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Former UNC Coach Sylvia Hatchell Pleads Guilty

A sad story draws to an end

North Carolina v Maryland
COLLEGE PARK, MD - FEBRUARY 24: Head coach Sylvia Hatchell of the North Carolina Tar Heels watches the game against the Maryland Terrapins at the Comcast Center on February 24, 2012 in College Park, Maryland.
Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images

Former UNC coach Sylvia Hatchell pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter in a case from January where she hit and killed an 89-year-old woman at a fitness club.

She got a 30-day suspended sentence, six months of unsupervised probation and also has to pay a $150 fine.

Her legal consequences are thus resolved although the family may decide to file a civil suit.

Whatever they do is, of course, up to them. They are legally and morally entitled to resolve this in whatever way they would like.

As for the rest of us, the main compassion goes to the family obviously. They’re the ones who have lost a loved one suddenly and freakishly.

However, we hope no one piles on Hatchell. She has had a very difficult stretch starting with the academic fraud case at UNC, then being forced out of her job, which she loved, and then having to deal with the agony of, however accidentally, taking a life.

By everything we’ve heard it has devastated her and there is just nothing to be gained by adding further torment. If you pray, please say a prayer for the family of Betty Colb, and also for Hatchell and her family. Nothing compares to the pain of losing a loved one but the pain of causing another’s death has to be deeply traumatic. She needs compassion too.