NCAA Basketball Coach Allegedly Made Racially Insensitive Comments to Players, Forced Them To Play Hurt


North Carolina women’s basketball head coach Sylvia Hatchell is under investigation for allegedly trying to pressure hurt players to compete and making racially insensitive comments.

Seven people who had knowledge about the investigation were cited by The Washington Post’s report Thursday. Six out of the seven people were parents of current team members.

According to The Post, the six parents said their daughters heard Hatchell used the words “noose” and “tree” after the coach was not happy with the players’ performance against Howard University, despite winning the game.

The Tar Heels beat Howard 85-63 on Dec. 28.

The parents differed in what Hatchell allegedly said.

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According to one, she said, “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.”

Another parent said the remark was, “We’re going up to Louisville. Those people are going to be waiting with nooses to hang you from trees,” according to The Post.

Hatchell’s attorney, Wade Smith, said the comment was incorrect, ESPN reported.

“She said, ‘They’re going to take a rope and string us up, and hang us out to dry,'” Smith said, according to ESPN.

Do you think Hatchell should be punished for her alleged remarks?

Smith said many African-American women enjoyed playing under Hatchell’s leadership, and there was “not a racist bone in her body,” ESPN reported.

A larger group of parents also alleged at a meeting on March 28 that players felt pressured to compete despite suffering injuries, according to The Post.

One player reportedly had a torn tendon in her knee, another needed shoulder surgery and a third had a concussion.

The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill on Monday placed Hatchell on paid leave.

“As we announced on Monday, we have a review underway to assess the culture of our women’s basketball program and the experience of our student-athletes,” university spokesman Steve Kirschner said to The Daily Caller News Foundation over email Friday. “We will have no further comment until the review is complete and we have all the facts.”

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Hatchell was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013, according to UNC’s website.

She has a 1,023-405 record over 44 seasons.

Smith did not immediately respond to TheDCNF’s request for comment.

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