Posted by Chip Patterson
When Butch Davis was dismissed as head coach of the North Carolina football program, many Tar Heel fans feared that potentially upset players may seek playing opportunities elsewhere. On Wednesday, interim head coach Everett Withers announced that backup running back Hunter Furr plans to leave the program.
"Hunter came to me this week and asked for his release," Withers said. "He is seeking an opportunity for more playing time and I respect his wishes. We've enjoyed having Hunter in the program and I wish him nothing but the best as he continues his college career."
Furr, who had five carries for 30 yards in the 2010 season, appears to be leaving for reasons completely unrelated to Davis' dismissal.
"I would like to thank the entire Carolina coaching staff for their support and guidance over the last two years," said Furr. "I''ve enjoyed being a part of this program and I've developed several great relationships with teammates and coaches. I feel it's in the best interest of my football career to transfer and compete for playing time at another institution. I have nothing but respect for Caoch Withers and I believe he will do an outstanding job building the program."
Furr was listed as the second string running back on the final spring depth chart behind Ryan Houston, but it is possible that with the new availability of redshirt freshman running back Gio Bernard he was beginning to see his window closing. The 5-foot-10, 205-pound Bernard was ranked as a top 15 running back nationally by most scouting services and is expected to serve as a compliment to Houston's more physical running style.
Withers also announced on Wednesday the completion of the coaching staff for the 2011 season with the promotion of Steve Sisa to safeties coach. Sisa worked in player development last season, and will step into the role left vacant when Withers was promoted.
"With practice beginning in just a few days, we wanted to move quickly to complete our staff," Withers said. "I felt it was most important to add someone who knew the players and was a good fit with our other coaches. Steve has developed outstanding relationships with our players and is excited to begin."
The Tar Heels open fall camp on Friday in Chapel Hill.