CHAPEL HILL — As we reported last weekend, Duke will hold its first so-called "elite" men's basketball camp later this month. But don't expect North Carolina and coach Roy Williams to join the fray anytime soon.
The camps, held by many prominent programs including Florida, Maryland and N.C. State, are a recruiting tool used as a way to get prospects on campus for unofficial visits. But they have also been much-scrutinized for taking advantage of several loopholes to NCAA rules -- such as paying AAU coaches to work the camp (which the Blue Devils say they will not do) and charging relatively low camp tuition.
Williams, who won his second national title in April, said he has "zero problems" with other programs holding such camps; he pointed out that one of his former assistants, Mark Turgeon at Texas A&M, has held them in the past. But Williams "probably" won't hold them himself, he said, because he simply doesn't want to hold another camp, and he doesn't want to deal with all of the wiggle room within the rules.
"It's so ambiguous as to what you can do," he said. "It's so ambiguous as how to do it. It's so much in the gray area to me. ... There's a place for them, and a lot of coaches I talk to have had them. But ... you're walking a tightrope with some of the issues and some of the questions, that I'm not comfortable doing that. And please understand, somebody else can do it ... I have zero problems with it. It's just I don't want to fight those questions, fight those issues, fight that step -- right, left, fall off the cliff, I don't want to do those types of things.
"It was in Sports Illustrated that I watched the game tape coming back from Wake Forest a couple of years ago.
"And we had to answer the question, because somebody turned it into the NCAA, that I was making the team watch it, and you can't have a practice or a meeting after a game. I don't give a darn if they're asleep, if they're talking to their girlfriends -- I do not care, because I never turn around. I have it on the VCR screen, and I'm watching it up there.
"So to me, it was a pain in the rear end to have to answer those questions. So an 'elite' camp to me is another opportunity for me to have to answer those pain-in-the-rear-end questions, and I choose not to do that."