CHAPEL HILL, N.C. North Carolina's men's basketball team on Tuesday had what a team official called an extraordinary chance to play basketball with presidential candidate Barack Obama.
So extraordinary that an NCAA rule appears to have been broken - and the NCAA is apparently going to ignore it.
"This was a unique situation and not an NCAA issue," NCAA media relations director Eric Christianson said in an e-mail message to The News & Observer on Tuesday. "It certainly was a great opportunity for the student-athletes to interact with a presidential candidate."
At issue is the timing of the informal scrimmage and the fact that UNC coach Roy Williams watched it from the sideline.
According to NCAA bylaws, coaches are not allowed to watch pick-up games at any time during the offseason. Div. I basketball teams also are prohibited from any mandatory athletically related offseason activities through final exams. Exams began Monday at UNC.
Williams, who watched the play from a chair on the sideline, called out at one point: "You've got the future president of the United States wide-open."