North Carolina women’s basketball coach, Sylvia Hatchell, submitted her resignation on Thursday. Due to an investigation, findings revealed she made racially insensitive remarks to her players. She also pressured some to play through an injury.
Hatchell is one of the longest-tenured coaches in Division I women’s basketball, having coached at UNC since 1986.
UNC athletic director, Bubba Cunningham, said, “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.”
After 28 interviews with current players and personnel, there were three overarching themes. The findings announced by UNC are:
- Hatchell made racially insensitive comments. When confronted by players and staff, she did not respond in a timely or appropriate manner.
- Players and medical staff expressed frustration with Hatchell regarding medical issues and pressure to play. The medical staff did not succumb to pressure to clear players before they were medically ready, despite Hatchell’s questioning of player care.
- There has been a disruption of connectivity between the players and Hatchell.
Hatchell is one of only six coaches at the women’s Division I level to have earned 1,000+ career wins, landing her in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
In the statement released by the UNC, Sylvia Hatchell said that the game of basketball had given her so much, but now it is time for her to step away. This is an idea she has been contemplating since her cure from leukemia. This year, after defeating Notre Dame and returning to the NCAA Tournament, the program is once again headed in the right direction and ready for new leadership.