Current Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2014 08:13:41 -0400
After this season ends, Butch Davis should no longer be a part of the UNC football program.
It is not an easy statement to make — and certainly not one to make hastily. But as more details regarding the investigation into the football program are revealed, it’s the conclusion that one can’t help but reach.
Previously, we said that there are two scenarios that can be envisioned regarding Davis’ involvement in the team’s academic or agent violations. Either he had direct knowledge of what was transpiring, or he was egregiously ignorant of what was going on in his organization. Both scenarios called into question Davis’ role with the team.
There’s still no definitive evidence of Davis being directly involved. But revelations regarding the amount of money changing hands between agent Gary Wichard and associate football coach John Blake were shocking and exposed the extent of inappropriate action.
And it is suspicious that these improprieties extended so high up the hierarchy of leadership as to be just beneath Davis.
Understandably, the Board of Trustees, Chancellor Holden Thorp and Athletics Director Dick Baddour have to maintain a public façade. It only paints a grimmer picture if they express doubt in Davis’ leadership, even though having no doubts — at this point — is ludicrous.
So we are expressing it in hopes that they agree.
It is clear that Davis has failed as an executive, as the buck stops with him. He may simply have been ignorant, but the cost of his ignorance to the University far outweighs the benefits of his continued presence.
Additionally, Davis’ contract makes it clear that transgressions by an assistant coach that he should have been aware of constitute grounds for firing. So the legal justification is there.
Having said that, the health of our program and the success of our team matters. Firing a coach mid-season would be detrimental to our program and unfair for the players who have done nothing wrong.
But it’s time to prepare to end the Butch Davis era. After this investigation ends, the University will need a fresh start. That should include new leadership and a new head coach — preferably someone who will not be so disengaged as to hurt the University at large again.