UNC Doc to Remain Despite Alleged Pressure on Players

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In the wake of North Carolina women’s basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell’s resignation last week, questions remain about individuals who may have participated in what some allege was player mistreatment.

One such individual is Dr. Harry Stafford, who according to The News & Observer will remain on staff at UNC despite allegations that injured athletes were pressured to play. Stafford will also remain as the team physician at N.C. Central. Stafford has been the team physician at UNC since 2008 and also serves the track and field and cross country programs.

Among the allegations that led to Hatchell’s resignation were claims from numerous players that they felt pressured to return to play — and that medical staff didn’t do enough to support players. One parent told The News & Observer that medical staff downplayed the severity of an injury his daughter had suffered, which she was pressured to play through. The parent said he only discovered the severity of the injury after seeking a second opinion and medical records from UNC.

A university investigation turned up different results, which were spelled out in a press release:

“Despite Hatchell’s questioning of player care, status and readiness, the medical staff did not surrender to pressure to clear players before they were medically ready,” the release reads.

Details of the investigation were not made public because of the personnel information such a disclosure would expose, according to a spokesperson.

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