Players and team managers for the North Carolina Tar Heels men’s basketball program have issued an apology for partying maskless around other students who also didn’t wear masks following Saturday’s 91-87 win over the rival Duke Blue Devils.
Hours before Monday’s scheduled showdown between the Tar Heels and Miami Hurricanes, North Carolina student newspaper The Daily Tar Heel published a video that showed North Carolina players Day’Ron Sharpe and Armando Bacot partying without wearing face coverings around other unmasked young people. As a result, the Atlantic Coast Conference postponed the matchup following “a meeting of personnel from both schools, who mutually concluded the game could not move forward today.”
On Tuesday, North Carolina players and managers addressed the matter via an official statement:
“Saturday night, a number of players and managers – not just the ones shown on the video that was seen – got together to celebrate our win at Duke. Our intention was to celebrate privately within our group. Unfortunately, we allowed several friends who are not members of the team to join the gathering. We were inside and not wearing masks, which were mistakes. We apologize for not adhering to the University’s and athletic department’s guidelines and apologize to Coach Williams and his staff for not stepping forward when he first addressed it with us on Sunday. We have worked too hard for eight months doing the right things to make those kinds of mistakes at this point in the season. We are hopeful we will be able to play again soon and wish to remind everyone to stay safe so this pandemic will be over as soon as possible.”
Coach Roy Williams added:
“I appreciate the players voicing their apology. They made a mistake. They’ve been fantastic for more than eight months in the way they have dealt with the whole situation with the virus. But they realize they did make a mistake, for which they are paying a very significant price.”
As Myron Medcalf wrote for ESPN, it’s unknown if North Carolina will be cleared to play at the No. 9-ranked Virginia Cavaliers on Saturday.