North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell to miss two games due to suspensions
University of North Carolina women’s basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell will serve a one-game University-issued suspension at NC State on Sunday, January 31st, for making contact with an official during the Tar Heels’ game at Duke on January 24th. The NCAA is also suspending Hatchell for a separate game for a Level III violation of rules pertaining to activities that simulate game day introductions of prospects during an official visit.
Assistant women’s basketball coach Tracey Williams-Johnson will serve a one-game NCAA suspension for that same violation of rules pertaining to an official visit.
Hatchell will not be on the sidelines when the Tar Heels play at NC State on January 31st and the game at Boston College on February 7th. Williams-Johnson will not coach during UNC’s game against Louisville on February 4th. Associate head coach Andrew Calder will lead the team during Hatchell’s absence.
“I place a high value on sportsmanship for myself, my team and the University,” says Hatchell. “My actions at Duke were out of character and do not reflect the deep respect for our sport and its officials. And we unintentionally broke a rule during a recruiting visit, a mistake we will not make again. I accept responsibility for these mistakes and look forward to returning for the remainder of the year to coach this incredible group of women.”
The University imposed the one-game suspension of Hatchell for making contact with an official (which resulted in a technical foul) after consultation with the Atlantic Coast Conference. The suspension is consistent with previous disciplinary measures taken by member institutions for unsportsmanlike behavior.
The NCAA suspensions relate to Bylaw 22.214.171.124 which states schools are not permitted to arrange a game day simulation for prospects at an event associated with an official visit. The specific violation occurred in the manner in which prospects were introduced at a team function, which simulated pregame introductions.
“We have tremendous respect for Coach Hatchell, but it’s important that we hold ourselves accountable for issues involving sportsmanship and compliance, even when mistakes are made inadvertently,” says Director of Athletics Bubba Cunningham. “Each of us in the athletic department will learn valuable lessons from these situations and hopefully avoid missteps such as these in the future.”