Earlier this week we blogged about the unfortunate coincidence of Tami Hansbrough's troubles at UNC.
Hansbrough, mother to former UNC star Tyler Hansbrough and former Mississippi State/Notre Dame guard Ben Hansbrough, was reported to have abused her position as a school fundraiser by using university money to take personal trips. Reportedly, those trips sometimes included visiting Ben while he played basketball. (This comes at the same time UNC is under speculation for possible academic fraud involving its football and basketball players in the past decade.)
The Raleigh News & Observer reported Hansbrough -- who was on administrative leave -- resigned from her position with the school. The move came after chief fundraiser Matt Kupec left his post. Hansbrough was hired by Kupec on Valentine's Day in 2011 and the two were reportedly in a relationship.
The News & Observer is investigating six trips likely aided in funding by North Carolina's money, because they align with games played by Ben Hansbrough.
It would not be unusual for university fundraisers to travel where the school's sports teams are playing as part of meeting with alumni and cultivating donors. UNC's basketball team was not playing in those locations at the times Kupec and Hansbrough were there.
It is possible that Kupec or Hansbrough also met with UNC donors while attending the Notre Dame basketball games. But Thorp has said the information he has reviewed shows “personally driven” travel.
Kupec has declined comment. Hansbrough could not be reached Wednesday.
The N&O confirmed that Hansbrough and Kupec traveled together at least 25 times since May 2010. Those trips included two nights on the Outer Banks over the July Fourth weekend in 2010, a fall trip to Asheville that year, several nights in Montana in 2011, and a trip to Naples, Fla., in 2012.
Moon confirmed that Kupec and Tami Hansbrough were in Charlotte in 2011 and Memphis, Tenn., in 2012. Those trips coincided with NBA games for Tyler Hansbrough, who now plays for the Indiana Pacers.
She said it's not clear whether all of the travel was inappropriate.
Does this affect UNC basketball? No, but it's certainly a bizarre, embarrassing story that the school doesn't need right now in terms of PR. We're seeing evidence of immoral behavior at a time when UNC is trying to show as hard as it can that it's an upstanding university.