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My Last Word on Doherty

An April 6 Associated Press story by David Droschak included two very interesting statements by sports information director Steve Kirschner:

  • Kirschner said that Dick Baddour would give Doherty a recommendation for another coaching position. Droschak wrote, "'Mr. Baddour would say positive things about Matt,' Kirschner said. 'But that doesn't change the fact that a change was needed here. Mr. Baddour believes Matt will coach again and be successful.'"

If Matt Doherty's behavior was so abusive as has been rumored, how could Baddour be so irresponsible as to set him upon another unsuspecting school?

If Matt Doherty's leadership and character were as lacking as Baddour, and especially Chancellor Moeser, claimed during the April 1 press conference, how could Baddour believe that Doherty has a hope of success?

  • Kirschner called Matt Doherty's retention of his own staff rather than Guthridge's "a barrier" which "disappointed" former and current players.

This acknowledgement, along with statements since made by Doherty and other sources connected to the basketball program, suggests that Doherty's greatest sin wasn't his temper or his admitted errors in judgment (which Baddour admitted at the press conference Doherty had "some success" in overcoming). Instead, it's likely that Doherty didn't sufficiently massage his relationships with the UNC power brokers, leaving him vulnerable when player relationship issues developed.

This itself is a legitimate problem for an athletic director to address. But so serious that it required a forced resignation? Under the cover of a press conference that bordered on character assassination?

It certainly seems that the "culture of athletics" which Faculty Council chairperson Sue Estroff claimed Baddour is defending (DTH, April 3) has changed dramatically since I was a student. If Estroff thinks this culture's worth defending, then clearly there's more housecleaning in order at UNC.


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