Updated 9:02 am:
I am not sure how many times it has been said about the scandal in Chapel Hill, but you just can’t make this stuff up. You just can’t.
As Director of Athletics, I hired Butch Davis to lead our football program because he was an outstanding coach who shared the core values that we try to uphold at the University of North Carolina. Those include academic excellence, integrity and fair play. He taught those values as head coach at the University of Miami and key administrators at that school saluted him for raising the standards and positively changing the culture within their program.
We are currently faced with several issues, which we deeply regret. Monday’s editorial (“Davis should go,” Oct. 4) stated that Coach Davis should have or could have known of alleged misconduct, but there is no information that says he knew and I believe that to be the case.
Butch Davis deeply regrets what has happened and has accepted responsibility for the circumstances we are dealing with. He also regrets not knowing and is changing his management practices to help him become better aware of what is happening in and around the program. He understands that regardless of his knowledge or approval, players and coaches are operating under his watch as the head coach.
He, like all of us in the athletic department, is committed to finding long-term solutions so we can move our program forward in a way that can make everyone who loves this University proud. Winning games is important, but representing the University of North Carolina in a first-class manner is unquestionably greater. Coach Davis wants to be part of those solutions and I feel strongly that he will do that as our football coach.
Director of athletics
Nightly update(from Monday night):
A lot of news broke today on the scandal – and it has already been effectively covered by the SFN author team. So tonight I am cleaning up some items that have gone under the radar but should not be missed. Specifically, some of the public calls for Butch’s firing or resignation.
I have mentioned the Daily Tar Heel’s excellent coverage of this scandal before. Yesterday, they published an excellent editorial calling for Davis’ removal. A representative passage:
There’s still no definitive evidence of Davis being directly involved. But revelations regarding the amount of money changing hands between agent Gary Wichard and associate football coach John Blake were shocking and exposed the extent of inappropriate action.
And it is suspicious that these improprieties extended so high up the hierarchy of leadership as to be just beneath Davis.
Understandably, the Board of Trustees, Chancellor Holden Thorp and Athletics Director Dick Baddour have to maintain a public façade. It only paints a grimmer picture if they express doubt in Davis’ leadership, even though having no doubts — at this point — is ludicrous.
The opinion of the student paper is always very important in situations of crisis. Isn’t it interesting (and telling) that one of the few “adult” views being articulated out of Chapel Hill is from the student paper? While the UNC-CH leadership whistles in the graveyeard, the students somehow see things for what they are.
Also over the weekend, Lenox Rawlings of the Winston-Salem Journal explained his view that Davis’ outster is required to remove the “stench:”
The stench will not leave until Butch Davis leaves, and even then it will linger like a smoldering tar pit beside an Old Well.
He makes a particularly interesting point causally relating the scandal to the way Davis marketed his program to recruits:
The first voice of reason I noticed was Joe Mavretic’s.
The best piece of its kind written to date was from Ed Hardin of the Greensboro News and Record last Thursday. Hardin minced no words:
Butch Davis, as defiant and delusional as ever, said he would not resign Thursday. That leaves the University of North Carolina only one option.
Fire him. Now.
On one of the worst days in the history of the school, the Tar Heels’ head football coach refused to admit anything was wrong. A day that began with headlines blaring about agents and money and a trail leading directly to the Carolina football offices ended with Davis claiming the administration had given him “total support.”
If he’s on the sideline Saturday when the Tar Heels play East Carolina, athletics director Dick Baddour should be fired, too.
After throwing everyone under the bus from former assistant John Blake to the UNC human resources department, Davis said nothing that has happened already is bad enough for him to resign.
The unfolding scandal has embarrassed the university, the alumni and the state of North Carolina. For that alone, he should resign. He hired Blake, considered one of the shadiest characters in the game. He hired the tutor the university later broke ties with, he said, for his own son. And she continued to work for him long after the school realized she had become “too close” to the players she was supposed to be tutoring and mentoring.
No doubt this wave of opinion will continue to grow as more and more details emerge.