Mother of Tyler Hansbrough Involved in Fundraising Scandal That Has Cost Two UNC Employees Their Jobs [UPDATE]

This story has nothing to do with the UNC Academic Scandal, but it is still incredibly interesting. Once again, fantastic reporting from Chapel Hill’s Public Enemy No. 1, Dan Kane.

When Tyler Hansbrough, the former UNC star, was a senior, his mom got a job as a “fundraiser for the foundation that serves” UNC’s dental school. Her salary was $95,000 a year.

Through a detailed audit, the school noticed something odd – Tami Hansbrough traveled a lot on the school dime, often to where her son, Tyler was playing. (The school says she was doing some fundraising on those trips.) But she was also taking trips – again, on UNC’s dime – to see her son Ben play for Notre Dame. And she was also taking trips – unspecified, but not job-related – with the school’s chief fundraiser, Matt Kupec, a former UNC QB in the 70s. The two were dating. UNC paid for those, too.

If possible, the story gets better:

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.

Kupec really wanted to get Tami Hansbrough that job, huh?

Kupec has been fired by the school. Tami Hansbrough’s boss at the foundation lost his job, too. Hansbrough has been placed on administrative leave. [News & Observer]

[UPDATE: Late Wednesday, Tami Hansbrough resigned.]

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