People are actually polling this stuff? Really?
Public Policy Polling, for lack of anything better to do, posed the question of whether Butch Davis should continue as UNC's head coach or be fired. The results were about what you would expect:
A scientific telephone survey of North Carolina voters describing themselves as fans of the Tar Heels found that:
-Only 14% of Carolina fans want Davis to be fired with 57% preferring that he continue as the coach and 29% having no opinion. 41% of fans approve of Davis' overall job performance to only 20% who disapprove, numbers any politician would love to have.
-We also asked poll respondents whether they would characterize themselves more as 'hardcore' or 'casual' UNC fans. Davis' support is even higher with the hardcore fans who are most passionate about Carolina than the fan base at large. With that group there's only 9% support for replacing Davis while 68% think he should remain coach. And they also give Davis very solid overall numbers with 59% approving of the job he's doing to only 21% who dissent.
These numbers would seem to suggest that UNC fans don't think the program's current issues are Davis' fault and that they appreciate the strides the team has made on the field since he became coach. And they would suggest that Chancellor Holden Thorp and Athletic Director Dick Baddour's strong continued support of Davis is meeting favor with their 'constituents.'
The full results can be found here. It should be noted that the poll was taken before UNC ended 29 years of frustration at Charlottesville to reach 4-2 on the season. It also does not account for even more players having their fates decided which might affect opinion.
The crosstabs are interesting if not unsurprising. The diehard fans support Davis at close to 70% and give him a near 60% approval rating for his job. The "casual" fan is close to 50% on keeping Davis which is slightly surprising but not necessarily more disposed to disapprove or want him fired. Casual fans seem to be uncertain about the job Davis is doing or what his future should be.
I do not know if PPP plans to poll this again but I would be interested to see how the results differ after the season is over as a indicator of whether UNC's record affects the numbers. Another poll once the NCAA releases its findings would also be interesting, assuming UNC does not push Davis out of an airlock 48 hours after receiving the report.
One more thing. PPP director Tom Jensen said this proves UNC fans do not hold Davis responsible for the current scandals. Does it? I know it is a reasonable conclusion to draw but why not ask that question as well just to see if that is the case?