UNC reacts to calls for head coach's resignation

October 8, 2010 4:22:18 AM PDT
Leaders at the University of North Carolina are reacting to new calls for Head Coach Butch Davis to resign or be fired.Earlier this week, UNC's student newspaper called on Davis to leave after this season -- saying he either had direct knowledge of major problems or was egregiously ignorant.

But the UNC Board of Governors, the chancellor and athletic director are still preaching patience and no rush to judgment.

On Thursday, Chancellor Holden Thorp presented his second football update to the Board of Governors in two months.

At the September meeting, Athletic Director Dick Baddor said the fact finding part of the academic probe was nearing an end. But Thorp said Thursday that the NCAA investigation could go on for another year.

"We are only a little ways into the NCAA process, but that does not mean we are not getting close to resolving things for the players," he said.

Last month, Baddour and Thorp did not immediately tell the board that a pro sports agent had paid John Blake, who was the Tar Heels associate head coach and recruiting coordinator.

Blake and the university later reached a resignation agreement in which Blake left with $70,000 in severance.

On Thursday, the board also met in a closed session to hear more details about students and school personnel. But before they did, Thorp tried to offer some answers about Coach Davis not knowing about what had been going on with Blake.

"Coach Davis knows he has a lot of work to do," Thorp said. "It does concern me deeply that he did not know some of the things that were going on."

Board members say they have received a lot of calls and e-mails asking why they are not investigating the football program themselves, mainly because UNC policy leaves athletic oversight to the chancellor on campus.

However, one member asked if the scandal is hurting the entire UNC system. But the chancellor said they are committed to a thorough probe, no matter how long it takes.

At this point, one player is suspended for four games, while another player is suspended for six games. Nine players are still being withheld from games until their status in the agent and academic issues are cleared.

Fans say they have watched the team's promise sink and Carolina's reputation tarnish under the watch of NCAA investigators.

"I think it's really disappointing overall just because we have such a great reputation," UNC freshman Will Huggins said.

"I've lost a lot respect for our school and our team," UNC junior Allison McNeill said. "As a coach you're suppose you're supposed to be involved with your team, not only their academic life, but their personal life. I think it's a little fishy that Butch Davis doesn't say that he knows anything about it."

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