North Carolina women's basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell resigned after an external review found she had made "racially insensitive" comments and applied "undue influence" regarding players' ability to compete through medical issues.

The school issued a release late Thursday announcing the Hall of Famer's resignation and findings from the review by a Charlotte-based law firm. The review also reported "a breakdown of connectivity between the players and Hatchell" after 28 interviews of current players and program personnel.

Hatchell and her coaching staff had been on paid administrative leave since April 1, with UNC announcing the review amid player concerns to "assess the culture" of the program.

In statements, athletic director Bubba Cunningham said the program "needed to be taken in a new direction" while Hatchell called it "a bittersweet day."

Hatchell, 67, had coached the Tar Heels since 1986, leading the team to the 1994 NCAA title. She has 1,023 career victories, becoming the third women's coach to reach 1,000 in 2017. She made her 23rd career NCAA tournament appearance last month.


Lowry leads at RBC

Shane Lowry was convinced his game was on the rise, despite his poor scoring. He finally showed that in the RBC Heritage, shooting a 6-under 65 to take a one-shot lead at Hilton Head Island.

Lowry had not broken 70 in a PGA Tour stroke-play event since a 67 Feb. 8 at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am, when he missed the cut. The Irishman missed three more cuts in the past five weeks, including going 78-73 at last week's Masters.

Five golfers were tied for second at 66, with eight at 67 and 12 at 68 including top-ranked Dustin Johnson, coming off a second-place tie at Augusta.

• Eun-Hee Ji shot 7-under-par 65 to take a two-stroke lead over first-round leader Nelly Korda at the LPGA Lotte Championship in Kapolei, Hawaii. Minjee Lee and Brooke Henderson were four shots back.


MLS eyes 30 teams

Sacramento and St. Louis have been invited to submit formal bids for franchises as Major League Soccer's Board of Governors formally unveiled plans to expand to 30 teams. Commissioner Don Garber made the announcement at the board's meeting in Los Angeles.

The league is currently at 24 teams, with FC Cincinnati joining this season. Nashville and Miami are teed up to start next year and Austin, Texas, will come aboard in 2021.

• The United States men will play Venezuela in Cincinnati on June 9 in the Americans' final exhibition before defending their title in the CONCACAF Gold Cup.


Culver going pro

Big 12 Player of the Year Jarrett Culver declared for the NBA draft after helping lead his hometown Texas Tech Red Raiders on the two deepest NCAA tournament runs in school history, culminating in this year's title game loss to Virginia at U.S. Bank Stadium.

The 6-6 guard led Texas Tech with 18.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.7 assists a game. The AP All-America is expected to be a high pick in the draft June 20.

• Kansas has officially appealed the NCAA's two-year suspension of forward Silvio De Sousa that resulted from an FBI probe into corruption in college basketball.


Horse racing: All three sites of the Triple Crown are among several major tracks that agreed to phase out the use of the common anti-bleeding medication Lasix starting next year. Starting in 2020, 2-year-olds won't be allowed to be treated with the drug within 24 hours of racing. … Santa Anita will continue racing through the end of the current meet on June 23, despite objections from animal rights activists in the wake of 23 horse deaths.

Colleges: Louisiana State formalized an agreement to bring in Scott Woodward as its next athletic director. The 1985 LSU graduate had been Texas A&M AD since 2016.