SBD/July 29, 2011/Colleges

Univ. Of North Carolina AD Dick Baddour Stepping Down Amid Football Investigation

Baddour will stay on at least
until UNC's hearing with NCAA
Univ. of North Carolina AD Dick Baddour, "who has held the post for 14 years and who has worked at UNC since 1967, announced Thursday that he is retiring" amid the NCAA investigation around the school's football team, according to a front-page piece by Ken Tysiac of the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER. Baddour, whose contract runs through June '12, said, "I've given my heart and soul for 45 years to the University of North Carolina." When asked "how difficult it was for him to step down, Baddour held back tears and politely declined, saying he didn't have the emotional wherewithal to answer the question" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 7/29). In Durham, Steve Wiseman reports Baddour "had planned to retire when his contract runs out" next June. He and UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp prior to Wednesday's firing of football coach Butch Davis "had discussed Baddour staying on longer to help the school regain its footing once the NCAA investigative process is done." Baddour will stay on at least "until UNC's hearing with the NCAA on Oct. 28" concerning several allegations of rule violations within the football program. Thorp said that Baddour "will be paid until the end of his contract next year, but would be given other duties in the athletic department once his replacement is hired" (Durham HERALD-SUN, 7/29). In Winston-Salem, Bill Cole reports possible candidates to replace Baddour "could include four men with backgrounds in UNC athletics." UNC Vice Chancellor for University Advancement Matt Kupec and Univ. of South Carolina AD Eric Hyman are former UNC football players, while Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak is a former UNC basketball player. Virginia Commonwealth Univ. AD Norwood Teague also is a UNC alum and a "former member of the athletics department" (WINSTON-SALEM JOURNAL, 7/29).

THE RIGHT CALL: In Raleigh, Luke DeCock writes that "in the end, Dick Baddour did the right thing" for the school. DeCock: "When he had no option but to step aside, he went willingly, if sadly. ... No one ever doubted Baddour's loyalty and devotion to UNC." Baddour's departure is an "indirect consequence of the football scandal, not a reaction to it." In his 14 years as AD, UNC teams "won 13 national titles and 63 ACC championships," and facilities in "nearly every sport saw upgrades." But his legacy "will be mixed because his hiring record ... was hit or miss" (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 7/29).
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