Hall of Fame NCAA Coach Resigns After Probe Into Racist Remarks

Sylvia Hatchell is the winningest coach in ACC history

UNC head coach Sylvia Hatchell. (Andy Mead/YCJ/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
UNC head coach Sylvia Hatchell. (Andy Mead/YCJ/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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A Hall of Fame NCAA coach who was suspended earlier this month after being accused of making “racially offensive remarks” has resigned following an investigation into her conduct.

University of North Carolina’s women’s basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell submitted her resignation after viewing the findings of an independent review which concluded there was a “breakdown of connectivity” between the coach and her players.

According to some members of her former team, Hatchell suggested her players would get “hanged from trees with nooses” if their play didn’t improve. She disputed that allegation.

The review did find Hatchell is not viewed as a racist, but whatever she did or didn’t say left a mark. “Her comments and subsequent response caused many in the program to believe she lacked awareness and appreciation for the effect her remarks had on those who heard them,” the review found.

That was enough to compel Hatchell to leave Chapel Hill.

“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,” UNC athletics director Bubba Cunningham said in a statement. “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.”

Hatchell, 67, is the Atlantic Coast Conference’s all-time winningest coach. She spent more than three decades with the Tar Heels and won a national championship.

Though she will no longer coach at the university, Hatchell, a cancer survivor, will continue to raise money for UNC’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and advocate for gender equity issues.

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