During Baddour’s 14 years as athletic director, UNC has won 13 national championships and 62 conference titles.
Baddour’s presence was requested by the NCAA committee on infractions at the hearing it will hold in October to discuss the consequences that could face UNC in connection with nine allegations surrounding the football team.
Thorp said he does not know yet whether Davis will be present at the hearing, but said Baddour will honor the commitment.
“There is nobody in the world I would rather have next to me when we go before the NCAA in October, than Dick Baddour,” Thorp said. “He is a true, true Tar Heel.”
As per Davis’ contract with the University, he could receive a maximum of $2,703,500 from UNC, funds that Thorp said will come from the department of athletics.
A clause in the contract could allow North Carolina to end its agreement with Davis if a violation of a major NCAA regulation or bylaw occurs that Davis “should have known through the exercise of reasonable diligence in the exercise of his duties.”
But Thorp said no new information has surfaced involving Davis’ role in the alleged violations.
“I don’t believe he knew about the things that went on,” Thorp said.
“We recognize that $2.7 million may be what this ends up costing us, and I’ve reached the conclusion that even though this is a terrible time, that the athletics program will pay whatever it is they need to pay to make this separation happen.”
Thorp said he and Baddour plan to meet with candidates for the position of interim head coach today and an announcement will be made in the next couple of days, but both declined to comment about the identities of the candidates.
Baddour acknowledged that firing Davis so close to the start of the 2011 season will make the upcoming campaign a difficult one, but Thorp said he has no regrets about not making the decision sooner.
Ultimately, he said, it was a decision that needed to be made for the benefit of the the football program and the University.
“I made the decision in the fall that I was going to support Butch Davis in his efforts to improve the football program, but I can no longer overlook the fact that what started as a purely athletic issuen has begun to chip away at this University’s integrity,” Thorp said. “I cannot stand for that. We can’t get better without making a change.”