University of North Carolina Head Coach Resigns After Investigation
University of North Carolina’s head women’s basketball coach has tendered her resignation after an investigation found that she made “racially insensitive” comments and forced team members to play while they were injured.
According to a New York Times report, coach Sylvia Hatchell, who led the basketball program at the university for more than three decades, announced her decision on Thursday after an 18-day investigation by the Charlotte-based firm Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein raised serious concerns and questions over the culture of the program.
During the investigation, the firm interviewed 28 athletes and found a breakdown of connectivity between the players and Hatchell.
Bubba Cunningham, the director of athletics who commissioned the review, said the findings of the investigation concluded that the program needed new leadership.
“Coach Hatchell agrees, and she offered her resignation today. I accepted it,” Cunningham said. “It is in the best interests of our University and student-athletes for us to do so.”
Although the investigation alleged Hatchell of making racially charged comments, it exonerated her from being called a racist.
“The review concluded that Hatchell is not viewed as a racist, but her comments and subsequent response caused many in the program to believe she lacked awareness and appreciation for the effect her remarks had on those who heard them,” the firm said.
Terming it as a “bittersweet day,” Hatchell said she was planning to retire after recovering from Leukemia.
“The game of basketball has given me so much, but now it is time for me to step away. This is an idea I have been contemplating since my cure from leukemia,” she said in a statement.
Hatchell also announced her plans to campaign for equal facilities and treatment for women’s athletics, to raise money for the Lineberger Cancer Center, and to establish a ministry of exercise and recovery for cancer patients.