charlotte Observer. “Our state and South Carolina had a terrible tragedy, a horrific storm come through, whatever you want to call it. And I called (South Carolina head coach) Frank (Martin) to see if he would be interested in playing a game.”

Devastating flooding from Hurricane Florence ravaged communities in North Carolina and South Carolina. (AP)
Devastating flooding from Hurricane Florence ravaged communities in North Carolina and South Carolina. (AP)

Martin was, and the two teams planned a game in Charlotte with the cooperation of Hornets owner and UNC alum Michael Jordan.

NCAA protecting sanctity of exhibition games

That was until the NCAA said no. The Charleston Post and Courier reported that the NCAA rejected a waiver request for the two schools to exceed their limit of two exhibition games a season.

From the report:

Schools are allowed two exhibition games per season, a public one and a “secret” scrimmage in a closed gym with no reports and no statistics released to the public. Coaches aren’t even supposed to acknowledge the “secret” scrimmage’s presence.

NCAA: Recruiting rules over humanitarian cause

The rule is in place in part to prevent recruiting advantages for participating teams.

“Some rule had been put in that they weren’t going to give waivers (because) we already had the other two games,” Williams said. “And guys, if you guys can convince me how that was going to help North Carolina’s basketball team or South Carolina’s basketball team over somebody else, then I’ll listen to it. But that was not the intent.

“When you see the scenes of people’s stuff out on the street, you want to do something. And that’s sadly what we saw. We saw so many situations, people losing everything they have. And we had what I thought was one of the few good ideas I’ve ever had.”

It was a good idea. A good idea that could have helped people who were truly suffering.

And the NCAA did one of the things it does best. It shot a good idea down. All in the name of protecting the “integrity” of one of the most corrupt governing bodies in all of sports.

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