UNC's women's basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell suspended for 2 games

North Carolina head coach Sylvia Hatchell talks during a news conference about their second round NCAA women's college basketball game, Sunday, March 20, 2011, in Albuquerque, N.M. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

University of North Carolina's women's basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell has been suspended for two games for separate violations.

UNC's Athletic Communications Department said Hatchell will serve a one-game University-issued suspension against NC State on Jan. 31 for "making contact with an official." This reportedly happened during the Tar Heels' game on Jan. 24 against Duke.

The NCAA is also suspending the head coach for a "Level III violation of rules pertaining to activities that simulate game day introductions of prospects during an official visit."

Assistant women's basketball coach Tracey Williams-Johnson will also serve a one-game NCAA suspension for the same violation of "official visit" rules.

"I place a high value on sportsmanship for myself, my team and the University," says Hatchell. "My actions at Duke were out of character and do not reflect the deep respect for our sport and its officials. And we unintentionally broke a rule during a recruiting visit, a mistake we will not make again. I accept responsibility for these mistakes and look forward to returning for the remainder of the year to coach this incredible group of women."

"We have tremendous respect for Coach Hatchell, but it's important that we hold ourselves accountable for issues involving sportsmanship and compliance, even when mistakes are made inadvertently," says Director of Athletics Bubba Cunningham. "Each of us in the athletic department will learn valuable lessons from these situations and hopefully avoid missteps such as these in the future."

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