Roy Williams Illness: Updates on UNC Coach's Status and Return

Scott PolacekFeatured Columnist

North Carolina head coach Roy Williams looks on during the first half of Notre Dame’s 80-76 win in an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Robert Franklin)
Robert Franklin/Associated Press

The North Carolina Tar Heels had their hands full with the Boston College Eagles on Feb. 9 before emerging with a 68-65 win, but the game took a backseat when head coach Roy Williams collapsed and was taken to the locker room due to a bout of vertigo.

Continue for updates.

Williams Comments on Collapse

Friday, Feb. 12

"I feel fine," Williams said, per Andrew Carter of the Charlotte Observer. "Unfortunately, it was on national television."

Williams confirmed he had been diagnosed with benign positional vertigo, per Carter on Feb. 9, adding that the issue occurs when he jerks his head quickly.

UNC Updates Williams' Status

Wednesday, Feb. 10

North Carolina spokesman Steve Kirschner said he "expects Williams to lead practice on Thursday," adding that he believes Williams will coach against Pittsburgh on Sunday, per Andrew Carter of the News and Observer.

Vertigo a Recurring Issue for Williams noted in 2012, “Williams has dealt with vertigo, an inner ear condition that impacts balance, since 2007. Although it hasn’t caused Williams to miss any games, the vertigo symptoms have forced him to sit down at times during games.”

While Williams’ overall health overshadows basketball, the Tar Heels were looking for some momentum Tuesday after losing their two prior games to Louisville and Notre Dame. North Carolina was still No. 9 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll coming into Tuesday’s contest, but the skid dropped them to 8-2 in the ACC and just ahead of Miami, Louisville and Virginia, which were all 8-3.

Williams' Tar Heels needed a late rally, but they escaped with the victory against Boston College after trailing for most of the second half.

North Carolina still plays archrival Duke two more times, No. 12 Miami and No. 7 Virginia, so the struggles against the 7-17 Eagles (who are also winless in the ACC) were concerning. It can ill-afford to continue its recent stretch of lackluster play if it wants to win the No. 1 seed for the ACC tournament or challenge for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

Williams is a legendary coach who has seven Final Fours and two national titles on his resume. His team could use him healthy and on the bench as it prepares for March and that difficult upcoming slate.