CHAPEL HILL -- Sylvia Hatchell has been summarily dismissed from her position as the University of North Carolina's head women's basketball coach, the University announced today.
"It is with some regret that we announce the immediate termination of Sylvia Hatchell as head coach at the University of North Carolina," said UNC athletic director Dick Baddour. "While Coach Hatchell has had great success on the court representing our university, her off-court behavior has crossed a boundary which this institution will not tolerate. The young ladies of the Tar Heel squad need better leadership than ex-coach Hatchell seemed prepared to give them."
"If the events following Monday night's game versus Duke had been the result of spontaneous exuberance," said Baddour, "Chancellor Moeser and I agreed, then a season-ending suspension might have been in order. But it is clear that Hatchell's actions were premeditated, otherwise why would she have had the tools of this vandalous act on the bus -- and why was it in front of Sutton's instead of front of Carmichael Auditorium where it should have been?"
Because Hatchell's dismissal was the result of a violation her contract's "moral turpitude clause," one employment expert says, she is unlikely to receive any severance package.
In a related event, the Town of Chapel Hill announced that it will be awarding its highest honor for public service to the Chapel Hill Police Officer Walters for his work in apprehending Hatchell for public littering as she led the Lady Tar Heel team in what Walters' police report called "toilet papering" a small tree in front of Sutton's Drug Store on the 100 block of East Franklin Street.
Mayor Kevin Foy is also asking that anyone who witnessed Monday night's events to please contact the mayor's office, as it works to identify the public-minded individual who, after attempting a "citizen's arrest," alerted the police to the crime in progress. The town hopes to recognize him or her for "meritorious service to our community."
College Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Hatchell coached for 32 seasons and stood on the verge of 500 with UNC, sitting at 499 following Monday's victory over 11th ranked Duke at Cameroon Indoor Stadium on Monday night. Hatchell was the only coach to have won national championships at three different levels in college basketball, at Division I with UNC in 1994 and at the AIAW and NAIA levels at Francis Marion.
At termination Hatchell was the third-winningest active coach in the nation. She had twice been named national coach of the year and had led teams to at least 20 wins 25 times, fifth-most nationally, with a career record of 771-274.
Following the example set by Texas Tech University after this week's sudden resignation of its head basketball coach, Bobby Knight, UNC is said to be set to name Sylvia Hatchell's son, Van, to replace her. Van, a freshman at UNC, is currently a walk-on reserve on the men's JV team.
Emperor Clothing opens Chapel Hill location
CHAPEL HILL -- International clothier Emperor Clothing will open its newest American store in Chapel Hill later this year, according to company officials.
"With the re-positioning of Julian's on Franklin Street, there was hole left in the market, and Emperor Clothing fits the bill perfectly," said Gina Monetti of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce.
"Emperor sells clothes for the twenty-first century academic," said Andre Piccou, the regional marketing manager for Emperor Clothing. "You won't find stodgy gray tweed coats with leather elbow patches in our boutiques, we're way beyond that," he said.
"Our fashions don't draw attention to themselves," said Piccou. "They draw attention to the wearer. They are not superficial statements about who one aspires to be. They reveal who you really are," he added.
With U.S. operations based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Emperor Clothing currently has outlets in Ann Arbor, Madison, Austin, New Haven, Princeton, Berkeley and Palo Alto, as well as its original stores in Oxford and Cambridge, England.
Emperor Clothing has been a darling of the stock market of late because of its attractive business model which includes low cost of inventory, transparency in its financial operations and its targeting of the burgeoning academic class.
The chief economic development officer for Chapel Hill, David Swindell, said that this retail coup will continue the town’s recent run of business development success, noting that Chapel Hill was recently voted one of the top four "business friendly" locations in Orange County, finishing behind Hillsborough, Carrboro and unincorporated Orange County.
Gary D. Gaddy is undefeated in his coaching career, going one and zero, with a victory over the Wahoos of the University of Virginia, as a temporary, part-time, honorary assistant coach for the Lady Tar Heel team.
A version of this article was published in the Chapel Hill Herald Thursday February 7, 2008.
Copyright 2008 Gary D. Gaddy