On Dec. 26, the North Carolina football team will take on Missouri in the AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl, marking the Tar Heels’ fourth-straight postseason appearance.
And after a tumultuous year that included an NCAA investigation into the football program and personnel changes, that’s a feat that many might not have imagined possible when the season started six months ago.
On July 27, head football coach Butch Davis was fired in connection with the ongoing NCAA investigation. Davis’ job was assumed by most to be safe after the NCAA’s notice of allegations didn’t implicate him in the ongoing investigation into improper benefits and academic assistance for players. UNC’s administration and Board of Trustees had previously been steadfast in their support for Davis.
But in July, that idea shifted.
“I made the decision in the fall that I was going to support Butch Davis in his efforts to improve the football program,” Chancellor Holden Thorp said at a July press conference. “But I can no longer overlook the fact that what started as a purely athletic issue has begun to chip away at this University’s integrity.”