Haiti puts season 'in perspective'

Updated: February 12, 2010, 10:14 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

North Carolina coach Roy Williams issued a statement on Thursday apologizing for remarks he made about Haiti.

"Our massage therapist told me, 'You know, coach, what happened in Haiti is a catastrophe. What you're having is a disappointment,' " Williams said in a news conference Tuesday. "I told her that depends on what chair you're sitting in. It does feel like a catastrophe to me, because it's my life."

After a loss to Duke (No. 7 ESPN/USA Today, No. 8 AP) on Wednesday, the unranked Tar Heels have fallen to 13-11, 2-7 in the ACC. The defending national champions are in danger of missing the NCAA tournament.

Still, on Thursday, Williams said that the tragedy in Haiti -- the Haitian government estimated that 230,000 people were killed in the January quake -- has brought things into focus for him.

"On February 1st at my weekly radio show I made a comment about a colleague telling me that Haiti was a catastrophe and we were just having a difficult season," Williams said in a statement. "I said that does put basketball in perspective.

"However, Tuesday, at a press conference, I referenced her comment again but I neglected to say that it puts basketball in perspective. In no way am I equating the tragedy in Haiti with basketball. I'm sorry that my statement at the press conference made it seem like I was comparing the two. The people of Haiti are suffering through unimaginably difficult times. I know very well that we are just playing a game."