“I don’t want to talk about that tonight,” Hatchell said. “I mean, I don’t really know what to say about it to be honest with you.
“It’s really hard for me to believe.”
That was all the North Carolina women’s basketball coach had to say.
Instead, Hatchell — who missed the 2013-14 season battling leukemia — spent her first night back coaching answering questions about her recovery, her team and Wednesday’s 88-27 win over Carson-Newman. In his report, Wainstein said women’s basketball players enrolled in fake classes 114 times beginning in 1986. Hatchell remained tight-lipped.
“You know, I had no clue about any of that, and it’s just really hard for me to even believe it,” Hatchell said after the game. “I’m not saying it’s not true, but it’s hard for me to read it because I didn’t know any of that.”
Hatchell said in the report that she knew Jan Boxill, the former academic adviser for the women’s basketball team, was working closely with secretary Deborah Crowder to enroll players in African and Afro-American studies classes. Though she was aware many of her players were enrolling in African and Afro-American studies classes, Hatchell didn’t see the extent of the ongoing academic fraud.
“She believed that they required attendance, just like any other regular class,” Wainstein wrote in the report.
The report said Hatchell was unaware the classes were managed by a secretary. A footnote said Hatchell thought Crowder was faculty.
Whether Hatchell knew about the classes or Boxill’s involvement, she didn’t linger on the facts for long.
Instead, the coach ranted. She started with general praise.
“Until Saturday, we had three weekends where nobody lost at all,” Hatchell said. “We were 13-0-1 in every sport.”
“I bet you there’s not a school in the country that can say that except (UNC).”
Suddenly, she brought up her team’s mouth swabs for bone marrow transplants.
“Three weeks ago, we hosted, on campus right out here in front of Carmichael, Be the Match. I didn’t make them, they all went and did it on their own,” Hatchell said. “Three of them have already gotten calls that there’s a great possibility that they will be perfect matches for somebody.”
“That’s pretty special.”
That was the end of the rant. No more Wainstein, no more questions.
“Alright, thanks guys,” spokesman for the women’s basketball team Mark Kimmel said.
And then she was done.