What’s new in Butch Davis’ life? Updated!

Breaking news today shares that University of North Carolina head football coach Butch Davis has been fired. Now at 6:00 EST/3:00PST, the university will neither confirm, nor deny the firing UNC has announced that Butch Davis’ contracted has been terminated. Davis has completely turned around the UNC football program, churning out NFL prospects like Miami (something he did from 1995 to 2000), but also creating quite the laundry list of violations.

The 2010 season saw 13 players suspended, and 3 stars: DT Marvin Austin, WR Greg Little and DE Robert Quinn were ruled permanently ineligible after a scandal involving agents, passing off parking tickets and improper benefits. 5 more players were found guilty, leaving a heavily depleted team.

Sound familiar? Ohio State went through something similar, but only now is the NCAA conducting an investigation on UNC. Did the university fire Butch? We don’t know, (update: yes, we do know) although by the time you read this it could be clear (update: clear). But rumors like this rarely turn out to be false (update: bingo). Butch has had a lot of scrutiny concerning illegal benefits, set in motion by the investigation of star defensive tackle Marvin Austin before the season last year.

In his time as a Miami Hurricane, Butch was cleaning up a mess, coaching Miami through scholarship reductions and sanctions left be Dennis Erickson and the Pell Grant scandal. His tenure at Miami had a few watchful eyes after reports of some shady deals going down, but nothing was discovered. Butch jumped ship to the born-again Cleveland Browns in 2000, Larry Coker took over The U and went to consecutive National Championships with Davis’ players, winning the first and cheated out for the second (that was not pass interference).

Butch has always been able to reel in top high school prospects no matter where he was coaching, but recent stories have shed light on the fact that not all of it was legal. And then, Tarheel football players had free reign over the school, as a whopping 395 parking citations were filed over the past three and a half years, and all went unpaid by the players, totaling more than $13,000. Still unpaid to this day.

What is with college coaches these days? How can the NCAA prevent more coach scandals? The risk seems worth the reward, a shot at a national championship, but in the long run, it has tainted the coaches, players and the university involved. Blame the Big XII, or Big 8 retroactively, as they all competed with illegal benefits for recruits. Blame the SEC–Somebody Else is Cheating–as every school seems to be under investigation. Blame the ACC–the All Cupcake Conference–because it’s been a garbage conference and they want to get ahead (zero ACC conference championships, good try Butch). Blame sponsors or boosters or fans or greed. At this rate, college football will be a rotating landscape every 5 years as one team plunges into sanctions and another rises from hibernation, with more scholarships now available and bowl eligibility to coax high school stars.

Butch Davis is most likely gone, as the allegations are piling on, potential major violations to be uncovered, and ol’ Butch is a nomad, never staying too long. Multiple sources are reporting it, and it’s terrible timing 5 weeks before the season. But a university cannot condone these illegal actions coach Davis has taken, especially not a university like North Carolina.

It’s a shame to see so many scandals, however in hindsight, scandal has been a large part of college football for a long time. Does this make it right? Not at all. Give me a clean coach. Build a winning team with student-athletes who want to be there. Now that I can cheer for. Butch Davis is a good coach, but he made an incredibly bad decision in how to pursue prospects and control his players. 14 players suspended is disgraceful for any university, these next 48 hours we will most likely  and because of it we saw Butch Davis’ contract terminated due to the looming of two major violation allegations.

Michael Schwartz is a staff writer for Home Field Advantage

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About Home Field Advantage
We are two senior Sports Communication majors at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York. We have launched this blog as part of our senior year capping project, with the goal of creating a comparative analysis and multimedia approach to the differing sports cultures in America.

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