UNC email reveals fear of destructive behavior

Butch Davis

December 7, 2010 9:00:00 PM PST
This week, nearly 1,000 emails were released by the University of North Carolina as part of a public records request by ABC11.

The emails are correspondence from Tar Heel fans, alums, and administrators taken from the account of Chancellor Holden Thorp. The documents include hundreds of messages of support for head coach Butch Davis, Athletic Director Dick Baddour, and the Chancellor himself, as well as messages calling for change in the athletic department and the football program.

One email however, written to Dick Baddour and Holden Thorp by Butch Davis dated September 22, 2010 reveals "fear that this situation [the investigation] with our players has the potential of manifesting itself in a way that could be destructive to our players."

Click here to read the email (.pdf)

Davis states "there is clearly a great deal of pent up anger, frustration, and animosity, in these players [that have gone through the suspension/investigation]."

Davis references "two football players, one with Penn University – one with the Denver Broncos, who recently committed suicide as a result of depression, frustration, and uncertainty in their future," and later writes of possible "drinking or substance abuse.. DUI; a confrontation on Franklin Street; and even possibly a fight in our own facility" among UNC players who are dealing with the stress and pressure of the investigation.

In the email, Davis asks for assistance with possible counseling saying "a one-time, band aide conversation might not be enough… it’s probably the fair and right thing to consider to do."

UNC officials told Eyewitness News counseling was provided to the players. An Athletic Department spokesperson said, "Coach Davis was simply looking out for the best interest of our student-athletes."

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