Blog Entry

John Blake "resignation" a huge sign at UNC

Posted on: September 6, 2010 10:11 am

This North Carolina thing is starting to resemble a bad relationship. You know, when you get those subtle hints your significant other has been stepping out on you?

John Blake is the lipstick on the collar, the strange phone calls at midnight or, to go totally Evansian, the red panties in the BMW. Evidence that something isn't quite right.

Actually, it's way beyond subtlety at North Carolina. When Blake, Carolina's associate head coach and recruiting coordinator, resigned Sunday night it was another sign of how bad things are -- and going to get.

You might have heard that Carolina is having a bit of an NCAA problem regarding agents lately, among other things. The NCAA has spent the past few months investigating whether Tar Heel players received improper benefits from agents. Blake reportedly has a relationship with long-time agent Gary Wichard. Blake's lawyer denied that there is a "pipeline" from the coach to Wichard. 

Carolina disassociating itself with Blake is actually the next step toward mitigating the NCAA penalties that are sure to come. It's what USC recently did with Reggie Bush, only a little late -- six years after the former tailback started competing while ineligible.

Carolina, though, is being proactive. Actually, it is doing a heck of a job. It had no choice but to hold those 13 players out of the LSU game. You can sense genuine remorse in their reaction and a willingness to get things right. The message coming out of Chapel Hill: North Carolina has been shamed.

Blake's departure is the latest sign of that shame. As a head coach at Oklahoma (12-22 in three seasons), he was a heck of a defensive line coach. That's what Blake did well. That and recruiting.  Blake was a fixer. Bill Callahan hired him at Nebraska. In 2005, the Huskers had Tom Lemming's No. 1 recruiting class. It seems that's what Blake was hired to do at North Carolina -- recruit quickly and effectively. It showed with Tar Heels sporting some of the best defensive talent in the country.

Some thought he recruited too well.  But that's not what this is about at Carolina, at least not right now. It centers around the agent issue and perhaps some academic fraud.

The problem is, this case is just beginning. If Blake is first, you have to wonder at some point is Butch Davis' job is eventually going to be at risk.

Category: NCAAF

Since: Nov 21, 2006
Posted on: September 8, 2010 11:47 am

John Blake "resignation" a huge sign at UNC

I wouldn't say that Carolina is "Proactive" in any event.  They are now doing what they can to minimize the punishment the NCAA will levy.  If they were proactive, they would have let go of Blake alot earlier.  The story barely touches on the bigger part of the investigation, where I tutor potentially wrote papers for the players.  If it weren't for Twitter and Facebook, UNC would still be burying their heads in the sand like an ostrich.

Since: Aug 28, 2010
Posted on: September 7, 2010 10:26 pm

John Blake "resignation" a huge sign at UNC

Yes, anyone who worked/recruited for a period of time in south Florida is going to have some guilt by association, which isn't fair.  Then again, getting paid $2 mill a year to coach a college sport isn't really fair, either.  Hard to whine about a bulls-eye on your back when you're cashing those sorts of checks.

It's a quantity and quality sort of thing -- a significant number of significant problems.  The flip side of our corporate culture and those gargantuan compensation packages is (or used to be) gargantuan accountability.  If this were Wall Street, Butch and Dick get $10 million bonuses and turn in their resignations.  But in this case, Butch, Dick, and a host of other people in the athletic department and football program are going to have to find new jobs.  Again, it's not fair, but the only way you turn the page on something this large is to blow it up and start over.

Since: Sep 7, 2010
Posted on: September 7, 2010 7:41 pm

John Blake "resignation" a huge sign at UNC

everyone thinks Butch Davis is responsable for the train wreck at Miami when it was Dennis Erickson that did all that crap and now that Davis is at UNC they automaticly think it's Butch Davis's fault. I think has it out of UNC and Butch Davis because after all it was Butch Davis that turned around Miami and started to beat the Gators and is where went.

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: September 7, 2010 11:36 am

John Blake "resignation" a huge sign at UNC

What evidence do you have that UNC "sold a little of their soul" to hire Butch Davis, or that Butch is/was a cheater?  Is it just because he coached at Miami and that somehow tarnishes him in your uninformed view?

In 5 years at Miami he cleaned up the absolutely unmitigated freaking disaster that Dennis Erickson left behind.  And it was bad.

During that time there was not one peep that Miami was violating any NCAA rules.  Yes, some players got in trouble, but he suspended many of them, including suspending one of his best defenders, Tremain Mack, for the FSU game in '96 b/c he got a DUI.  He was exactly what Miami needed at the time in terms of cleaning up the program.

He is also a good recruiter and always has been.  He essentially recruited the Canes 2001 natl c-ship team that is considered one of hte best in the history of the game.  And there has never, ever been one single sound uttered anywhere that anything underhanded was going on.  I actually think he's a terrible game coach, but he has never had problems recruiting.

Now, of Butch hired this Blake guy, and Blake was dirty, then yes, Butch takes a hit.  But to suggest that Butch has done anything when you have no proof and hs reputation, at least at the college level (I'll give you that he did some strange things in Cleveland), is clean, is a large leap where there is no proof.

Since: Oct 3, 2006
Posted on: September 7, 2010 10:30 am

John Blake "resignation" a huge sign at UNC

They're not perpetual cheaters, but they sold a little of their soul to hire Butch Davis.  And he sold a little more on their behalf when he hired Blake.  And the rest will play itself out while we watch.  How is Dick Baddour still the AD?  First, Doherty and now this?  That guy is the best thing that ever happened to Duke athletics.

Since: Sep 22, 2007
Posted on: September 6, 2010 1:35 pm

John Blake "resignation" a huge sign at UNC

I applaud UNC for being proactive a not  "pulling the ostrich" by burying their head in the sand like USC and Alabama. I pity not the school that attempts to cover up, lead a chorus of three blind mice or hopes it just simply goes away.

I think UNC comes out of this not known as a perpetutal cheater like some other teams that have earned that infamous distintion by their behavior.

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