UNC’s former football academic coordinator: “…if I had gone to Coach Davis, my job would have been on the line.”


The News and Observer has two articles up this morning about the “tutor prong” of the huge ongoing UNC-CH football scandals.  One of these articles directly considers Cynthia Reynolds, who was UNC-CH’s football academic coordinator.  Regarding Reynolds’ history with UNC-CH, the N & O explains:

Reynolds, now 56, was hired in 2002 as an associate director of the Academic Support Program for Student Athletes, where she primarily worked with the football program until she was reassigned to Olympic sports in August 2009. She was not renewed in August 2010.

Regarding her reassignment away from UNC-CH football, the N & O documents Reynolds’ claim that:
she was really moved because Butch Davis, a former NFL coach who took over UNC’s program in 2006, wanted a younger “face” for the academic support program for recruiting purposes.
This allegation has led Reynolds to file an age discrimination grievance against the school with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The other of these articles considers Reynolds in the context of the tutor recently “disassociated” from UNC-CH and the overall culture at UNC-CH.

Senior associate athletic director John Blanchard, who is in charge of student-athlete services, acknowledged it is “not unusual” for staff members to be worried about bringing issues to coaches – and that people in academic support departments, including at UNC, “sometimes feel as if they can’t speak up to a head coach.”

The N & O then describes Reynolds’ concerns regarding the “disassociated” tutor’s employment by Coach Davis and her perceived inability to speak to Butch about her concerns:

Reynolds was worried that having a tutor transport Drew Davis crossed a line of familiarity that is unacceptable. The academic support program has rules prohibiting tutors from socializing with athletes because it wants that relationship to be kept professional. Reynolds – who was reassigned away from football after seven years in the job in 2009 and was released in August, then filed an age discrimination complaint against the school with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission last month – feared those same rules weren’t being applied in the Davis household.

However, “in my opinion, if I had gone to Coach Davis, my job would have been on the line,” Reynolds said.

Moving more directly into the circumstances of the “disassociated” tutor, the N & O notes that while her contract was not renewed and she was told by letter that she should not continue to tutor football players, that there was no follow-up from UNC-CH to ensure that she didn’t. 

In July 2009, a member of UNC’s academic support program noticed that Wiley – an undergraduate mentor so respected that she had received a tutoring award two months before – had grown too close to the football players she was mentoring. The program chose “not to renew” her contract and mailed her a document reminding her that, under NCAA rules, continuing to tutor Tar Heels athletes outside of the program could jeopardize their eligibility.

But there were no policies for following up with Wiley or the players to make sure the tutoring didn’t continue. Just as there were no mandates, beforehand, barring her from also working as a tutor to Davis’ son – a relationship that continued for a year after she stopped receiving a part-time paycheck from the school.

Not only didn’t UNC-CH check to see if she was breaking NCAA rules and/or jeopardizing players’ eligibility (risks UNC-CH apparently recognized given the letter), nobody seemed to mind that she was hired by Coach Davis to work for him.  Wow!
A further quote from the article keeps alive the “Coach Schultz” persona central to UNC-CH’s defense in these scandals:

Davis has said he had no idea that Wiley may have been giving his players too much help. When she wasn’t renewed by the school, he said last week, Bridger told him it was because she had grown too close to the players. But Davis chose to keep her on his payroll because he didn’t see any potential problems.

But another quote from Reynolds suggests that “Coach Schultz” may not be an accurate portrayal:

But she hesitated to approach Davis, who she says ran a tight ship as far as access, especially compared to Bunting, who she says ran a more “inclusive” program compared to Davis’ “exclusive” one.

I don’t see how Butch can possibly know as little as UNC-CH claims he did, and still run a “tight ship as far as access” and an “exclusive” program.  Those quotes from Reynolds paint Davis as someone who kept track of details.  Hmmm.  I wonder which it is.  I mean, if Butch ran a tight ship as far as access, how in the world could Chris Hawkins and other assorted figures of both prongs have had so much access to his players without Butch knowing anything about it?


General UNC Scandal

19 Responses to UNC’s former football academic coordinator: “…if I had gone to Coach Davis, my job would have been on the line.”

  1. wufpup76 11/14/2010 at 12:45 PM #

    Amazing … and they look to get away with it. All of it.

    That’s the feeling one gets – nothing will happen, Chief wins Coach of the Year, praise is heaped upon the Hole football program, and the sky remains Carowhina boo.

    Over and over yesterday everywhere I turned I was reminded that Chief and the kids and the program are “victims” and they’ve had so much “adversity” to deal with this season. Nevermind responsibility and accountabilty and bringing circumstances upon yourself … stuff like that apparently doesn’t exist in an elitist world.

    Simply amazing.

  2. wolfonthehill 11/14/2010 at 1:11 PM #

    Short of paying players to come to school, I can’t imagine a set of circumstances that would better describe a renegade program… and a coach who simply felt/feels above the law.

  3. golf76 11/14/2010 at 1:24 PM #

    “Nevermind responsibility and accountabilty and bringing circumstances upon yourself … stuff like that apparently doesn’t exist in an elitist world.”

    Implicit in being part of the “elitist world” is knowing you are exempt from the rules others must obey — whether in DC or Chapel Hill. That’s why they’re always so surprised when they’re held to the same standards as everyone else.

  4. OldWuf 11/14/2010 at 1:25 PM #

    Somebody please print up the red “I support Butch” shirts for Saturday. On the back a face winking, with the phrase:”He didn’t know”.

  5. LRM 11/14/2010 at 2:00 PM #

    Guys, cut Butch a break. He’s done a remarkable job despite being faced with so much adversity this season. I know this because the announcers keep saying so.

  6. TOBtime 11/14/2010 at 2:14 PM #

    ^Thank you LRM. If I hear one more announcer talk about the “adversity” besetting the hole program my HDTV may be in danger. Wrong word guys – they CHeated! Apparently, the art of lie-telling is also quite prevalent as is the attitude of tolerating those who do.

    In my short experience in this world cheats and liars DO tend to deal with a great deal of deserved “adversity”.

  7. ADVENTUROO 11/14/2010 at 2:51 PM #

    I read the articles this morning…and decided, just based on a HUNCH, to do some googling. Google adds UNC right after you type Cynthia R. Reynolds. SO, a LOT of folks were out there before me.

    Ms. Reynolds will have NO trouble getting her EEOC case heard and settled. She is acutely aware of her rights and what types of discrimination that she might be subject to.

    UNC made a SERIOUS tactical blunder in NOT renewing her contract and she, I believe, is one that will stand up for her rights. One really wonders about the atmosphere over there….maybe there is a toxin in the HVAC system that has impacted the brains of certain members of the administration and/or the athletic department.

    No self respecting UNC compliance officer or outside counsel will let this come to a Court Case of Consequence. Just waiting for the N&O to request ALL the emails on this one….but I suspect that there aren’t any….they lads and lassies were NOT that stupid….

    You gotta admit it…..Hiring Coach Davis and his band of merry men was the gift that just keeps on giving. Every week, we get a new episode….sometimes, we get a bonus….like the firing of Ms. Reynolds.

  8. highstick 11/14/2010 at 4:07 PM #

    We knew it was true for a long time, but everyone else kept their head stuck in the sand…and many still do…

    I’m losing total respect for anyone who can not see through this and not come up with not only a LOIC, but an utter disregard for anything remotely resembling responsibility.

    And you cannot convince me that the football program is the only program tainted by this mentality.

  9. Lunatic Fringe 11/14/2010 at 4:34 PM #

    Honestly, you would think a school that is known for it’s law program would do a better job handling the Reynold’s situation.

    It’s hard for us to speak about specifics since UNC is claiming “performance” while she is claiming “age”. There are procedures and processes that organizations must use to handle these situations, but something tells me UNC does not have an adequate process in place. Call it a hunch based on their past performance…

    Do the state taxpayers have to pay for UNC’s screw-up (if it occurred) when this is settled?

    Personally, I would like to ask Reynold’s about specifics on how Dwight Jones ever made it into college.

  10. MrPlywood 11/14/2010 at 5:15 PM #

    I have to hand it to UNX and their spin-doctors. When they released the impermissible benefits document the other day – the one including the $20 benefit – the ESPN board blew up with posters blaming the NCAA for being “petty”, “ridiculous”, “making money off the backs of these kids”, etc., etc. Never mind that it was UNX, not the NCAA, that released the info, and that they did so in excruciating detail to make it appear that they are leaving no stone unturned in their quest to make sure their house is clean. The typical UNX honks yell from the rooftops that the Hill is doing all the work here – again, never mind that it was UNX that was breaking all the rules in the first place, and that they are only now looking into it because the NCAA has been on campus multiple times. Not only do the majority not see it as LOIC, they see it as persecution since “everyone does it”. It boggles the mind.

    Oh yeah, one guy claiming to be a UNX alum said that he had never, in all his days, ever heard any Carolina student, alum or supporter ever speak the words “The Carolina Way” and blamed the origin of that phrase on evil haters/Wolfpackers. LMAO. I had to post the link to Dean’s book for his edification…

  11. GAWolf 11/14/2010 at 6:25 PM #

    I read this story a little differently than Old MacDonald. I understand her statements regarding Butch’s tight ship meaning he expected things to be done HIS way as opposed to maybe the way these compliance people were told they were to be done by the rules/NCAA. My interpretation here is that if anyone questioned whether Davis was doing the RIGHT thing or otherwise brought to his attention violations, they would be terminated.

    I think BRAK and WaffleIron over on PP have hinted to this sort of thing all along… that UNC’s compliance folks felt like they were shut out of Butch’s “tight ship” and not provided the access to make changes necessary to maintain compliance.

    That’s just my interpretation of this story and in reading other statements from the beginning of this scandal.

  12. Wolf74 11/14/2010 at 6:52 PM #

    “Short of paying players to come to school, I can’t imagine a set of circumstances that would better describe a renegade program… and a coach who simply felt/feels above the law.”

    There are players stating that UNC-CHeats offered them money to attend Chapel Hill. So maybe UNC-CHeats perfectly describes a renagade program!

  13. OldWuf 11/14/2010 at 8:03 PM #

    You guys might have covered this but how does Wiley, now an elementary school teacher afford Joe Cheshire? Why does she need the services of the most prominent capitol defense attorney in the state? Does UNX want to make sure she doesn’t have to talk?

  14. ADVENTUROO 11/14/2010 at 8:44 PM #


    I can offer you an answer based on what I read. The rabid crowd at PP spent all day trying to “out” Ms. Wiley. The equally rabid crowd at IC had a field day talking about the Loonies and their lack of respect….not going to get into that, but PP did totally remove the thread the next day.

    It only took about 20 minutes of really intelligent googling and looking for key links to get her personal information, her parent’s home info, her dad’s job, where she went to school, etc. This also included a link to her high school and college activities where she was involved in a Christrian Minisitry Youth group, complete with retreat pictures.

    She graduated from a pre$tigiou$ Christian Academy and it’s classmates include the elite from the area….sort of like Raven$croft or its peer$. I assumed from the links to her dad’s job (he is on “linked” and I am not, so I only got the thumbnail) that her family has sufficient means or took out loans to handle her legal expenses.

    As a parent, I would do the same for my kids….regardless of whether they used poor judgement or whatever. You protect your children and your parents. One of the most asked questions, per Bob Lee, is her Ethnicity. She is NOT African American and you can look at the pictures of the players that are involved in the “unfortunate incidents” on the Daily Tarheel’s pictorial that they ran early on. I have it bookmarked as it was really well done and included some of the administrators as well as the coaching staff and all the players. Thus, her family was PROBABLY not happy with the comments that Dickie Baddour made about the “look in their eyes”. I’m surprised that Dickie didn’t do his best Herb Alpert imitation of Burt Bacharach’s “This guys in love with you….” to emphasize his point.

    She is, I suspect, not paying her legal expenses. If the Ram’s Club is providing such or some of their boosters, I really have no idea and Joe, “I ain’t gonna incriminate Ann Miller” Cheshire will not reveal whom, if anybody, is assisting his client with his expenses.

    So, that is my take on it. I am NOT condoning Ms. Wiley’s actions….I think she got in a little over her head….based on her upbringing. It would not take too much to dazzle a young girl….especially when Coach Davis gives you the keys to one of his Mercedes and keeps you employed tutoring and chaufering and running errands, after the University cut off your part-time employment.

    YOU be the judge…This who thing just keeps getting more toxic. I looked at Ms. Reynold’s credentials, and also did a bit of research. She appears to be well educated, has been involved in seminars on compliance, advising, etc and has a great deal of experience….something that a 29 year old would not necessarily have. Her looks, her demeanor, her appearance, certain sterotypes, her lack of that “couar” look, or whatever obviously might have had an influence in outing her….and if that happened, then she probably has a great case….and UNC will have to deal with that and those involved in the decision should be held accountable.

    The more we find out….the more me thinks something is fermenting in Chapel Hill and the “Carolina Way” has not changed since the days of the Sweet Carolines….

  15. Hungwolf 11/14/2010 at 9:20 PM #

    All the negative news is great, but Butch still rolling in the recruits. Rated in top ten currently by one service. Guess the opportunity to get paid sells to high school recruits these days. Totally unbelievable and we still got a top 100 class so far coming in at 90. We really need to beat UNX Sat. to start getting some committments coming our way! I don’t understand why our recruiting going soooo slow this year!

  16. blpack 11/14/2010 at 10:37 PM #

    The way that academics and athletics have always coincided peacefully in CH has been great. Always doing what is right by the students and never putting athletics or any program ahead of the student-athletes doing the work necessary to get an education. Academic types, mentors and tutors have always been able to approach any coach, say the football coach for example, and say Joe Player is struggling and could use less time on the practice field and more time hitting the books. Being able to freely say that and not feel insecure or threatened is a thing beauty. After all, it is the Carolina Way. (excuse me while I go throw up.)

  17. wvillepack 11/14/2010 at 11:01 PM #

    UNC is a cancer that must be cut off. Failure to do so will only make them stronger. Bball team already above reproach…fball team wants the same.

  18. PackerInRussia 11/15/2010 at 7:54 AM #

    “Senior associate athletic director John Blanchard, who is in charge of student-athlete services, acknowledged it is “not unusual” for staff members to be worried about bringing issues to coaches”

    Is he just relating how it is for all of the other sports at UNC or does he know for a fact that this goes on at a lot of other schools?

  19. PackerInRussia 11/15/2010 at 7:57 AM #

    GAWolf, I read the comments about the “tight ship as far as access” the same way. Either that or he wanted to be kept in the dark so that later on he could honestly say, “I had no idea.” So, maybe when it comes to not knowing what happened, he’s not just playing dumb. He’s dumb on purpose.

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