UNC women’s basketball coaching staff put on leave while review conducted, officials say

Sylvia Hatchell_130784-873704001

North Carolina head coach Sylvia Hatchell talks during a news conference about their second round NCAA women’s college basketball game, Sunday, March 20, 2011, in Albuquerque, N.M. North Carolina faces Kentucky in a second round game on Monday. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) — Officials at UNC-Chapel Hill announced Monday that the women’s basketball coaching staff has been put on leave while an outside law firm reviewed and assessed “the culture” of the basketball program.

A statement from UNC spokesman Steve Kirschner said that Charlotte-based law firm 
Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein will conduct the review.

“Due to issues raised by student-athletes and others, the University has initiated a review of our women’s basketball program,” the statement from Kirschner said.

The coaching staff has been placed on paid leave while the review takes place, the statement said.

“The University of North Carolina is committed to the well-being of our student-athletes and to ensuring that they have the best experience possible in and outside of competition,” the news release said.

Sylvia Hatchell has been the head coach of the program for 33 seasons. She sent CBS 17 the following statement:

I’ve had the privilege of coaching more than 200 young women during my 44 years in basketball. My goal has always been to help them become the very best people they can be, on the basketball court and in life.

I love each and every one of the players I’ve coached and would do anything to encourage and support them. They are like family to me. I love them all.

Of course, I will cooperate fully with this review. I look forward to a prompt conclusion of this matter and the continuation of our very successful women’s basketball program.

Hatchell, a 2013 Hall of Fame inductee, is the winningest women’s basketball coach in Atlantic Coast Conference history. She has a career record of 1,023-405 and is 751-325 mark in 33 years at UNC with a national title in 1994.

Officials said they did not know how long the review would take but said it would be “thorough and prompt.”

— The Associated Press contributed to this report

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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