Williams' Donations Help UNC Senior Athletes Get Extra Year

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The highest-paid public employee in North Carolina is using some of his wealth to keep student-athletes’ college careers alive.

The University of North Carolina athletic department announced Thursday that Roy Williams, UNC’s men’s basketball coach, and his wife, Wanda, donated more than $600,000 to fund scholarships of spring sports seniors. These types of fundraising efforts have been essential after the COVID-19 pandemic and corresponding cancellation of all NCAA spring sports caused many senior student-athletes to miss out on a year of eligibility.

"Student-athletes have begun to come back to campus for voluntary and now team workouts, so it's an appropriate time for us to announce that our spring sport seniors will also be able to return for another year thanks to Roy's and Wanda's generosity," UNC director of athletics Bubba Cunningham said in the university’s press release. "Only a handful of people at the University knew what Roy and Wanda had done to support our students. He called me in March the day the NCAA canceled all spring championships. He didn't want those students to miss that experience and wanted to fund those scholarships for next year. I still get chills when I think about his phone call and the impact it would have for dozens of our students."

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