North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams and UNC athletics director Bubba Cunningham both released statements Monday reacting to Chancellor Holden Thorp's decision to resign at the end of the 2012-13 school year:
“It is a sad day for me on a personal level because I consider Chancellor Thorp to be a great friend. We have a shared love for the University of North Carolina. This has been a very difficult time for all who love Carolina, but I can’t imagine what it has done to him and his family. He will always have my friendship and loyalty and I will never forget that he is a great Tar Heel.”
“It’s difficult to express the level of respect I have for Chancellor Thorp in making this decision. He is a man of great integrity who quite simply loves the University of North Carolina and all that it stands for. He believes that his stepping down is in Carolina’s best interest and will help our campus community move forward. I certainly welcome the opportunity to continue to work with him over the next year and aid in the transition that comes with new leadership. Holden Thorp has given so much to UNC and higher education and I know he has much more to offer in the future. I want to thank him for believing in me and bringing me to Chapel Hill and for all that he and his wife, Patti, have done to support our coaches, student-athletes and staff.”
Thorp's tenure has been marred by several athletics-related scandals over the past two years, but he said in a Q&A with ESPN.com on Monday afternoon that the decision to resign was his own, and that he believes the athletics department is in a good place.
Follow Robbi Pickeral on Twitter at @bylinerp.