Damn You, Butch Davis For... Something or Other

Today's N&O had a little editorializing in the sports pages:

[Addressing Butch Davis] Look, we get it, you made some promises at Miami you couldn't keep and you're not interested in repeating that particular piece of history. That's respectable. But opting out after one year or renegotiating is not. Bottom line, Butch: Are you in or are you out?

I was a bit put out upon reading this. After all, in my euphoric post-field hockey haze, I had heard nothing about Davis leaving. So I quickly skimmed through ACC Now for the relevant backstory. Which was entirely contained in two posts:

Could UNC's Davis get a contract extension?

Despite the Butch-Davis-to-Arkansas rumors that continue to swirl, athletics director Dick Baddour said he can't comment on whether the school is considering a contract extension for its first-year coach.

"Our policy on conversation, discussion, whatever on contracts is clear: I cannot discuss any issues relative to a contract other than what is in the current contract, he said before UNC's loss at Georgia Tech on Saturday. "That's the institutional policy."

and Davis has no comment on possible contract extension

A day after his team lost its sixth game this season by seven or fewer points -- this time, 27-25 at Georgia Tech -- North Carolina coach Butch Davis would not comment Sunday on whether he wants a contract extension, or is negotiating one with the school.

"I think Dick [Baddour] summed it up to answer that question best yesterday: Any time the University's got anything going on, it's just pretty much the University's policy to not talk about it,'' Davis said.

The University has a policy - one shared by practically every educational institution, corporation, and rational person who hires another rational person in the world - you don't talk about what you would hypothetically pay some one. And yet Giglio is criticizing Davis for something that may or may not be happening?

We've all sat through three coaching searches in the last year and a half - one at UNC and two down the road in Raleigh - and if there's one thing that's perfectly clear, it's that it's not hard to speculate about potential new coaches. Just compare the current folks in the coaching world with a school's alumni rolls and its athletic department budget and bam! You've just cracked the case of the next coach, Encyclopedia Brown. Remember, there were times when large numbers of people thought Rick Barnes or Bill Cowher would be coming to State. Hell, check out this post four days before Tom O'Brien left BC and see whose name isn't mentioned.

So would Arkansas like to have Butch Davis as their head coach? Almost certainly. Of course, the Razorbacks haven't actually fired their current coach yet. So they can't ask for permission to talk to UNC's, which means both Dick Baddour and Butch Davis have... nothing to say on the subject. And yet the N&O is pissed that they're not actually saying anything.

Would I like Davis to disavow ever leaving UNC? Well frankly, I've heard that before, and don't really need to hear it now. I can't see Davis leaving after a year unless the circumstances are truly extraordinary, and don't really care what Baddour and Davis are or aren't doing, outside of preparing for Duke. There's a Victory Bell on the line, after all. For sufficiently small values of "on the line" at least.

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