CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- In the aftermath of the FBI investigation that resulted in 10 college basketball-related arrests and placed the dealings of shoe companies in question, North Carolina coach Roy Williams told ESPN that Nike has never aided him in securing players.
"They've never helped me get any player, never insinuated, never done anything," Williams told ESPN in an exclusive interview on Monday.
"I've dealt with Nike and Jordan Brand since I came back here, but we never even discuss things like that," he added. "So I know it's foreign to me."
Williams admitted he hasn't followed the specifics of the college basketball scandal closely, but that he was "stunned" when he first heard the news that four assistant coaches and two people affiliated with Adidas were arrested by the FBI a week ago.
"This is a whole different level we're talking about here," Williams said. "This is a different level that should have some people being scared to death."
But Williams, whose program has been under investigation for academic questions since 2010, maintains that the positives far outweighs the negatives with the sport despite last week's FBI report.
"I know it looks really bad," Williams said. "I don't know. I don't enjoy that part. But to paint the entire college basketball world like this I don't think it's fair either because I don't think that's what the entire college basketball world is all about. But it was just a shock to me."
Williams said he doesn't feel the solution is necessarily to pay college athletes despite the fact that many have advocated for that as a potential aid to solving the issue of players taking money from shoe companies and as well as financial advisors and agents.
"I don't think that's a perfect answer," Williams said. "And I really don't. I think that you can't legislate honesty. You can't legislate morality. You just try to get people to do things the right way. ... Is paying the players the answer? I'm not saying it's wrong, but I don't think that's the answer."
North Carolina, the defending national champion, held its first practice on Monday afternoon, and said it's too early to tell what type of impact the FBI investigation will have on college basketball going forward.
"I think we have to wait and see," Williams said. "I think you have to go through the process and see what was actually done and then make corrections. ... I just don't understand the whole trail there. So those people are doing the investigating and it's their job to find out what happened."