Local News

Curry's Future With Tar Heels Uncertain After Arrest

Posted February 4, 2004

— Until Wednesday, JamesOn Curry was a top basketball recruit bursting with potential. The state's all-time leading high-school scorer, his 65-point total in a recent game was the second highest single-game total in state history -- just two off the record Clayton's Bob Polle set in 1950.

Curry was ready to make an impact at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill next season when he signed a letter-of-intent with the Tar Heels when Matt Doherty was UNC's coach.

But Curry's arrest Wednesday morning on drug charges

leaves his future up in the air.

UNC officials can wait for the legal process to determine Curry's guilt or innocence. Or, the school could rescind its scholarship offer immediately.

Head coach Roy Williams, hired after Doherty resigned under pressure last summer, said Wednesday he needs more information before deciding Curry's fate.

As a basketball player, Curry excels at dribbling out of trouble. But now, instead of putting jump shots into the net, Curry finds himself facing serious charges after being caught in a police dragnet.

"It's disturbing, surprising," Williams said. "I guess that's the best term -- very surprising."

Curry's friends and Alamance County school officials said they were saddened and disappointed by news of his arrest,

which also moved swiftly around the UNC campus Wednesday.

Carolina players appeared stunned.

"He's got to realize that he's got a scholarship to North Carolina," Rashad McCants said. "Everybody's watching. He can't do anything to jeopardize that."

Said UNC player Sean May: "I don't know the details about it. But I hope he can get through this.

"I'm going to call him and let him know everyone's thinking about him," May said.

Williams is under no obligation to keep Curry on scholarship, although he said on his arrival in Chapel Hill that he would honor it.

Based on his comments Wednesday, Williams may be having second thoughts. He wants players who fit his system, on and off the court.

"He does not play for me," Williams said. "He is not under my watch. I do have certain feelings and thoughts that are personal and will stay that way until I share them with his family."


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