Matt Kupec, formerly the quarterback for the University of North Carolina Tar Heels and then his alma mater’s chief fund-raiser, is now without a job and finds his name associated with problems that contributed to the premature return to the faculty of Chancellor Holden Thorp.
Kupec has indeed suffered for some questionable spending on trips with Tami Hansbrough, his girlfriend and the mother of a former star Carolina basketball player. Kupec has paid back the money that was in question (some trips were sanctioned fund-raising), but Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall says the university should request an outside investigation of how Kupec spent the university’s money. Woodall even says he has not ruled out a criminal probe and is keeping his options open.
He seems to believe the request for such an investigation should come from the university itself, though that seems unlikely. UNC-CH officials are weary of the story and of others reported over the last two years or so by The News & Observer, on issues ranging from athletics department problems with the football team to academic scandal, and then the Kupec matter. But these issues came up because of shortcomings in oversight at the university.
For now, a review by the state auditor of Kupec’s trips with Hansbrough, also a UNC fund-raiser, and his use of planes owned by a company associated with the university that typically transports UNC doctors, would be appropriate.
Certainly the public has a right to all the facts, whether the university, a public institution, likes the idea or not. And Woodall should keep his eyes open for possible criminal violations beyond clearly inappropriate internal management.
The taxpayers, alumni and faculty and staff embarrassed by these problems are entitled to have all the chapters in this sad tale.