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Breaking: UNC Forces Sylvia Hatchell To Resign, Then Announces It Just Before Midnight

As the outside review of her program apparently has some damning revelations.

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NCAA Womens Basketball: Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament - Notre Dame vs UNC
Mar 8, 2019; Greensboro , NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels head coach Sylvia Hatchell yells from the sidelines against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the women’s ACC Conference Tournament at Greensboro Coliseum. 
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

You don’t typically see major breaking sports news around midnight unless it involves an arrest but we have it tonight as long-time women’s coach Sylvia Hatchell has been forced out at UNC.

A.D. Bubba Cunningham issued this statement: “The university commissioned a review of our women’s basketball program, which found issues that led us to conclude that the program needed to be taken in a new direction. It is in the best interests of our university and student-athletes for us to do so. Coach Hatchell agrees, and she offered her resignation today. I accepted it. We appreciate her 33 years of service to Carolina and to the community, and we wish her the best. Our focus now is on conducting a search for a new head coach who will build on our great Carolina traditions and promote a culture of excellence.”

We’ll know more soon but it seems to boil down to this: the review by Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein found that the allegations of racial insensitivity and pressuring players to play hurt had “widespread support.”

For her part, Hatchell issued her own statement which in part says this:

“The university will always hold a special place in my heart.

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. This year, after defeating Notre Dame, the top-ranked team in the country, and returning to the NCAA Tournament, our program is once again headed in the right direction and ready for new leadership.”

“I will forever love the University of North Carolina. I am Sylvia Hatchell, and I am a Tar Heel.”

There’s a lot to learn yet but since UNC buried this release as much as possible - you can’t get much deeper than nearly midnight after the Mueller Report release with Good Friday and Easter coming up (and note the word “today” in Cunningham’s statement - it’s not like it happened just before the release) - folks over there must be concerned about how this will be received and want it to go away as quickly as possible.

On the other hand, say what you will, but they’ve developed a certain expertise at finessing scandal. Who does it better? It’s the New UNC Way.

Correction - UNC announced just before midnight.

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