Davis Ousted by North Carolina

Another coach bites the dust.  With the NCAA breathing down their necks, the University of North Carolina has fired football coach Butch Davis.  The man who turned around the program has also brought it down in the eyes of his own administration.

Davis has been hanging on by a thread for almost a year.  Overcoming 8 different players losing either all or part of their eligibility under his regime.  That coupled with a rogue assistant coach on the payroll of an agent, finally brought down Davis.

At first, North Carolina was very happy with Davis and the way he fought through the adversity last season to a bowl game berth and win.  However the school rethought its position and fired Davis Wednesday night.  Their reasons included turmoil in the last twelve months amid the NCAA probe was doing too much damage to the university’s reputation.

Now the Tar Heels are heading into next week’s training camp with no long-term coach.  What they do now is probably grab someone on the staff to be interim coach and then get a full time name after the season.  North Carolina reports for camp on August 4th and begins practice the next day.

Last month the NCAA sent a letter on the list of allegations to the school explaining several potential violations.  Even though it was a laundry list none specifically involved Davis. The school is scheduled to appear before the NCAA infractions committee in October.

Davis was dismayed by the events of the day.  In a statement Wednesday night, Davis said he was “shocked” by the dismissal and called it “a sad day.”

“I can honestly say I leave with the full confidence that I have done nothing wrong,” Davis said. “I was the head coach and I realize the responsibility that comes with that role. But I was not personally involved in, nor aware of, any actions that prompted the NCAA investigation.”

Davis came to North Carolina with a clean slate as far as the NCAA.  He arrived in Chapel Hill in 2006 with a clean reputation after bringing probation-saddled Miami back among the nation’s elite in the 1990s. He left Miami to take over the head coaching position with the Cleveland Browns.

In the statement from the school, Chancellor Holden Thorp said that while there had been no changes in the NCAA investigation their confidence in Davis had eroded to the point they could no longer endorse him as their head coach.

The NCAA also alleged that former associate head coach John Blake worked to steer players to late NFL agent Gary Wichard, though Blake’s attorneys have denied there was such an arrangement.  According to reports, Blake received more than $31,000 from 2007 through 2009 from Wichard.  Blake was fired months ago.

Now so is Davis.

Speak Your Mind

*