Chapel Hill, N.C. – After an investigation by a Charlotte law firm found "broad support for" the accusations of racial and insensitive remarks at the time of playing for an injury, Sylvia Hatchell resigned on Thursday as the head coach of the women's basketball team from the University of North Carolina.
Hatchell, a member of the 2013 Hall of Fame, is the most successful women's basketball coach in the history of the Atlantic Coast Conference. She has a career record of 1,023-405 and is 751-325 in 33 years at UNC-Chapel Hill with a national title in 1994.
Hatchell became the third female coach in Division I with 1,000 career wins in 2017, made her 23rd appearance in the NCAA Tournament last month and is the only coach with national championships on three levels: AIAW, NAIA and NCAA.
However, according to the university's badertions, "student-athletes and others" led to the suspension of Hatchell on April 1. She and her entire staff were placed on paid leave while the university hired Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein to review the culture within the program.
In announcing Hatchell's resignation on Friday, just after midnight, UNC Athletics Director Bubba Cunningham said: "The university commissioned a review of our women's basketball program, which found problems that led us to conclude that The program had to go in a new direction, it's in the best interest of our university and the student-athletes to do it, Coach Hatchell agrees, and she submitted her resignation today, I accepted her, we appreciate her 33 years of service Carolina and the community, and "Desire the best. Our goal now is to conduct a search for a new head coach that is based on our great Carolina traditions and promotes a culture of excellence. "
The review found support for accusations of "comments that were racially insensitive" that led "many in the program to believe that they lacked awareness and appreciation for the effect their comments had on those who heard them."
He also found the "frustration" of the players and the UNC medical staff that "with the perceived and undue influence of Hatchell regarding the medical problems and the pressure to play".
The parents of the players who spoke anonymously to The Washington Post said that Hatchell's remarks included a comment that his players would be "hanging from trees with ropes" if their performance did not improve.
According to The Washington Post, Hatchell was also accused of encouraging his players to participate in a "war song" to "honor" the Native American ancestry of an badistant coach.
In a statement published along with the news of his resignation, Hatchell wrote, in part:
"The university will always have a special place in my heart.
The basketball game has given me a lot, but now is the time for me to get away. This is an idea that I have been contemplating since my cure of leukemia. "This year, after defeating Notre Dame, the top-ranked team in the country, and returning to the NCAA Tournament, our program is back in the right direction and ready for new leadership."
She concluded: "I will always love the University of North Carolina, I am Sylvia Hatchell and I am a Tar Heel."