Posted by Adam Jacobi
It's been generally accepted fact since the revelations about North Carolina assistant John Blake and his monetary involvement with agents that Butch Davis is, in all likelihood, the most fired man in college football. Fired-er than Tim Brewster. Fired-er than Dan Hawkins*. FI. YERD.
All of that is apparently news to Davis' employers, however, who reiterated their support for Davis in an interview with the Daily Tarheel:
In an interview, athletic director Dick Baddour said calls for Davis’ resignation are without merit.
“I continue to give Butch Davis my support,” he said. “Clearly we’ve identified some areas we need to work together to be stronger and I believe that Butch should be a part of that effort to lead this football program in the way that we know he can.”
Bob Winston, chairman of the UNC Board of Trustees, said the latest revelation has not shaken the board’s confidence in Davis.
“They have confidence in Coach Davis to lead the University of North Carolina football team,” Winston said
This type of talk goes far above the usual type of rhetoric involved in votes of confidence; Baddour and Winston are unequivocally handing the job to Davis, no more questions asked, for 2011 and beyond. There's no other way to interpret their quotes without assuming the administrators are being so deliberately misleading that a new football coach would have no reason to want to work for them.
So if Davis' job really is safe, in retrospect, it shouldn't be all that surprising; the LSU brass who came thisclose to hiring Davis twice over the last 11 years still talk fondly about him, even knowing what turmoil the UNC program was in at the time. So if Davis has this essentially universal support among administrators who've had the opportunity to interact with him, it stands to reason that he's got one more chance, and UNC wants him to have that chance in Chapel Hill. But man, if he (or any single one of his assistant coaches) messes up again, man...
*Doesn't "Brewster Davis Hawkins" sound like a competing ad agency to Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce? Is that just me? Fine.