|Lawrence barbershop returns Roy Williams' picture to place of honor|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 14 April 2008 14:58|
The large sketch of the former Kansas coach was removed from the men's room of the Downtown Barbershop on Monday where it had hung as a symbol of fan anger ever since he departed for North Carolina in 2003.
Now ``Ol' Roy'' is back where he used to be, prominently displayed among the hundreds of sketches, photographs and memorabilia that make the landmark little shop near the Kansas campus a shrine to Jayhawks athletics.
Instead of facing the urinal in the back of the building, the man who coached Kansas to nine conference championships is facing customers out front. His smiling countenance is nestled between photographs of former Jayhawks greats Clyde Lovellette and Wilt Chamberlain.
``The hatchet is buried,'' shop owner Jon Amyx said. ``I think most people would tell you that now.''
When Kansas beat Williams' North Carolina team 84-66 in the semifinals of the NCAA tournament, Kansas fans had a wild, impromptu celebration in downtown Lawrence. Many said that night that now, at last, they were no longer hurt and upset that Williams had left town for the Tar Heels without even saying goodbye.
Then last Monday night they saw Williams wearing a Jayhawk on his heart and cheering Bill Self's Kansas team to an overtime victory against Memphis in the NCAA championship game.
``I was surprised to see that,'' Amyx said. ``A lot of people were. It was neat to see him sitting there with that on his chest. People wanted to beat Roy more than they wanted to beat North Carolina, and we did. Now I think next time we play them, we'll just want to beat North Carolina.''
Amyx conducted a little survey of his customers before deciding to end Williams' five-year exile to what they had come to call ``the Roy Room.''
Almost everyone said it was time to bring Roy out and return him to a place of honor.
``I won't say you can't find people who are still mad at him,'' said Ed Stewart, who wore a ``Rock Chalk Jayhawk'' shirt as he walked down Massachusetts Street in front of the barbershop.
``But when we beat Roy and North Carolina in the Final Four, and then won the national championship, I think most everyone feels that they're ready to move on. It brought closure.''
In addition, it will no longer be called ``the Roy Room.'' Now it's just the men's room again. Of course, the men's room still contains unflattering references to the hated archrival Missouri Tigers.
An AP story on Williams' picture hanging in the men's room ran during Final Four week that brought lots of attention to the Barbershop.
``I must have the most photographed men's room of any barbershop in the country,'' Amyx said.
Amyx heard that Williams had read the story and told people he was hurt that Kansas fans would hang his picture ``over a commode.''
``I was surprised he would care that much,'' Amyx said. ``We didn't do it to hurt anybody. It was just something we kind of did. Now it's time to remember all the good things Roy did for KU. He's a great coach and a good person. Roy's probably about the best guy you could meet.''