Was time right for UNC to fire Davis?

July 29, 2011

Long time coming

Steve Svekis

Sun Sentinel

The spring and summer of discontent continues for some of college coaching's bigger names. Ohio State's football coach Jim Tressel and Tennessee men's basketball coach Bruce Pearl already had been overwhelmed by scandal.

Now Butch Davis is done. The former Miami Hurricanes coach who has built a reputation of piling up NFL-caliber talent but not the commensurate number of wins, oversaw a North Carolina program now deeply embroiled in an NCAA investigation.

When even the most decorated coaches can't survive if their programs aren't on the up-and-up, the only question about Davis and his .500 program might be: What took so long?


More UNC fumbles

Matt Murschel

Orlando Sentinel

On Monday, Butch Davis sat in front of the media at the ACC's football media days and talked about how lucky he was to have the "overwhelming" support of the North Carolina fans and administration during the past season.

Davis' luck ran out Wednesday.

UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp said the move was made to "restore confidence" in the school and the football program. Too bad that decision came about a month too late. The Tar Heels have been under investigation by the NCAA for a year now.

Unless new evidence was found linking Davis to any wrongdoing, why wait until Wednesday? The Tar Heels fumbled away his firing just like they fumbled away their season.


Timing is terrible

Ron Fritz

Baltimore Sun

The timing of Butch Davis' firing couldn't be worse for the North Carolina football team. This could have been done months ago, yet the administration let Davis attend ACC media day this week, take questions from reporters about the upcoming season and let it appear that he would be coaching.

It's a crucial time to prepare for this season and for the future, with some recruits looking to make decisions before the start of the season. Interim coach Everett Withers will have to find a way to salvage this season while trying to keep commitments solid for the future.

By letting it fester through spring practice and the summer, the administration dropped the ball. It could take years to recover.


Timing is baffling

David Teel

Daily Press

It has been clear for months that Davis was unfit to lead a football program he mismanaged into a morass of academic fraud and improper benefits.

Were North Carolina an outlaw school protecting a championship-winning coach, you could almost understand. But in Davis' four years, the Tar Heels never finished above .500 in the pedestrian ACC and never beat neighboring North Carolina State.

So why fire Davis on Wednesday, less than two weeks before training camp and two days after he appeared at the ACC's kickoff? Was Carolina covering its backside legally? Did someone suddenly sprout a conscience? Now that the athletic director has quit, is the chancellor soon to follow? Stay tuned.


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