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Butch Davis Seeking to Stop Release of 216 Phone Records

The question is does anyone care besides conspiracy theory ABCers and the media?

An attorney representing Butch Davis has filed for a protective order to stop the release of phone records tied to Davis' personal Ohio based cell phone which he used during his tenure as UNC's head football coach.


The document argues that the subpoena for the 216-area code phone number records should be quashed because the release of them violates Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) laws and that they do not constitute “public records.” The brief further cites N.C. Supreme Court precedence saying that, “the media may not use subpoenas as newsgathering devices.” More Info

According to a statement of facts within the brief, Davis’ attorney Jonathan Sasser revealed that billing statements for the 216 number were never shown to UNC or to the NCAA and were only revealed to Richard Evrard, UNC’s hired outside legal counsel. That meeting took place in the fall of 2010 “in the presence of Coach Davis’ wife” and Evrard, a former NCAA investigator, “did not see anything of concern” in the statements.

Davis said that he was forced to change his cell phone number after the release of his office phone records were published resulting in “unsolicited calls.”

The subpoena, as it reads, asks for copies of “all phone records provided to UNC or its agents” and “copies of all phone records (and bills), including ‘personal’ phone records that reflect usage in any way related to your job.”

Davis contends that the media is seeking to have the information released “simply to know and publish the contents,” which the N.C. Supreme Court has previously ruled against. He further argues that the records are no longer relevant to the lawsuit.

At this stage, I am not sure why the release of the records matter. The NCAA investigation is closed and UNC has been duly punished for the nine major violations committed on Davis' watch. The media has an interest in whatever legal precedent this type of decision might produce. Beyond that whether the records are released or not makes little different in the reality in which most of inhabit. As for the ABCers the records would be more information to sift through in an effort to find "something" although at this stage it no longer matters save one caveat. If Davis was in regular contact with former AFAM department head Julius Nyang'oro then I suppose that would be something folks could run with however I seriously doubt that will be the case. Ultimately this will be much ado about nothing, at least for 99% of the population.

As for Davis, he probably would like this disposed of as soon as possible so he can get on with his goal of coaching in college again.

The former University of Miami Hurricanes and Cleveland Browns coach said he tried to build a reputation of "someone that people can believe in, somebody that people can trust." He pointed to his success rebuilding a Hurricanes program racked by NCAA sanctions into a power that won the 2001 national championship the year after he joined the Browns.

However, Davis is still involved in a public records fight with media outlets seeking his personal cellphone records. The outlets, including the AP, have argued he used his phone for job duties instead of his university phone. His attorney has said the records aren't public records, though Davis -- who said he'd release them before he was fired -- wouldn't object to a judge reviewing them to protect the privacy of friends and professional contacts.

The school has said outside counsel reviewed Davis' records and found "nothing of concern." A hearing is scheduled for Thursday.

Davis is fighting to rebuild his reputation, which was tarnished by the investigation of improper benefits and academic misconduct at UNC.

The only career opportunity currently on the table is working as a "special assistant" to Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano, a former Davis assistant at Miami. But Davis is ready for the next round of job openings, armed with the NCAA's March ruling that doesn't cite him for wrongdoing.

Dick Baddour, UNC's former athletic director who hired Davis in 2006, said that report will help. He even called schools supporting Davis for jobs last fall and is willing to do it again.

"I hope Butch gets another chance," Baddour said. "I believe he will get another chance. I think he deserves another opportunity at the collegiate level.

Some have made hay out of the fact former UNC AD Dick Baddour is making calls on Davis' behalf but that should not be a surprise. Baddour was opposed to UNC chancellor Holden Thorp firing Davis last August which is why we ended up with the press conference disaster which was Thorp trying to explain(or not) his reasons. Not to mention, Baddour and Davis were always tied together in the scandal so it is unlikely Baddour would throw Davis under the bus, even now when no one cares if he did.

I have no issues with Davis getting a job elsewhere since he basically the football version of John Calipari having had his program sanctioned but not tied to it by the NCAA or any other real proof. The other upside is if Davis gets a coaching job elsewhere he could end up taking his son Drew with him thus getting him off the UNC football team.