The land of invention, land of innovation..you’ve got to applaud this couple. Plus, how could trapping yourself under a large heavy steel contraption submerged in water go wrong?
Looks like things for UNC could get worse in the months to come. But then again, this will probably just get swept under the rug like the Lance Thomas jewelry deal over in Durham.
CHAPEL THRILL – Matt Kupec, a star quarterback for UNC Chapel Hill who later returned to become its chief fundraiser, resigned Sunday after an internal investigation showed he and another university fundraiser appear to have taken personal trips together at the university’s expense, Chancellor Holden Thorp said Monday.
Thorp said Kupec, the vice chancellor for university advancement, offered his resignation Sunday night after Thorp told Kupec a review of his travel with Tami Hansbrough, who is also the divorced mother of former UNC star basketball player Tyler Hansbrough, showed trips that did not appear to be university related. Thorp said those trips appear to have included destinations where her other son, Ben Hansbrough, then a star basketball player at Notre Dame, was playing, but Thorp did not say how many.
“Last night I told Matt what I had been finding and I was going to have to do a thorough investigation of his travel, and he offered his resignation,” Thorp said, adding he accepted it.
“It was difficult because Matt has been such a great person for the university and has raised billions of dollars for us,” Thorp added, “but I had to share with him what we had been finding and it didn’t look good and that it’s likely that this sort of personally driven travel was unacceptable, and we are going to need to do a pretty thorough investigation of it.”
The personnel changes and internal investigation involving the mother of one of UNC’s most popular basketball players come amid a yearlong academic fraud investigation that also has ties to athletics. But Thorp said he did not see the fundraising controversy as being an athletics concern.
Thorp said Tami Hansbrough, a major gifts officer who earns $95,000 annually, has been placed on administrative leave as that investigation continues. Kupec declined to be interviewed Monday night but released a statement confirming the resignation. He did not provide details but thanked the university for his time there. Hansbrough could not be reached.
The personnel changes give another twist to Hansbrough’s unusual work history at UNC Chapel Hill. She was originally hired on Dec. 8, 2008, as a fundraiser for the foundation that serves UNC’s dental school.
At the time, her son Tyler, a senior, was beginning his final season on the basketball team, a season that would bring the university a national championship. Tyler Hansbrough was named an All-America and now plays in the NBA.
Thorp confirmed that a dental foundation audit later found that during that championship run, Tami Hansbrough had been traveling to cities in which Tyler Hansbrough was playing basketball. But Thorp said those foundation-paid trips were legitimate because she was raising money for the university, and UNC fans traveling to those games would have been good candidates to make donations.
Thorp said the university’s compliance office reviewed information about the travel for compliance with NCAA regulations.
The audit led to the exit of Hansbrough’s boss at the foundation, Brad Bodager, Thorp confirmed. Attempts to reach Bodager over the past few weeks have been unsuccessful.
In mid-2010, Kupec sought to hire a fundraiser. By then, Kupec was in a relationship with Hansbrough, Thorp said, and Thorp had heard that she might be interested in the job. When Thorp learned that she would be reporting to Kupec in the new job, Thorp told Kupec he could not hire her because it would violate the university’s nepotism policy since they were in a relationship.
The position disappeared and was never filled. A short time later, another fundraising position surfaced, only this time it reported to Winston Crisp, who is the vice chancellor for student affairs. Thorp said he had supported the position being created.
After what Thorp said was a proper job search with multiple candidates, Crisp hired Hansbrough for the job. But Hansbrough traveled regularly with Kupec, who separated from his wife in October 2009. The marriage ended two years later, Orange County records show.
The divorce papers indicate that Kupec had committed “marital misconduct” according to North Carolina law.
Kupec first joined the university as a fundraiser in 1992 and became the vice chancellor for university advancement in 1995. He made a $349,800 annual salary.
Tami Hansbrough is divorced from Tyler and Ben Hansbrough’s father.
Thorp said he began hearing concerns regarding Kupec’s and Hansbrough’s travel weeks ago and initiated an investigation.
The (Raleigh) News & Observer sought to obtain a copy of the dental foundation audit and related expense records four weeks ago, but the foundation’s new director, Paul Gardner, said they were not public record because the foundation is a nonprofit and not a public agency. He forwarded The N&O’s request to UNC’s legal department, which so far has not provided information.
Past and current members of the dental foundation either said they knew nothing about the audit or declined to comment. But one board member, Dr. Bettie McKaig, a Raleigh dentist, said Hansbrough had been a good fundraiser for the foundation.
Last week, The N&O contacted Thorp and asked him about the audit, Kupec’s relationship with Hansbrough and how she got hired. Thorp said he could not talk about the matter then, but called The N&O early Monday evening and confirmed several details.
Kupec said in his statement that “I have been privileged to have worked with incredibly talented faculty, students, administrators and staff. I have worked with gifted Chancellors. But most of all, I have been fortunate to work with a score of passionate alumni and friends who love this University and who have paved the way through their generosity to make Carolina a true gem.
“I will miss you all but in my heart I will always be a part of the Carolina family.”
Kupec said he was proud to have led to led two major fundraising campaigns – the $440 million Bicentennial Campaign for Carolina and the $2.38 billion raised during the Carolina First Campaign. Overall, he said, he raised $4 billion for the university.
Kupec played quarterback for Carolina from 1976 through 1979 and set or broke 19 passing records, according to his university biography.
DOOKIEVILLE – We may be on the midst of another NCAA investigation in the triangle. This dumbass over in Durham could possibly cost Duke, and Coach K, not only vacated wins, but the National Championship in 2010 as well.
Lawsuit: Duke player purchased $100,000 in jewelry A starter on Duke’s 2010 national championship team purchased nearly $100,000 in custom jewelry that season from a New York firm that caters to professional athletes and is now suing him for failing to pay the balance of what he owes.
Lance Thomas purchased five pieces of diamond jewelry at a cost of $97,800 on Dec. 21, 2009, in the middle of his senior season, according the lawsuit. Documents included with the suit indicate he made a $30,000 down payment and received $67,800 in credit from the firm, the balance that remains unpaid.
Ok ok, so you wanted some dope jewelry and shit. I get it. But this is what you buy?
A black diamond necklace, a diamond-encrusted wiz-atch, a pair of diamond stud earings, a diamond cross and a black diamond pendant in the shape of Jesus’ head.
Dude, we know you don’t have the money, that’s why you haven’t paid it back. Better start working on that J son.
Thomas started 39 games at forward during the 2009-2010 season, including the Blue Devils’ 61-59 victory over Butler in the championship game. He wasn’t drafted by an NBA team but played last season for the New Orleans Hornets.
The Associated Press recently obtained a copy of the lawsuit, which was filed in January but hasn’t been publicly disclosed. It was filed in Austin, Texas, because Thomas was playing for the Austin Toros of the NBA Developmental League at the time.
A Duke spokesman said the university knows about the lawsuit and is looking into it.
“We have been made aware of a lawsuit filed by a jeweler against former men’s basketball player Lance Thomas and we are currently looking into the matter,” said Jon Jackson, the school’s associate athletic director for media relations.
NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn said the organization also is aware of the matter and is in communication with Duke.
NCAA rules regarding amateurism prohibit athletes from receiving benefits that aren’t available to all students. Speaking generally, Osburn said “the test” for such a violation is whether “the general student body, or someone similarly situated, would be able to get the same benefit or treatment.”
Thomas, 24, is from Scotch Plains, N.J., and played at prep power St. Benedict’s, according to his biography on the Duke website. The site said his mother is a manager at a Ford plant in New Jersey.
John Spencer, an agent who has represented Thomas, said he wasn’t aware of the jewelry purchase. He referred all comment on the lawsuit to an Austin attorney who is representing Thomas in the matter. The attorney didn’t return phone messages from the AP.
Rafaello & Co., which also does business as A+A Diamonds Ltd., promotes itself as a “deluxe” jeweler whose customers include New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony and actors Jamie Foxx and Don Cheadle.
Damn Lance, get a little ahead of yourself there buddy? Really? One hundred thousand dollars worth of jewelry and you didn’t even get fucking drafted. What a douche bag.
Mike Bowers, the firm’s attorney, said Thomas purchased a black diamond necklace, a diamond-encrusted watch, a pair of diamond studs, a diamond cross and a black diamond pendant in the shape of Jesus’ head. According to the purchase order, signed by Thomas, the player agreed to pay a deposit of at least 25 percent of the purchase price and the remainder in 15 days.
Bowers said he was unaware of how Thomas made the required down payment.
Bowers said he’s seen no evidence that anyone other than Thomas was involved in the transaction and he doesn’t know why the Duke player was extended credit for most of the purchase.
“It was a clean, clear-cut transaction between Mr. Thomas and my client, and I don’t see anything that warrants me asking anything beyond that,” Bowers said. “Speaking hypothetically, if he came in on a bicycle with tattered jeans, I doubt seriously he would have been sold jewelry, but I’m not drawing conclusions. The terms here are clear.”
Rafaello & Co. filed a similar lawsuit against Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant last year, claiming he hadn’t paid $240,000 for jewelry he purchased between January and May 2010. The purchases detailed in that suit, which has since been settled, occurred after Bryant announced he was leaving Oklahoma State and was entering the 2010 NFL draft.
Ok week one didnt yield us any money, but it was a semi respectable 3-3. Im looking to make up for it this week as I have used all of my knowledge (or the internet) to give us 4 pretty solid picks. Trust me?
North Carolina State Wolfpack (0-1) at Connecticut Huskies (1-0)
One of my winning picks from last week was NC State getting outclassed by the SEC and a fast Tennessee. This week the same thing will happen in reverse as Connecticut will get outclassed by the ACC and NC State. State basically gave the game away last week by giving up 16 points in 38 seconds in the first quarter and somehow, someway still managed to have a chance deep into the fourth. Mike Glennon and the nations best secondary last year look to redeem themselves as they travel to CT and get their first win. I like this at -3.5 if you can get it at -3 …I love it.
Miggles Pick – NC State – 3.5
Purdue Boilermakers (1-0) at Notre Dame Fighting Irish (1-0)
The Boilermakers are an improved team this season, and Marve looks like he could finally be healthy enough to live up to his expectations. The Irish are the better team here however, and I’m starting to think or (even better for this game) think they think or maybe we both think they are a dark horse for BCS champ talks. Purdue should keep it close for awhile, but I think the talent and depth of Notre Dame take over late and the Irish pull away and get the cover here.
Miggles Pick – ND -14
Washington Huskies (1-0) at LSU Tigers (1-0)
LSU won all six games at home last year by 24 or more and I don’t see a change this year, at least in this game as a pretty bad road team in the Washington Huskies come to Baton Rouge. I usually try and stay away from the big spreads, but I cant on this one. Miggles loves the Tigers here in a rout.
Miggles Pick – LSU -24
USC Trojans (1-0) at Syracuse Orange (0-1)
Ok I lied about the big spread thing. I mean is it a big spread if the team is going to cover it? Im not even sure that makes sense. Anyway, USC is on a mission this year, their post season ban has been lifted and they are a serious contender for BCS champions. They are not only looking to win the big ones, they are looking to blow out the little one’s to leave no doubt at the end of the season. THAT made sense. USC Rolls.
Miggles Pick – USC – 26
Will North Carolina be able to compete in the post season this year? The answer is no. But the Heels were impressive in their first game under new coach Larry Fedora. Tarheel fans have a new fast paced offense, and had limited mistakes in the season opener. Despite not being eligible for the post season, this could still be a good year for UNC.
KEEPINGITHEEL – The North Carolina Tar Heels absolutely killed Elon Phoenix in the opener. The game went perfect for Larry Fedora in his UNC head coaching debut. You can’t ask for much more than a 62-0 start to your tenure in a new place and that’s just what Fedora got. His team was well prepared, focused and despite learning new systems on both sides of the ball, looked pretty efficient.
The praise has poured in for the Heels who were 29th in the AP this week and could conceivably enter the Top 25 with a win this weekend against Wake Forest. Running back Giovanni Bernard who put up over 200 all purpose yards while scoring three touchdowns in three different ways (rushing, receiving, punt return) and suddenly he’s on the Hornung Honor Roll for the Paul Hornung Award. He also being mentioned as a potential outside Heisman candidate and people are actually serious now.
The defense looked good, the offense looked almost great at times and the special teams set records, not bad at all. Just don’t get over excited Tar Heel Nation. Yes that was a great game, yes UNC looks like they can win a decent amount of games. Yes I can forsee this team doing even better in 2013 with the help of a very good recruiting class Fedora has put together.
But then again, it was Elon folks and UNC didn’t exactly take the foot off the gas in this game at all. I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know, at least I hope not. This team could very well be good, but don’t start day dreaming about a top 20 or better finish this year because it’s not going to happen.
They didn’t take their foot off the gas but took their quarterback and starting running back out for the second half. If that isn’t taking the foot off the gas I don’t know what is. But still, it was an inferrior opponent.
The changes in schemes on both sides of the ball will take some work, growing pains will happen. Gio Bernard is probably going to be a big time NFL player one day and will have more games like he had at Elon. Just don’t expect 14 different players to catch passes and the Heels 4-2-5 defense to look like the San Francisco 49ers D all year.
No matter what the biggest thing this team needs is to grow together and they need the fan bases support. The Tar Pit was great on Saturday, but empty seats remained. A new era is upon us and Tar Heel football has a real chance of turning things around. Just don’t expect it to be done overnight, and don’t think your fan support isn’t needed, because the program may need it now more than ever.
Tarheel fans don’t show up though. UNC just does not have the fan support for football games like NC State and other in state rival ECU. Sure, for a more formidable opponent more fans will show. The tailgating at UNC is almost non existent. Unfortunately I do not see that changing, ever. Hopefully more fans will begin to come out and show support for a program that has been thru a lot the past few years that is talked about so much, I see no need to mention it in detail. Good to see the boys out there playing their hearts out knowing they will not be able to compete in the post season this year.
The Tarheels will travel to Winston Salem on Saturday to take on the Demon Deacons from Wake Forest. Wake Forest struggled to beat Liberty at home last weekend. They pulled out a close game late, winning 20-17.
NC State (0-0) vs. Tennessee (0-0)
Miggles – Tennessee returns 17 starters including QB Tyler Bray. They are also going to have to be without standout Da’Rick Rogers do to suspension. I actually dont think this causes too much concern for them has they still have a very good WR core with Justin Hunter and transfer Coradelle Patterson, both of which can handle the load lost by Rogers. NC State rests much of its hopes in the hands of Mike Glennon who by no means is a slouch. They are however returning with the same dismall run game they had a year ago, placing added presure on Glennon. State is also returning the NCAA leading 27 interception secondary, which will pose problems for pretty much any team they face. I do believe though that the SEC is just too much for State and it will come down to the unteachables of speed and strength. Im taking the Vol’s in a lower then expected scoring affiar.
Miggles Pick Tennessee – 3
Bonus Pick Under 53.5
Woo, if that doesn’t get you ready to throw some bags and crush some beer then you’re hopeless.
One Week Suckas.
Old Man Whickutt – When Jesus Comes Back
Awesome job fellas!!!