“To restore confidence in the University of North Carolina and our football program, it’s time to make a change,” said Thorp. “What started as a purely athletic issue has begun to chip away at this University’s reputation. I have been deliberate in my approach to understanding this situation fully, and I have worked to be fair to everyone involved. However, I have lost confidence in our ability to come through this without harming the way people think of this institution. Our academic integrity is paramount and we must work diligently to protect it. The only way to move forward and put this behind us is to make a change.”
Thorp said the decision was not related to any change in the NCAA investigation, but that it was the result of the cumulative damage to the University’s reputation over the past year.
“Athletics and football are an important part of this University, and a successful football program is essential to the overall health of our athletic program,” Thorp continued. “That’s why we have to put this behind us and move forward.”
Baddour said, “The last 13 months have been some of the most difficult that anyone associated with the athletic department and football program have dealt with. At this time, a decision has been made to change the leadership of the football program to help the entire University community move forward.
“I want to thank Butch Davis and his family for their four-plus years of service and dedication to the University and the Chapel Hill community,” continued Baddour. “My staff and I will work with Chancellor Thorp to transition to an interim head coach as soon as possible. It is critical that we do all we can to help our students and other staff members on the football team since preseason training camp begins in just eight days.”
Thorp and Baddour will meet with the media on Thursday at 11:00 a.m.