Carolina Journal’s Kari Travis reports:

The leader of the University of North Carolina Board of Governors has abandoned his promise to cut all ties with East Carolina University.

BOG Chairman Harry Smith has a controversial relationship with ECU, his alma mater and the third largest university in the UNC System. Tensions exist between Smith and school leadership, with the chairman inserting himself in athletics and student housing matters. Carolina Journal has reported multiple times on those issues, which Smith calls a “false narrative.”

On Nov. 9, Smith wrote a letter to the chairman of the ECU Board of Trustees stating that “After consultation with my leadership team on the UNC Board of Governors, UNC System President Margaret Spellings and legal counsel, I have decided to completely remove myself from communications involving ECU matters and avoid having a presence on campus.”

Smith has walked back his word.

The Greenville businessman was photographed on the Greenville campus Jan. 7 at the opening of the university’s new Main Campus Student Center.

Read more here.