Butch Davis Video Statement

Posted Nov 15, 2011

Former UNC football coach Butch Davis authored a nine-minute video statement this week to discuss the situation surrounding his firing, which occurred three and a half months ago. Watch the video and read key excerpts below ...


"I want to talk about the University of North Carolina situation. I haven't done so before, because I didn't think it was appropriate, but there are three reasons why I think now is a good time to speak up. First, the NCAA hearing is over. Secondly, I have literally received thousands of letters and messages of support and have been asked over and over to say something. And then, finally, there has been so much misinformation out there that I feel I need to set the record straight ...

"My rebuilding effort at Miami was based my belief that we can achieve huge success in both the classroom and on the field. Nothing has ever changed - that was and remains my coaching philosophy and it was the philosophy that I brought to the University of North Carolina. Those who have implied that my ethics were different at the University of North Carolina couldn't be more wrong. People can write and say what they want, but the proof of the records is there for anyone who cares to look at it ...

"The average SAT for our incoming freshmen rose 40 points during my tenure at UNC, and over the last two years at North Carolina, the football team's adjusted graduation rate of 90 percent met or exceeded the rate for the general student population ...

"Let's address the misinformation that's been thrown around about the Blue Zone. It wasn't my idea, though it was a good one. During my initial interview, the committee presented drawings, plans and renderings of a major renovation of Kenan Football Stadium ... Tammy and I agreed this was a project worthwhile and needed and in fact we made a substantial financial donation ...

"Let's talk for a bit about John Blake. Did I know he had such a close relationship with a sports agent? No. Should I have known? I wish I had known. ... After being named head coach at UNC, I presented John's name, along with several other candidates, for the assistant positions that were open. These names were given to the University administration, and as far as I know, they each underwent and passed background checks. It was my understanding that under UNC policies, all football employees -- including myself -- need to be cleared by the human resources department for any history that would be relevant to the job. Further, it was also my understanding that the UNC compliance office would contact the NCAA to determine whether a candidate might have a history of violations at any former institution. John had served as the head coach at the University of Oklahoma for three years and in addition he had coached at Mississippi State, Tulsa and at Nebraska. UNC had no negative feedback from any of those schools and in doing their background investigation, UNC couldn't uncover a single problem. .... In my 37 years of football, John and I have been on the same staff a total of two times, and our time together spanned only five seasons. ... So, to reiterate, did I know of John's close relationship with an agent? No. Do I wish I had known? Yes. ...

"A lot of have been said about (the tutor issue), almost all of it wrong. Tammy and I came to Miss Jennifer Wiley, the tutor, through the University's academic support department when we asked for a recommendation for a tutor for our son. The department recommended only one person - Jennifer Wiley - and they did so glowingly. We immediately liked Jennifer, and still do; our son considered her to be like an older sister. From what I understand, the primary allegations against Jennifer arose when the academic support department neglected to tell her that she was absolutely forbidden to help any student athlete once we stopped being a tutor. I did not know about that failure and I wish it had not happened. ...

"I believe the decision to end my tenure at Carolina was the Chancellor's alone. While I agree the Chancellor was within his rights to do so, I have said that I did not agree with his decision. Please keep in mind that neither the NCAA nor the University's investigation even suggested any wrongdoing on my part.

"In closing, I'd like to say that when I accepted the position of head football coach at UNC, we had every intention of making it our last coaching stop and home forever. We love, and still do, this community -- the friends we've made here and the University. We became very involved, financially and civicly, and we will always cherish the love and support from the UNC fans. ..."

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