Thorp, Kupec and Tyler’s Hot Mom: WTF?

At least we have a good comeback now for that annoying “…then why is the sky Carolina blue?” crap.


We learn a little more this evening about the shake up which saw Matt Kupec and Tami Hansbrough lose their travel vouchers, and UNC-CH Chancellor Holden Thorp announce his intentions to get out while the getting was good.  He might wish to re-think his spring/summer timeline because the N&O’s Dan Kane peels back another layer of the onion tonight, to expose more rotting core.


Another One Bites the Dust

We learn of another university affiliated official who has found themselves jobless.  This time it’s Brad Bodegar, the already former executive director of the dental foundation.  That’s Tami Hansbrough’s former employer for those who haven’t been playing along regularly at home.  Why did he take a powder, you ask?

UNC-Chapel Hill’s dental foundation released a three-year-old report Tuesday that said Tami Hansbrough did not receive proper approval for a trip to Memphis in which her son, Tyler, was playing for the basketball team in the NCAA Tournament.

Hansbrough was hired as an associate director for the foundation in December 2008 to raise money. UNC officials later said the trips were for fundraising, and the report includes an addendum in which her fundraising activities on those trips were listed.

The News & Observer had sought the release of the report after learning about issues with Hansbrough’s travel that ultimately caused her and Matt Kupec, the vice chancellor for university advancement, to resign last week.


Brad Bodager, the executive director of the foundation, resigned after the review. Attempts to reach him recently have been unsuccessful.

The firm that conducted the review, Davenport, Marvin, Joyce & Co. of Greensboro, found a lack of communication with regard to financial matters both within the foundation and with the dean of the dental school. It reported a “perceived lack of support on the part of the Dean related to questioning by the staff of the excessive and questionable spending by the Development office employees.”

The firm also recommended several measures to increase accountability, such as an annual travel plan that would explain why certain trips are needed, how much they would cost and how they would be funded.

The foundation’s current executive director, Paul Gardner, had denied the release of the report, saying the foundation is not a governmental entity subject to the public records law. He released the report at Thorp’s request.


I can hear some of you out there now saying “So what?  Didn’t we already know this?”.  If that was your reaction, read it again.

Three year old report.  Bodegar had no choice but to resign in light of this.

Holden Thorp is similarly saddled.  Despite being the one to finally request its release, it can’t be argued that it still doesn’t make him look bad.  He did approve her hiring into the student affairs office, after all.  Even before similar jet setting on the company dime began from that position, which only serves to worsen things for those involved, her hiring should have been nixed from the get go.


So What?

So what?  Again with the so whats?

Well, let’s think about that for a second.  Why would the affairs of the dental foundation, or even the student affairs office for that matter, make any difference here?  What is the connecting thread?

Answer Number One:  Athletics

Answer Number Two:  Money

Answer Number Three: Preferential Treatment

This three year old report surfacing only serves to reinforce what we all already knew way down deep.  In spite of all of their rantings about doing things the right way for as long as any of us care to remember, this is becoming more and more obviously a severe case of tail wags dog.  If one had athletic connections in Chapel Hill, your worries were few.  If you had them AND you could raise some scratch for the university, you could write your own ticket (and apparently a few did just that).

So the questions become…

1) What other questionable judgement calls and/or matters of preferential treatment have been made in the interests of athletics and money?  We already know of some, of course.  Quite a few actually.  But no need to go into that.


B) How long has it been going on?  These practices didn’t just start all of a sudden one day in 2007.

The first question is what I believe will eventually hasten Chancellor Thorp’s departing flight.  But it’s both questions together that I believe will bring some much deserved heat elsewhere.  Heat on someone who has oft been mentioned as being very quiet and passive (even supportive, hint hint) in all matters “UNC Scandal”, despite a very different history when it’s other schools’ heads on the block.

Nothing yet to implicate involvement.   Or even passive compliance.  Not yet.  But we are getting perilously close to  “You got some ‘splaining to do” territory.  And unlike former executive director Bodegar, not answering the phone won’t suffice.  Neither will “no comment”, but I fully expect it nonetheless.

Be sure to hit the SFN Forums for everything NC State.

About Wufpacker

A 2nd generation alumnus and raised since birth to be irrationally dedicated to all things NC State. Class of '88 and '92.

UNC Scandal

26 Responses to Thorp, Kupec and Tyler’s Hot Mom: WTF?

  1. choppack1 09/18/2012 at 8:39 PM #

    Wow. It’s just one domino after the other.

    Lots of rumbling on TOS – this story has officially exploded.

    My thoughts on the Hansborough issue had always been – “what’s the big deal – where’s the motivation? After all, his Dad was a surgeon.”

    Of course, we come to find out, Mom was bankrupt….And let’s see, you going to hire someone as a fundraiser who has filed bankruptcy? So now, not only do we have motive for Ms. Hansborough, but we’ve also got a history of questionable financial decisions…yet, you allow this person a blank check.

    Information is coming down the pipe fast.

    And let’s think about this for a second – these guys were using a jet – INTENDED FOR HELPING PEOPLE WHO NEEDED URGENT MEDICAL HELP ASAP – for their own leisure trips. If that doesn’t tell you about the Keroliner way, I don’t know what does.

  2. grizzlyman 09/18/2012 at 8:52 PM #

    It amazes me that the NC School of Gov’t. is housed at UNx, and no one who isn’t a School of Gov’t lawer knows what a public record is.

    We need an Erin Brockovich to take on UNx and clean it up, like the dump it is.

  3. bluelena69 09/18/2012 at 8:55 PM #

    what is TOS?

  4. BureauOfMines 09/18/2012 at 9:05 PM #

    This train hasn’t run out of track quite yet.

  5. Dogbreath 09/18/2012 at 9:09 PM #

    TOS=The Other Site (pack pride)

  6. john of sparta 09/18/2012 at 9:24 PM #

    NCAA infractions and malfeasance.
    kinda like the the norm now-a-days.
    OSU, Miami, UNC (PSU = felonies).
    Have we got a college? Have we got a football team?….Well we can’t afford both.
    Tomorrow we start tearing down the college.
    Groucho in Horse Feathers (movie)

  7. goldeagle 09/18/2012 at 9:34 PM #

    Of course, the big news here is that on 11 September, Thorp said that Hansbrough’s illegitimate travel only began AFTER Tyler left the school. Those 2009 NCAA tournament trips? “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.”

    But TODAY, we see that these three-year old dental foundation reports came to a different conclusion: “The report said Hansbrough’s travel to the 2009 NCAA tournament in Memphis, at a combined cost of $1,000 for hotel and airfare, did not have proper approval, nor could the auditors find any history of staff being sent to such postseason football or basketball events.”

    Short story: Impermissible benefits to the family of star athlete.

    There was only one reason for Thorp to lie just one week ago (and mischaracterize this dental foundation report that he was WITHHOLDING from the press). The faculty can give him all the standing ovations that they want, and characterize him as some honorable academic who fell on his sword for the school. But he has been and continues to be part of the athletic cover up.

  8. MattN 09/18/2012 at 9:46 PM #

    This is 4-alarm Mushroom Cloud bad for UNC.

    With no official Dental Foundation business conducted on these trips, that means UNC paid the bill, not the Foundation. And that is called an impremissable benefit for a family member.

    They’ve known about this for 4 years, and did nothing but cover it up and lie.

  9. packalum44 09/18/2012 at 10:07 PM #

    The article states that Tami has documentation on her trips of meetings people at dinners etc…. It only claims that the trave wasn’t approved.

    Think about it like a defense attorney.,.this isn’t a homerun case they have documentation that says the goldigger was raising $ at Memphis and ATL.

    Not to mention U*NC has the N*CAA in its back pocket. I wouldn’t start gloating just yet about banners falling.

  10. goldeagle 09/18/2012 at 10:09 PM #

    “The one side benefit that Tami Hansbrough appreciates is the dramatic cut in her travel to watch Tyler play.” (Robbi Pickeral, News & Observer, 18 Dec 2008, reporting on Tami Hansbrough’s reason for taking a job with UNC.)

  11. MrPlywood 09/18/2012 at 10:30 PM #

    The article says: “The report said Hansbrough’s travel to the 2009 NCAA tournament in Memphis, at a combined cost of $1,000 for hotel and airfare, did not have proper approval, nor could the auditors find any history of staff being sent to such postseason football or basketball events.

    “There was no supporting documentation to indicate any related development activities and/or donor involvement.”

    To repeat: …”nor could the auditors find any history of staff being sent to such postseason football or basketball events.”

    The u*NC fanboyz have been yelling at the top of their lungs that “that’s where the money is…” so either Tami discovered and developed a new source of benefactors, or as I suspect, she was just on u*NC’s dime to see Tyler play.

  12. bluelena69 09/19/2012 at 12:21 AM #

    One thing I find extraordinarily suspect in the report is that Ms. Hansbrough was hired by the Dental Foundation in December 2008. By March of 2009, she was dipping into the the Foundation accounts, using the credit cards, etc…no “normal” employee, irrespective of how shady they may be, would start nicking from the till that quickly unless they were working under one of the following assumptions:

    1) others/higher ups were complicit and encouraged such activity
    2) there was such a culture of abuse (and perceived immunity from sanction) that there was no risk inherent in participating in the grubbing.

  13. bluelena69 09/19/2012 at 12:31 AM #

    I also just noticed reference to suspicious spending on a project cryptically coded as project-Malawi. This got me to thinking. I have some background in African history, specifically eastern Africa, where Malawi is located.

    Tanzania shares a border with Malawi and I know that the honorable professor is from Tanzania and proudly claims to spend much time working for NGOs in east Africa. Here is a snippet from his bio…

    “…[o]riginally from Tanzania, where he resides for part of the year conducting research and working with NGOs in Eastern and Southern Africa, Dr. Nyang’oro considers himself to be the modern day migrant worker…]”

    It may be a stretch, but I wonder if any of his NGO work has occurred in and around Malawi? Considering how convoluted and strange the incestuousness of Chapel Hill is proving, it would not surprise me if the web was woven thicker than anyone could possible imagine.

  14. MrPlywood 09/19/2012 at 2:16 AM #

    @choppack – my understanding about the bankruptcy was that the filing was a dodge to protect assets from the lawsuit filed by Lisa Fritz, who alleged that Tami broke up her marriage… not that those circumstances mitigate anything, in fact, it should have raised a redder flag higher…


    As the court action brought by [Lisa] Fritz against [Hansbrough] was pending, Hansbrough filed for bankruptcy in December 2009, at first listing assets of $28,126 and liabilities of $47,161. Her salary was about $82,000 per year.

    She later amended court records to reflect a possible liability to Fritz of $1 million because of Fritz’s claim.

    The dispute between Fritz and Hansbrough was dismissed by both as Hansbrough’s bankruptcy process wrapped up.”

    Read more here:

  15. moreforw 09/19/2012 at 2:17 AM #

    ”At least we have a good comeback now for that annoying “…then why is the sky Carolina blue?” crap”

    My comeback has always been God made the sky Carolina Blue so we would not have to walk around in that crap!!!

  16. Wufpacker 09/19/2012 at 4:31 AM #

    ^ Nicely played, sir. I’ll be stealing that.

  17. logarithm 09/19/2012 at 7:25 AM #

    If only the dental foundation had a sign-out sheet!

  18. Rick 09/19/2012 at 7:35 AM #

    If this is not punished by the NCAA then every school will start hiring star players parents and flying them to all the games. The precedent would be set. The costs for athletics would sky rocket.
    If the NCAA hides their head in the sand on this one the implications are monumental. By doing so they are essentially saying “cheat and hire the players parents. It’s all good.” It would make them a sham.

  19. BureauOfMines 09/19/2012 at 8:13 AM #

    “It would make them a sham.”

    Silly me. I thought it had already been established that the NCAA is a sham.

    The message the NCAA is sending is pretty clear. Carolina is exempt from the rules applied to the rest of the schools.

  20. Pack78 09/19/2012 at 8:22 AM #

    “The foundation’s board sought the spending report after some foundation expenses increased dramatically. Credit card charges, the report found, had gone up from $9,300 to nearly $47,000 from 2008 to 2009.”

    Information from the review shows that there was massive spending on the Dental Foundation card over the Final Four weekend in Memphis in ’09….strong suspicions that Tami was among a number of player parents that were being hosted. Can you say ‘illegal benefit’?

  21. Hungwolf 09/19/2012 at 8:41 AM #

    Wondering why no one talking about hiring Tami Hansbrough was a violation of federal and state hiring practices. The job would have had to been posted, ect. Clearly she had no prior experience in this field. Her only three qualifications was she got a nice set of hooters, she a star players mom, and she willing to sleep with the boss!

  22. gumby 09/19/2012 at 9:11 AM #

    It still makes me laugh that she has an uncanny resemblance to Stiffler’s mom.

  23. Gene 09/19/2012 at 10:45 AM #

    I really do wonder, if anyone in Chapel Hill has the brass to take a torch to UNC-Chapel Hill’s* athletics department and burn it down, so they can rebuild a non-corrupt program.

    I think as the old guard starts moving out, the people who are left standing may hopefully be pushing for changes.

    I hope people, who still live in North Carolina will be demanding their state legislatures get involved in pushing for people on UNC Chapel HIll’s BOT and the UNC System BOG, so one school is not overly represented and protected from paying a price for their corruption.

    *I ran into a UNC alum, who got miffed at UNC-CH or UNC-Chapel Hill because everyone should know there’s only one real UNC. So you can insult/offend Tarheel alums by pointing out they are just a 1/16th cog in the machine…

  24. Mike 09/19/2012 at 10:53 AM #

    One other interesting tidbit – it came out in yesterday’s N&O that Thorp was travelling with Kupec and Tami. Multiple occasions it was just the 3 of them on the private jet. Some occasions it included Thorp’s wife also. I wonder if Thorp’s wife knew about the 3some – I mean the three of them flying together.

  25. MrPlywood 09/19/2012 at 1:59 PM #

    Logarithm is killing me with the one-liners…

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