CHAPEL HILL – UNC senior associate athletic director John Blanchard is retiring after 25 years of work in student services and academic support for athletes.

Blanchard has directed student-athlete services since July 2002. He plans to start a consulting business.

Blanchard’s department included the troubled academic support program for athletes, which drew scrutiny amid the NCAA’s investigation of the football program – notably for a former tutor providing improper assistance on papers. Irregularities were later discovered in the school’s African Studies department, where athletes represented significant enrollments in classes that didn’t meet regularly or had unauthorized grade changes.

Blanchard first worked at UNC from 1985-99. He developed the academic support program for athletes under former athletic director John Swofford and served as its first director before a stint at Minnesota.