UNC women's staff put on leave pending review

The University of North Carolina announced Monday that its women's basketball coaching staff is being placed on paid leave while the program is reviewed due to "issues raised by student-athletes and others."

"The University of North 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," read a statement from the university. "Due to issues raised by student-athletes and others, the University has initiated a review of our women's basketball program.

"The Charlotte-based firm Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein will conduct the review and assess the culture of the women's basketball program and the experience of our student-athletes. The women's basketball coaching staff has been placed on administrative leave while the review takes place."

The university said there is no timetable for the review and would offer no further comment.

The team, coached by Sylvia Hatchell, finished 18-14 overall and 8-8 in the ACC conference for the 2018-19 season. North Carolina lost to California in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

"I've had the privilege of coaching more than 200 young women during my 44 years in basketball." Hatchell said in a statement. "My goal has always been to help them become the very best people they can be, on the basketball court and in life. I love each and every one of the players I've coached and would do anything to encourage and support them. They are like family to me. I love them all.

"Of course, I will cooperate fully in this review. I look forward to a prompt conclusion of this matter and the continuation of our very successful women's basketball program."

Hatchell, a 2013 Hall of Fame inductee, is the winningest women's basketball coach in Atlantic Coast Conference history. She has a career record of 1,023-405 and is 751-325 mark in 33 years at UNC with a national title in 1994.

Hatchell became the third women's coach in Division I with 1,000 career victories in 2017, made her 23rd career NCAA Tournament appearance last month and is the only coach with national championships at three levels -- AIAW, NAIA and NCAA.

She was diagnosed with leukemia in 2013, underwent chemotherapy through March 2014 and returned the following season to lead the Tar Heels to a 26-9 finish.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.