This one courtesy of the Fayetteville Observer:
Sources told The Fayetteville Observer that UNC’s first target will be Steve Kragthorpe of Tulsa.
"Our top guy is at Tulsa,’’ the source said. "He was described to me as this year’s Urban Meyer.’’
Multiple sources said early Monday that UNC’s first choice would be Butch Davis, who last coached the NFL’s Cleveland Browns for four years before resigning in 2004. But several national reports, including one by CNN/SI.com said Davis may be more interested in coaching Alabama, if that job comes open.
"I don’t even think we’re talking to Butch Davis,’’ a source told The Observer.
West Virginia’s Rich Rodriguez and Navy’s Paul Johnson are others who may be contacted by UNC.
Okay, who can spot the blatant contradiction in the article? That's right the assertion that Kragthorpe is the top candidate followed by an assertion that, according to multiple sources, Butch Davis is the top candidate. The latter tidbit is also not refuted by any of the sources but my rumors in the national media. Then the Kragthorpe source follows up and says they are not even talking to Butch Davis. And, Rich Rodriguez and Paul Johnson are also on the list too.
My take on this? There is no way UNC is going to fully publicize their candidate list with details on who is on top of it at this point. The source could be correct but I also think the source needs to shut up because if we learned anything from the NC State coaching search it is this thing can get really messy really fast the more the general public knows about what is happening behind the scenes. Part of this game is managing coaches' egos and some will be turned off by the idea that they are third or fourth choice so the last thing you want is everyone knowing who you considered to be the first or second or third choice before you talked to the next guy on the list. Another part of this game is that everyone besides Butch Davis is right in the middle of a season and if they are discussing the job they would do so quietly as not to upset their current school or team. The last think Kragthorpe wants to do is have to answer questions about whether he is talking to UNC or not.
So in my honest opinion the source or sources need to do the coaching search a favor and stay away from the media. UNC administrators and boosters should all be in deep discussions now trying to put together a working strategy on building a football program and then decide which coach best fits the plan they have in place. It is way too early in the process to be leaking candidate preferences to the media.