Our buddy “Albert” goes after our other buddy “Bubba” about how UNC is mistreating his buddy “Sylvia” – READ MORE …
Oh My! Hang On Sloopy!…. I better grab a fire hose. This could get “HOT”!
Anticipating possible adverse reprisal from beady-eyed Franklin Street Lunatics, I have advised Albert to “take precautions”. He has engaged a former DPD detective (and, ironically, a hard-core “Wuffie”) to “watch his back”…. taste his food…. and start his car for the next several days. These are very strange times…..
Excerpt from Durham Herald-Sun article of 7/2/15
…. Anyone who’s heard Boxill speak knows what a gifted orator she is, Durham’s Albert Long explained recently between sips of his coffee at Chick-fil-A on Hillsborough Road. He recalled a time when he heard her speak during an event for the UNC women’s basketball team, and Boxill was engaging and charming and certainly convincing.
Long said that’s how Hatchell got snowed.
“She was a person who put all her trust in an individual who was her friend and the chairman of the ethics committee and a well-known, respected professor,” Long said.
Long is no ordinary UNC fan. He played football, basketball, baseball and ran track for the Tar Heels in the early 1950s. He’s the only four-sport letterman in the history of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Long loves UNC women’s basketball and is particularly crazy about Hatchell, his friend.
“I guarantee you that every one of Sylvia’s peers who know her personally will tell you what a women of high integrity she is and a woman of strong faith,” Long said.
Yet Cunningham is treating Hatchell like she was in on the irregular classes, like she’s Boxill, Long suggested.
“What really upsets me is the very same reasons Bubba Cunningham mentioned why he extended Roy’s contract fits Sylvia exactly,” Long said.
When Cunningham announced Williams’ contract extension, he said, “His results on the court over 27 years as a head coach are among the most accomplished in the history of the sport, but his love for the University of North Carolina and the way he cares for his students are truly unmatched.
“Roy is a man of character and integrity, and I have great respect for the way he leads our basketball program.”
Long has issues with that.
Among active coaches in women’s college basketball, Hatchell has more wins than any of them, including the great Geno Auriemma. Granted, he’s won 10 national championships at the University of Connecticut. But the point is Auriemma arrived at UConn in 1985 and has 917 wins. Hatchell showed up in Chapel Hill in 1986 and has 961 wins, including the national championship she delivered to UNC in 1994. She got 272 of those wins during her 11 years coaching at what used to be Francis Marion College, in Florence, South Carolina. Only retired Tennessee coach Pat Summitt, with 1,098 career victories, has more wins than Hatchell.
In 2011,when Dick Baddour was UNC’s athletics director, he extended the contracts of both Williams and Hatchell to 2018. The deal Cunningham gave Williams would keep him in Chapel Hill through 2020.
Yet Hatchell didn’t get a contract extension. UNC women’s lacrosse coach Jenny Levy got one after her Tar Heels were runners-up in the NCAA Tournament. UNC women’s tennis coach Brian Kalbas got one after sophomore Jamie Loeb won the 2015 NCAA championship, UNC’s first NCAA women’s tennis individual title.
But no new deal for the UNC’s women’s basketball coach.
“Why would her contract not be renewed, as was Roy Williams’?” Glover asked.
One of the finest all-around athletes UNC ever produced, Long has problems with how Cunningham is handling Hatchell’s situation.
“I am a Tar Heel born and a Tar Heel bred, and when I die, I’m a Tar Heel dead,” Long said. “However, I am thoroughly disgusted with the way the athletics department has treated Coach Hatchell, and Bubba Cunningham and I are good friends — that is, until he reads this article.”
Long smiled when he said that, but the grin masked his frustration regarding the treatment of Hatchell. It’s no way to treat somebody like her who is in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame just like Williams, he said.
“They are throwing her under the bus,” Long said.
There is language in Hatchell’s contract — her base salary is $361,000 a year — that could be grounds for her dismissal if someone either on the women’s basketball staff or any of her players violated an NCAA standard about which she should have been aware.
“She is going down with the ship, and nobody in the athletics department is even throwing her a life jacket,” Long said.
What already looks awful is Hatchell having lost her entire recruiting class from 2013. That was the top class in the nation.
The best among those four players is Diamond DeShields, the national freshman of the year in 2013-14 whose mother said the situation at Chapel Hill was a bad fit for her daughter. Hatchell was fighting cancer and took that season off when DeShields led UNC to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals. Hatchell barely got to work with her. By the time Hatchell’s health improved enough for her to return to coaching, DeShields had transferred. She’s at the University of Tennessee.
After this past season, Jessica Washington said she was leaving to find more playing time at another school. She’s landed at Kansas. Allisha Gray and Stephanie Mavunga, whose decisions to explore other options were announced in June, haven’t said why they wanted out of Hatchell’s program. Gray transferred to the University of South Carolina.
“Simply stated, she lost her star players because of something she did not do and had no control over,” Glover said.
The timing of it all is critical, according to Jacqueline Koss, a friend of Hatchell’s who said she has served as a director of women’s sports on the collegiate level.
“Granting releases to student-athletes in a situation such as this has a viral effect,” Koss said. “Granting one release based on allegations, substantiated or not, initiates panic that spreads and can decimate the program.”
Koss, an adjunct faculty member at Vanderbilt University, has shared her concerns in writing with Cunningham. She said he was nice enough to respond and did so in a professional way. But Koss warned Cunningham that his treatment of Hatchell is insulting and could be a violation of Title IX legislation in place to ensure equitable treatment of females in sports.
“Coach Hatchell took her team to the Sweet 16 this past year, which parallels what Roy Williams accomplished with the men’s program,” Koss said. “The lack of a contract extension to Coach Hatchell is reminiscent of athletic[s] department actions before the passage and enactment of Title IX. UNC might want to rethink these questionable courses of action.
“Without a contract extension, you are inhibiting and impeding an award-winning coach, and, moreover, you are demanding that a coach put together a successful team under negative circumstances that you have created.”
Koss said she tended to Hatchell while she fought for her life battling leukemia.
But now, Glover said, it’s like Cunningham is trying to take the basketball life out of Hatchell
“Bubba Cunningham and the university (are) making her and women’s basketball the sacrificial lamb for something that has been proven she had absolutely nothing to do with,” Glover said.
Koss wondered, “How did an investigation that centered upon the men’s basketball and football programs land on the doorstep of women’s basketball?”
Herald-Sun sports writer John McCann is @johntmccann on Twitter.
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