After title, Josh Pastner ‘a man of his word’ on hairstyling promise

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner’s hair is now fair game, if perhaps a bit leery. After telling his players that they could do “whatever they want to do” to his curly, hard-to-tame mop if they won the ACC championship, Pastner was not quite backtracking on his offer, but trying to figure out a way to delay his next hair appointment after the Yellow Jackets laid claim to the school’s first ACC championship since 1993 with an 80-75 win over No. 15 Florida State on Saturday night at the Greensboro Coliseum.

Calling himself “a man of his word,” Pastner acknowledged that the players were now free to style their coach’s hair as they pleased, including a possible braiding. (The challenge arose after multiple players braided their hair, prompting a fan’s suggestion, shared on his weekly TV show, that the coach be next.)

“If that’s what they want to do, that’s what I’ll do,” Pastner said. “I’m going to try to convince them and say, ‘Hey, guys, let’s get through the tournament.’ I’d rather keep my hair as it is. Maybe I’ll say it’s a good-luck charm. We’ve won eight in a row, I haven’t got a haircut.”

There are some complications for any attempts at hair dressing. Pastner chose not to allow any hair stylists or barbers within the bubble that he had created for team, coaches and staff in Greensboro for fear of losing players to contact tracing if a visiting hairdresser were to test positive. As a compromise, players were given clippers and told they could cut or style each other’s hair. With the team going to Indianapolis Sunday to begin their stay for the NCAA Tournament, protocols are to be even tighter, so the chances of a stylist making a visit to the team hotel there would seem remote.

Pastner said he might explore bribes to delay any styling, starting with getting rings for winning the ACC title. His next suggestion smacked of desperation: He said he might offer “an extra ice cream bar” at the team party that was to be held at the hotel after the game.

“Can I get you an extra Adidas Georgia Tech polo?” Pastner said. “What can I do in exchange for maybe waiting until after the tournament? But we’ll see. It’s their call. It’s their team. I just kind of oversee it. It’s their team, so whatever they want to do, they can do.”