Oh and what wonderful new things he said about the NCAA investigation.
Okay not really. In fact I was mildly shocked at how much of what Butch Davis said today has been said already. That can only mean the media was asking the same questions it has been asking for 13 months now but now with more actual information since the notice of allegations is out. Davis really didn't offer anything that we have not heard before. He did say he was responsible for hiring John Blake and also for everything that happens in his program(via WRAL)
“I’m the head football coach and everything centers around the football program and this is something that I am absolutely committed (to), that we find out how can we make sure that these things do not occur again,” Davis said. “Without question, this has been one of the most difficult and challenging situations that our institution and this football program has gone through.”
If Davis says he is fully responsible for hiring Blake and the whole sordid affair, I would think that means some sort of discipline is on the table. Depending on who you are that could mean resignation or some sort of laughable slap on the wrist like suspending him for a game. In my opinion there ought to be something like say, Davis returning the raise he got in 2007. Of course that's not going to happen and there is always the chance UNC is simply waiting for the bitter conclusion of this mess to do something.Until then we all sit awkwardly looking at each other across the room wondering what happens next.
As for the hiring of John Blake, Davis takes reponsiblity while maintaining there were no red flags from the NCAA when UNC hired him. I know that is being used as a defense by Davis here but at the same time it is not a totally meaningless point. The NCAA had not caught Blake for anything but one can see how any school might take the NCAA clearance as all they really need. In hindsight Davis says they should have done more to check Blake's history. Speaking of which, Davis said he knew about Blake's employment relationship with Gary Wichard but pointed out Blake had been back in college football at two different schools prior to UNC hiring him. Once again, depending on who you are, the fact Blake was shady at all should have been reason to wave off on him and Davis should pay. On the other hand everyone loves to point out how the NCAA has never seen a situation of a coach working for an agent while on staff at a school which could mean no one really though it would be an issue.
Davis also confirmed again he would release his 216 phone records and anything UNC related would be left unredacted. According to Davis, UNC has seen all the records and verified nothing is out of line. However the NCAA has not seen them which means the crusade of ABCers for the real truth must continue unabated or something. I do understand the underlying perception issue with Davis saying UNC has reviewed the record and found nothing wrong. I also get that notion that no one can be certain Davis is only redacting family members. However, the fact this is even being discussed and the NCAA is finished with its investigation tells me the enforcement folks knew about the phone and left it to UNC to vet or they just didn't care to look. I cannot imagine the NCAA knowing about the records, asking for them and being turned down if Davis is perfectly willing to release them now. Whatever the case, the phone records have already been factored into the investigation. The public release of them will make for some interesting discussion of the phone habits of one Paul Hilton Davis but little else.
I will say this about Davis. For all the questions he was asked about crap he'd rather not talk about, I never got the sense he was anything other than accommodating. His interview with 99.9 The Fan's Adam Gold and Joe Ovies is well worth a listen. Davis was asked some tough questions which I am sure pissed off the hardcore message board crowd but I am not sure why anyone would expect any different. The facts are Davis was head coach while nine major NCAA violations were committed. There are bound to be some tough questions. Davis made his bed here but at least he is not making it worse by being a complete jerk about it like a certain favorite coach of Heather Dinich in Atlanta. For what it's worth Davis took responsibility, talked long and hard about reform, ensuring it doesn't happen again, etc, etc, etc. Depending on your view of this ordeal, your mileage will vary on those remarks.
Tomorrow I will delve into the football aspects of what Davis had to say which is hopefully something we can spend more time focusing on from here until October 28th at least.