North Carolina head coach Butch Davis issued a statement Wednesday night in response to his abrupt dismissal. Davis wishes the best to the current team and coaches, and maintains that he "personally did nothing wrong" during his time as the head of the program
"My family and I were surprised and saddened to learn that I have been relieved of my duties as head football coach at Carolina. I am not naïve enough to have ever considered this situation anything less than a serious matter and a significant priority. I have worked as hard as possible to address all aspects of the program that have been questioned. I fully believe we were on our way to getting past these issues and moving ahead in a positive direction.
"My family and I have been able to endure this difficult period in our lives for several reasons: First and foremost, as a family we have known all along that I personally did nothing wrong. That is the truth. Second, we have also had remarkable support from friends, family, the players, our coaching staff and so many others within the Tar Heel community. That these players and coaches were able to achieve the success they did last season, under such circumstances, makes me enormously proud.
"Moving forward, I wish only the best for the current team and coaches. For the players in particular, I wish them nothing but success on the field and in the classroom. The coaches already know how I feel about them. I couldn't be more proud of their hard work and dedication. In fact, during the past year or so, my respect and love for our players, the coaching staff and the football administrative staff has grown enormously. It's a wonderful group of people and I will miss them all.
Davis went on to elaborate that he would not be doing any interviews or discuss his future. He explained he did not want to be any further distraction to the current players and staff as they prepare to begin camp.
Davis' dismissal has seen some significant blowback from certain members of the North Carolina community. Many of the fans are upset with the timing, but the most concerning distaste has been on the current roster. As CBSSports.com's Brett Friedlander reported last night, some players have even begun to discuss the option of leaving the program.
"Some guys have been calling each other and have said they might want to leave," junior wide receiver Jheranie Boyd told the Gaston Gazette. "He’s a big reason a lot of the players came to UNC."
The sting of losing your head coach is still very real for these players, and I would probably chalk that comment up to emotion. But it is an immediate concern for North Carolina to make sure that the recruits in the 2012 class are still interested in the program. Davis has been referred to over and over again as a "players coach," and whoever takes the seat for the interim will need to put in work immediately to reaffirm recruits' commitment to the university.