Thursday’s announcement that North Carolina athletics director Dick Baddour was resigning has prompted speculation that South Carolina’s Eric Hyman could replace him.
Hyman won’t participate in that speculation, he told The State on Thursday afternoon.
“My response through all the years has been consistent when these situations come up, and it is that I just don’t respond to them,” Hyman said. “I would spend a lot of my time responding to them (if he did).”
Hyman, who has been at USC for six years, was an All-ACC football player at North Carolina and received his undergraduate degree from the university. His wife, Pauline, is a North Carolina native who received two degrees from UNC.
“There has never been a response no matter what the situation is,” Hyman said. “I’ve done it for years and years, and, in over 20-some years, when situations like this come up, I have maintained a consistent response, which is no response.”
Baddour, who has been at North Carolina for 14 years, said Thursday he will step aside as soon as his replacement is found.
Chancellor Holden Thorp said Baddour will attend the school’s hearing before the NCAA infractions committee in October then serve out the final year of his three-year contract in another position once the school hires a replacement.
Baddour’s departure adds to a bumpy year at UNC. The NCAA investigated improper benefits and academic misconduct within a program seemingly positioned to contend for the ACC championship and a BCS bowl.
Fourteen players missed at least one game, and seven were forced to sit the entire season. The NCAA’s notice of allegations last month outlined nine potential major violations.
“We tried to hold things together and restore confidence in the football program, and I felt in order for us to have a fair chance for that, I would have to support coach Davis,” Thorp said. “I’ve come to the conclusion that we’ve given that enough time, and now it’s time for us to take the actions that we’re taking.”
The Tar Heels’ next athletics director will hire its football coach; Butch Davis was fired Wednesday.
Baddour’s base salary was $295,000, according to a university press release. He also was eligible for incentives.
Hyman, who was mentioned last week as a possible replacement for Mike Hamilton at Tennessee, earns a guaranteed $422,000 a year and up to $75,000 in incentives. In addition, he can earn up to $250,000 in a retirement fund by 2015. He earned $250,000 from a retirement fund when his original deal ended in 2010.