Ex-UNC women’s basketball coach Hatchell cited after pedestrian dies following Durham collision

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — The former longtime University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill women’s basketball coach was cited with a misdemeanor after she was involved with a fatal pedestrian-involved collision on Monday, Durham police said.

Sylvia Hatchell, 67, who coached for UNC from 1986-2019 was involved in the collision that killed 89-year-old Betty Colb, who died on Wednesday, according to a news release.

The wreck happened around noon on Monday in the parking lot at 6118 Farrington Road near O2 Fitness Center, the Durham police news release said.

“According to investigators, Colby was struck by a vehicle which was traveling eastbound through the parking lot and made a slow left turn in front of the business when the crash occurred. As a result of the collision, Colby fell backward and struck her head on the pavement,” the news release said.

Hatchell, who is in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, was cited with misdemeanor death by vehicle and unsafe movement violation, Durham police said.

Hatchell resigned in mid-April 2019 following a probe into women’s basketball team’s culture.

Her resignation came after UNC hired on April 1, 2019, an outside firm, Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein, to review the culture of the women’s basketball team. Hatchell and her staff were placed on leave pending the completion of the review.

A news release about the report said the firm conducted a review that included interviews with 28 current players and personnel connected to the program.

It found “widespread support for three overarching themes.” Those themes included that Hatchell made racially insensitive comments and a “breakdown of connectivity between the players and Hatchell,” according to the news release. 

The review also found that players and medical staff “expressed frustration with perceived and undue influence from Hatchell regarding medical issues and pressure to play,” the release said.

“Carolina is committed to the well-being of our student-athletes and to ensuring that they have the best experience possible in and outside of competition,” the release from April read.

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