clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Stand By Your Man

Such is UNC's position as it pertains to Butch Davis.

Via the N&O:

Amid the latest turn of events in the double-barreled investigation into the Tar Heels football program - this time, that former associate coach John Blake received multiple payments, and a credit card issued by agent Gary Wichard's company - Davis, the chancellor and athletic director Dick Baddour all agreed that there need to be "corrections" in the football program.

"And to make those corrections with Butch Davis as the coach is, again, by far the most efficient way to create the kind of program we want," Thorp said in a telephone interview. "So as long as I believe that he's committed to the values we've talked about, and the corrections we need to make to get there, I want to have him for my coach."

Davis' support pretty much goes all the way up the chain to the chairman of the board of trustees, Bob Winston. Well, sort of. Winston basically said he is backing the administration's play and wants to see how the investigation ultimately plays out. Thorp's support was less ambiguous saying he believe Davis shared the values they were looking for in a football coach.

Thorp said he knows there are people who think Davis should be fired, but says that he has spent hours with the coach talking about the issues, and he thinks the fourth-year coach is the one to help solve them.

"Why do I believe in him?" Thorp asked. "Butch was a high school teacher, and his whole family is committed to education and his whole interest in college football has been to help these young men get an education. That's what he told [former chancellor] James Moeser and the trustees and Dickie when he was hired. I think there's been a lapse there, but that's truly what he believes, and so that's why I believe in him. And the people who think they know what to do about this haven't been in the room for the hours I've been talking to him."

Let's go through the possible reasons why UNC is opting to back Davis at this point.

1. They know something we don't and they really believe Davis is the best person to repair this mess.

2. It is the best thing to do right now since nothing has been directly attached to Davis.

3. They have no choice given the circumstances.

It could very well be all three though I am not sure why Thorp is hooking his train up to Davis in such a forthright manner. Baddour and Davis are two peas in a pod in this crisis. As Davis goes, so does Baddour. Thorp, on the other hand, could distance himself from Davis merely for the sake of protecting himself politically. He has not chosen that route but what's more he is out there waxing poetic about Davis' high school teaching days and a commitment to education. Again, maybe they know something we don't but I would expect Thorp to be a little more circumspect and give a statement along the same lines as Winston's.

This stance also tells us any discussion of Davis' status is moot and officially on the back burner. Without some kind of direct link to Davis and any kind of violation, no one is going to fire him in the middle of the season. UNC is also downplaying the Blake-Wichard link on the basis the transactions do not constitute a violation.  Speaking of which. Blake's lawyers are fairly adamant that these transactions took place before Blake was employed at UNC. If that is the case, why doesn't Dick Baddour say so? He said UNC found out about them from the NCAA and was uncomfortable with the idea an assistant coach was receiving money of any sort from an agent. Yet, Baddour could just as easily say:

Those transactions did not happen while Blake was in our employ, we do not consider them relevant to the current investigation.

I suppose they could be letting Blake's lawyers handle it but it seems to me if the transactions happened before Blake arrived in Chapel Hill, UNC would make that clear. Otherwise it is a tacit acknowledgment they did happen in the past three years and therefore relevant to the investigation.

For now we wait for the other shoes to drop and hopefully the statuses of more players clarified.