UNC women's basketball coach made racially offensive remarks, report says

Article Image

Sylvia Hatchell, the University of North Carolina's celebrated women's basketball coach, made racially offensive remarks to her players, according to a report from the Washington Post.

Posted: Apr 6, 2019 12:20 AM
Updated: Apr 6, 2019 12:20 AM

Sylvia Hatchell, the University of North Carolina's celebrated women's basketball coach, made racially offensive remarks to her players, according to a report from the Washington Post.

The report came after the university's athletic department announced Monday the team's coaching staff was placed on paid administrative leave due to "issues raised by student-athletes and others."

The school hired a law firm to lead a "thorough and prompt" review of the program's culture and student athletes' experience, the statement said, adding that no further comment would be made until that review is completed.

Hatchell allegedly suggested players would be "hanged from trees with nooses" if they didn't improve their playing, the Washington Post report says, citing interviews with seven people with knowledge of the investigation.

Hatchell also allegedly made players compete despite serious injuries, the Post reported.

Hatchell has coached at UNC for 33 seasons and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013.

Her attorney, Wade Smith, told CNN in a statement Friday that Hatchell "demands excellence and may be tough on her players, but she doesn't have a racist bone in her body."

"She would not insist that her players play through pain or injury and depends on team doctors to clear them for competition," Smith said. "She dearly loves all the young women she has coached and so many of them have reached out to support her this week. We must not suddenly assume the worst about people who have lived exemplary lives."

Smith told the Post in an interview Thursday that the "comments attributed to her by parents of players are incorrect and misconstrued."

Joyce Fitzpatrick, a spokeswoman for Smith, said that Hatchell was trying to get her players ready to go into tough ACC conference play when she made one comment. Fitzpatrick says Hatchell told the team, "In the ACC, they are going to come after you with reckless abandon. They are going string you up and hang you out to dry."

Coach allegedly told players they would be hanged from trees

Of the seven people interviewed by the Washington Post, six of them were parents of current players, the newspaper said, who spoke anonymously because they feared their daughters would face retribution.

Hatchell made the "noose" comment after a game against historically black university Howard this season, the report says, citing the six parents who spoke to their daughters about the incident.

Despite her team's victory, Hatchell was displeased with the team's performance and made the comment in the locker room afterward in reference to an upcoming game at Louisville, according to the report.

One mother said Hatchell told the players, "When you go to Louisville, if you perform like you did tonight, they're going to have nooses outside the arena, and they're going to hang you by your necks from trees."

A father recalled the comment as, "We're going up to Louisville. Those people are going to be waiting with nooses to hang you from trees."

While the parents differed on the exact wording of Hatchell's statement, they were unanimous in saying their daughters heard the words "noose" and "tree."

The report also says Hatchell was accused of trying to get players to "engage in a 'war chant' to 'honor' the Native American ancestry of an assistant coach," who was "visibly uncomfortable," according to two parents who had learned about the incident from their daughters.

She allegedly discouraged surgery

Hatchell's alleged remarks were discussed at a meeting between parents and university administrators last week, according to the Washington Post report.

At that same meeting, parents voiced their concerns about incidences in which three players said they felt pressured by Hatchell to play through their injuries.

One player, the report says, eventually learned she needed corrective shoulder surgery, and another learned she had a torn tendon in her knee. A third player reported the coach cast doubt on whether she had suffered a concussion, the report says.

Parents at the meeting "differed on whether the blame for these situations belonged to Hatchell or the team physician," according to the Post.

The report says that Hatchell discouraged a player from getting surgery after she had dislocated her shoulder in December 2016, the player's parents said at that meeting. Two outside doctors later determined she needed the surgery.

Hatchell allegedly pressured the player who had a torn tendon in her knee to keep working out and to play in either the ACC or the NCAA tournaments despite her pain, because WNBA scouts would "want to see if she can play through pain," parents with knowledge of the situation told the Post.

Another doctor later said the injury wouldn't require surgery, but the player would need eight weeks of rest.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 36096

Reported Deaths: 2231
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion10095598
Lake3833203
Allen175371
Cass15927
Elkhart149528
St. Joseph133736
Hendricks119276
Hamilton118394
Johnson1121112
Madison59961
Porter55830
Clark53041
Bartholomew52739
LaPorte44624
Howard44036
Tippecanoe4294
Jackson3992
Shelby39722
Delaware38940
Hancock35127
Boone32435
Floyd32340
Vanderburgh2892
Morgan28426
Noble26821
Montgomery24818
Clinton2461
White2389
Decatur23131
Grant22523
Dubois2093
Harrison19522
Henry18412
Kosciusko1792
Vigo1788
Marshall1782
Greene17225
Dearborn17022
Monroe17012
Lawrence16724
Warrick16729
Miami1441
Putnam1427
Jennings1324
Orange13122
Scott1263
Franklin1168
LaGrange1162
Ripley1086
Daviess9916
Carroll943
Steuben882
Wayne866
Wabash802
Fayette797
Newton7810
Jasper731
Jay540
Clay533
Randolph523
Rush513
Washington501
Fulton501
Pulaski500
Jefferson491
Whitley453
DeKalb441
Starke393
Perry390
Huntington382
Sullivan371
Owen341
Wells340
Brown331
Benton320
Knox310
Blackford272
Tipton261
Crawford240
Fountain222
Switzerland210
Spencer211
Adams211
Gibson192
Parke180
Posey160
Martin130
Ohio130
Warren121
Vermillion100
Union90
Pike60
Unassigned0179

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 37282

Reported Deaths: 2340
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin6216293
Cuyahoga4732259
Hamilton2767167
Marion268631
Lucas2313263
Pickaway209638
Summit1505181
Mahoning1466191
Butler94832
Columbiana89152
Stark782101
Lorain72260
Montgomery72016
Trumbull59451
Belmont44715
Warren39821
Medina37625
Tuscarawas3674
Miami36630
Delaware35514
Ashtabula34738
Portage33357
Lake32012
Fairfield3148
Clark3137
Wood30449
Geauga30034
Wayne29351
Licking26710
Mercer2238
Allen21933
Clermont2185
Richland2164
Darke18923
Erie18516
Madison1637
Washington11819
Crawford1184
Morrow1081
Greene1055
Ottawa10417
Putnam9514
Sandusky8512
Monroe8015
Auglaize773
Ross732
Hardin710
Hocking705
Jefferson672
Huron611
Williams561
Union551
Muskingum541
Holmes543
Hancock531
Wyandot482
Shelby463
Fulton450
Coshocton450
Clinton451
Logan430
Fayette410
Preble391
Guernsey382
Defiance342
Carroll343
Lawrence311
Brown301
Champaign281
Seneca262
Highland261
Knox251
Vinton212
Ashland210
Perry191
Athens181
Henry170
Scioto170
Jackson140
Paulding140
Adams111
Harrison100
Pike90
Gallia81
Van Wert70
Meigs60
Noble60
Morgan50
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 66°
Angola
Overcast
64° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 64°
Huntington
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 64°
Decatur
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 64°
Van Wert
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 64°
Few Storms Friday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events