***bumped back to the top, scroll for updates***
Earlier in the evening Carolina Blue which is a subscription UNC site on the Rivals.com posted a headline stating that according to sources UNC was close to naming Butch Davis the head coach. Inside Carolina(Scout.com) also alluded to developments in the coaching search but the info is only available on the premium side.
ESPN.com is now reporting that Davis is at the top of UNC's list(which we knew days ago) and that UNC had essentially offered him the job in so many words. This is all according to ESPN sources "in the coaching business" for what that is worth. UNC is apparently looking for an answer within 2-3 weeks. Apparently Davis has also begun assembling a staff and some potential members of that staff have begun making inquiries at other ACC schools about various issues. Davis himself has also been fact finding as it pertains to UNC's processes and what not.
The N&O is reporting that they spoke with Davis at 8 PM and he said he was not at liberty to discuss the issue. QB recruit Mike Paulus, who apparently Dick Baddour had a bat phone installed in his office so he could call him directly, also refused to comment on the Davis situation.
Here is my take on this.
First, the two UNC sites are trying to sell subscriptions. I am convinced they about as much as the ESPN article gives us, heck it is entirely possible the ESPN article contains information from those sites which the authors independently confirmed through their own connections. Secondly, the information provided by ESPN simply pulls the curtain back some and shows us a few of the things that have probably been going on behind the scenes. So at this point I think we can safely say we know the following:
1. UNC has basically told Davis in some sort of verbal fashion the job is his if he wants it. Davis has apparently reciprocated the similar level of interest and is going through the process of determining if it is a good fit for him.
2. I am speculating that there is no contract at this point and despite what has been said at the other two sites I think some general aspects may have been discussed but nothing concrete has been settled.
3. Davis is in the process of assembling a coaching staff that can be put in place quickly, most likely to secure the 2007 recruiting class. This is obviously a prudent measure and does not necessarily mean he would take the UNC job but is preparing for the possibility of coaching again. The inquiries at ACC schools is probably part of the fact finding mission and since UNC is the only suitor at this point(MSU has just got started) then that is the one his people are checking into right now.
4. Davis' refusal to comment is tantamount to a confirmation that all of the above is probably true and that he is in the midst of the process. The same goes for the Paulus reaction assuming he really knows anything.
5. It should be noted that NC State got to this point with both Rick Barnes and John Calipari, in fact they got beyond this point and actually put contracts on the table before both of those coaches decided to stay at their respective schools. In other words, unless you have major reputable news outlets confirming the hiring then it is better to take deep breaths and sit tight.
From David Glenn(at the bottom)
LATE 11/3 UNC UPDATE FROM DG, in response to more than 100 e-mails earlier this evening: As we've reported all week, the UNC football search is all about Butch Davis until you hear otherwise. That remains the case. According to sources at UNC and close to Davis, the two parties have had extensive discussions this week. Is there enough interest on both sides to result in an agreement that would make both sides happy? According to the same sources, when reached Friday evening, that remains to be seen.
Basically what I said, except Glenn has more credibility and reliable sources than I do because I basically have none on both counts.
It should be noted for the record that an hour or two ago the Rivals site had a headline proclaiming a source said Davis would be hired. Now the headline has changed to say the two sides are close. On Inside Carolina there was a all caps "MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS" note beside an article link which leads to a premium page. That note has since disappeared. On the message board itself, the posters went from celebrating and even staring a Dick Baddour appreciation thread to expressions of frustration over the flow of misinformation. In other words, the subscriptions sites were out to make a buck and when the real media like the N&O and David Glenn came waltzing in to temper the story they were forced to tone down their headlines. Such is the world of instant information.
Gotta love these here internets.
And with that I am off to bed....
The 850/620 blog and David Glenn are reporting both sides are close but it is not a done deal yet:
As we’ve reported all week, the UNC football search is all about Butch Davis until you hear otherwise. That remains the case. According to sources at UNC and close to Davis, the two parties have had extensive discussions this week. Both sides are optimistic that something can get done, but there is no "done deal". Both sides agree that these premature reports do more damage than good. Is there enough interest on both sides to result in an agreement that would make both sides happy? According to the same sources, when reached Friday evening, that remains to be seen. Just remember, "it looks like it will happen" and "both sides are very optimistic" are a LOT different from "it’s a done deal.
Obviously the situation is close but still very fluid.