Posted by Chip Patterson
Earlier today, I hopped on the CBSSports.com College Football Podcast with Adam Aizer and J. Darin Darst to talk a little UNC Notice of Allegations.
"Should Butch Davis be fired?" That's the question being asked by many people after scanning the collection of charges detailed in the 42-page report from the NCAA. In reality, there was very little in the notice that was not already known thanks to some aggressive reporting by both national and local media. But the report does bring together a year of investigations into potentially major violations in several different categories involving a fair share of the most notable names on the roster.
So yes, it does look bad. On the surface, it looks very bad.
But the picture that has been painted for the NCAA by North Carolina is one of an institution struggling to deal with "rogue" members. Since John Blake did not tell UNC about the money from Gary Wichard, and Jennifer Wiley continued to provide services after no longer being employed by the school; North Carolina (and more importantly Butch Davis) can say they are sorry and try to cooperate. In fact, it is their cooperation which the institution will argue demonstrates the feeling of responsibility among those in oversight of the program.
Many people would argue that Davis, who has known Blake for "at least 30 years," should have known his reputation around coaching circles. It will be argued for years to come, that no matter what the NCAA can or cannot prove: Davis knew what Blake and Wiley were doing.
But as of Tuesday, it does not appear that the NCAA is prepared to allege wrongdoing directly against Butch Davis. Enraged fans will scream that Davis is guilty, and demand what they consider "justice." But the NCAA, similar to our own justice system, does not act based on assumption or reputation. With no evidence, it cannot be proven that Davis knew of any wrongdoing during which he did not act on as a head coach.
As you'll hear in the podcast below, a decision was made when the NCAA set foot on campus. North Carolina either had to jump ship and get rid of Davis when the scandal broke, or ride out the storm with him at the helm. If Davis has made it this long, there will be no changes to his employment AT LEAST until this process is complete.
Okay, after all that serious talk I should probably warn you that we also discuss Mascots, Adam's plan for Wolvie the Wolverine, and my early crush on college cheerleaders.