Much to the chagrin of ABCers out there.
In early December, we had a rash of articles starting with ACC Now that said Butch Davis had a scholarship numbers problem. The long and short of it was Davis has too many recruits committed for the slots that were being vacated by seniors on the team. Of course rival fans beat their chest and gnashed their teeth claiming that big bad Butch would be devouring players whole in an effort to make room for five/four star recruits. The Wizard of Odds pretty much accused Davis of running off players and asked whether Davis was guilty of overrecruiting. At the time this is what your humble blogger said:
In all likelihood something similar could happen here. Players will quit, transfer, Hakeem Nicks might go to the NFL, some recruits won’t qualify, some recruits will enroll down the road. It is definitely a huge puzzle and as Allen Wallace points out hugely complicated. The real debate in this whether a coach can or should cut a current player off in favor of giving his scholarship to a new recruit? This seems to be the beef Wolfpack fans have with Davis thus their use of the term “waiver wire” which is used in professional sports to cut a player a team no longer wants.
Not to mention the fact there was still plenty of time to work this issue out. Well, according to ACC Now it appears Davis has gotten the numbers under control and will meet the scholarship requirement by August:
With Angelo Hadley's exit from the UNC football program before he got there, the Tar Heels coach was right. His over-recruiting strategy balanced out in the end.
What was once a 17-scholarship discrepancy is likely to work out to an even 24 signees to 24 available scholarships.
Rewind to December — UNC had 29 commitments with 12 seniors departing the program.
Then receiver Hakeem Nicks left early for the NFL (13 departures).
Four more players, including quarterback Cam Sexton, graduated and left the program (17). Three players received a medical hardship (20). Four players were dismissed from the team (24).
Hadley's effective departure (released from his letter of intent on Thursday) means there are 28 signees for 24 scholarships. Freshmen Joshua Adams and Kevin Reddick have already enrolled which means it's really 26 players for 22 spots.
The remaining four spots will be resolved by two players heading off to prep school to improve their academic standing, one going to junior college and a fourth being drafted in the 1st round of the MLB draft. As was the case with JameSon Curry and JR Smith in 2004 for Roy Williams, players making personal decisions(stupid or otherwise) helped to balance the books.
In December I thought this was much ado about nothing. Yes it was a complicated process but in the end the hue and cry we heard was all for naught. Why? Because believe it or not, Butch Davis is actually pretty freaking good at this running a football program gig. Now if we can find a two minute defense that works, the Heels will be in business.