Blog Entry

Report: UNC boosters considering lawsuit

Posted on: August 8, 2011 2:29 pm
Edited on: August 8, 2011 3:39 pm
 
Posted by Chip Patterson

UPDATE: Robbi Pickeral, who authored the initial News and Observer report, says that UNC has received the information request from the lawyers of the football boosters.  School still has no official comment. 


Things got even crazier on Monday in the ongoing drama that has become the North Carolina football program. According to a local report, a group of North Carolina football boosters who agreed to help fund a recent Kenan Stadium expansion are exploring possible legal action against chancellor Holden Thorp.

The identities of the boosters involved has not been made public, but one of the attorneys representing the group told the Raleigh News and Observer he plans to file a public information request asking for all correspondence between the Chancellor and other school officials.

Don Brown, of Charlotte, N.C., is one of five lawyers (all UNC graduates) that have taken the case pro bono. For the first time in the stadium's 84 year history, both end zones are now bowled in thanks to the construction of the "Carolina Student-Athlete Center for Excellence." The new service building for the athletic department also brought 2,980 new seats, a club level, and suites that can be priced at $50,000 per year. There have been reports that donors have asked for refunds since Butch Davis' dismissal, which were denied.

"I can tell you, everybody that we represent is furious about the timing of Butch Davis' firing," Brown told the News and Observer in a phone interview. "They feel like their investment was based on Butch Davis being the head coach…and the public reassurances over the past year that he would remain the coach…They want answers."

A UNC spokesman said that as of 11:30 a.m. on Monday the school had received no FOIA request, and there is no official comment on the issue.

The group of enraged boosters is said to be of different contribution levels, and it is not clear exactly what they hope to gain from pursuing legal action. Brown emphasized in his interview with the News and Observer that they are only "seeking information" right now. One recent precedent was Connecticut booster Robert Burtonwho asked for his $3 million back from the school and requested to have his name taken off the Burton Family Football Complex. After causing quite a public stir, Burton and the school were eventually back on good terms and no drastic action was taken. The legalities of donations (particularly ones earmarked for a project like the Blue Zone) could get particularly hairy and difficult to reclaim in a court of law. It could be argued that this is a case of upset boosters, who simply do not know another way to fire back at an administration which they feel has wronged them.
Comments

Since: May 23, 2011
Posted on: August 9, 2011 11:43 am
 

Report: UNC boosters considering lawsuit

Davis "cleaned up UM"  - ANY coach coming after Dennis Erickson was going to get credit for "cleaning up" UM!  They were being forced to "clean themselves up" - Davis still manipulated the system using alternate sports scholarships, etc.  His stint in  the NFL was more telling -literally because he couldn't control the voices of high paid players like he could college players. The players came out and said they didn't trust him - "if his lips were moving he's lyng" .

That is certainly one way to look at it.

And please explain how Davis manipulated the scholarships.  Did he break rules or was he working within them?

Lastly, I have no idea what the NFL or what some overpaid prima donna's opinion of him have to do with whether or not he ran a clean program at UM.  That's quite a leap in logic.



Since: Sep 8, 2010
Posted on: August 9, 2011 11:22 am
 

Report: UNC boosters considering lawsuit

Davis "cleaned up UM"  - ANY coach coming after Dennis Erickson was going to get credit for "cleaning up" UM!  They were being forced to "clean themselves up" - Davis still manipulated the system using alternate sports scholarships, etc.  His stint in  the NFL was more telling -literally because he couldn't control the voices of high paid players like he could college players. The players came out and said they didn't trust him - "if his lips were moving he's lyng" . I truly believe our BOT/boosters that hired Davis are now having to lie in the bed they've made.  We were trying to buy into "big time" football (8-5, tire bowls = Big time?) Never liked the feeling that we were selling our soul for football.  This whole mess with a potential law suit just keeps our pants around our ankles for a little longer. We desperately need to pull up our pants and quit embarrassing ourselves.  Alumni sueing our own school over a football coach or the fact they want control of footbaLL DECISIONS??  I like watching our football team but no matter what -academics and integrity come first - and Davis/Blake/BOT offered neither!



Since: Apr 2, 2010
Posted on: August 9, 2011 9:50 am
 

Report: UNC boosters considering lawsuit

Just saw this on the crawler on ESPN-U
"This just in: The Carolina Tarheels do infact field a D-1 Football team"
Just think Carolina fans, this is way more exposure than your football team has ever received! Keep up the good work!



Since: Oct 6, 2006
Posted on: August 8, 2011 8:00 pm
 

Report: UNC boosters considering lawsuit

Just because you donate to the athletic department doesn't mean you get to run the athletic department.



Since: Nov 25, 2009
Posted on: August 8, 2011 7:17 pm
 

Report: UNC boosters considering lawsuit

The timing might have been bad to fire Davis, but he had to go.  He ran a dirty program at UM and did a lousy job with the Browns.  What did UNC really think would happen with him running the program?


Geeze, where do people come up with this stuff?  Butch Davis fixed the mess left behind by Dennis Erickson at Miami and set up Larry Coker's BCS title.  Did he do OK with the Browns?  Does anyone do OK with the Browns?  Carolina hoped to get an established coach that could put it all together and win more than 4-5 games a season.  Carolina got that.  Butch Davis' downfall was the hiring of a former high school pupil with a less than pristine reputation.  The question is, did Butch do that thinking that he could reform John Blake?  I don't know.  Did he hire Blake thinking he could get away with it?  I don't know that either.  I would have to go with the former, given that Butch has/had a clean reputation.  The agent issues could happen anywhere.  The academic integrity scandal is the tough pill to swallow.

As far as the donors wanting their money back... well, I can see both sides of the arguement.  You give money to the school, not the coaching staff.  But then again, you give money to the school under the assumption that you are not being mislead.  Once Butch was fired, I felt that Braddour and Thorpe should probably go too.  Now I'm convinced.  Embarassing. 




Since: May 23, 2011
Posted on: August 8, 2011 6:30 pm
 

Report: UNC boosters considering lawsuit

The timing might have been bad to fire Davis, but he had to go.  He ran a dirty program at UM and did a lousy job with the Browns.  What did UNC really think would happen with him running the program?



He's been widely credited for cleaning up UM's program as well as getting them back on top after the sanctions.



Since: May 23, 2011
Posted on: August 8, 2011 6:28 pm
 

Report: UNC boosters considering lawsuit

I see the courts ruling in favor for the plaintiffs and see that Davis gets his job restored and the administrators responsible for this mess to be banned from working at the university level.   


You can't be serious.



Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: August 8, 2011 6:21 pm
 

Report: UNC boosters considering lawsuit

The timing might have been bad to fire Davis, but he had to go.  He ran a dirty program at UM and did a lousy job with the Browns.  What did UNC really think would happen with him running the program?



Since: Jul 22, 2007
Posted on: August 8, 2011 5:50 pm
 

Report: UNC boosters considering lawsuit

The problem with waiting until construction was done is that the cloud still hangs over the football program.
it would be a constant question all season long, we all know it.
They muist have fire Davis because he knew much miore than he was letting on, thus making him if not the center as close to the center of the problem to begin with, eliminate that and the questions don't go away but they're less frequent and thus the onus comes back to the team and what they're trying to do this season.



Since: Jul 22, 2007
Posted on: August 8, 2011 5:44 pm
 

Report: UNC boosters considering lawsuit

For some reason boosters think that because they contribute to a football program or any athletic program that it somehow gives them carte blanche to be consulted on any major decision involving the program.
They somehow think they're some sort of board of directors in a publicly traded company and that they must be spoken to and get their feedbackl & even go ahead before a major decision is made.
I have news for boosters, no matter how much you're giving whether it be $100, $1,000, $10,000 or veen millions it doesn't give you any authority at all, it doesn't!
It gets you into a VIP area to watch games, maybe some receptions & luncheons with players & coaches, maybe some sort of bowl game junket but that's it! If the program wanted your input you would be asked to join the athletic dept as the AD or another position within the department or maybe joining the coaching staff, out side of that your counsel is not needed and all they administration & coaching staff owes you is a polite head nod and their all out effort to make that season as productive as possible.
You don't get to choose coaches, you don't get a say so in personnel matters or which players to recruit and if you think that it does then you have to step away from the game and also look at yourself because you obviously think more of yourself and the dollars you contribute than you actually are.


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