FB FINAL: UNC 56, Liberty 29 — Click for Recap

Butch Davis' Job Interview

By Art Chansky Posted October 12, 2012 at 6:39 am
 Jeff Gravley’s softball interview with Butch Davis came off as just another smooth move by the former Carolina football coach. This time, at least, Davis looked and acted better than on the self-serving YouTube video he released with a pasty complexion, plastered hair and excuses galore.

Davis is obviously back in the job market, and WRAL-TV was a perfect forum for him to once again take no responsibility for anything bad that happened at Carolina. Watch it on www.wralsportsfan.com. If you didn’t know better, you would think this guy was completely railroaded out of town.

Davis talked about his current job with the Tampa Bay Bucs, turning down a coaching opportunity with the team to be a consultant. That, of course, allowed him to keep his entire $2.7 million severance from UNC, thanks to a loosely written contract that said he could not take another “coaching job” and be paid off.

He counted himself among the “innocent victims” of the UNC scandal, even though Davis padded his already enormous bank account with the 10 million bucks he made at Carolina since 2007.  He said several times that he will coach again, hopefully leading a college or NFL program. His alma mater Arkansas will be hiring after this season, and Razorbacks’ Athletic Director Jeff Long will have to decide whether Davis passes the smell test to take over that scandal-ridden program.

Gravley followed the popular tack that the timing of Davis’ firing was unfair. To whom? The coach walked with his fat severance, the football program he left behind faced a season with an interim coach no matter when he was fired, and the school quickly hired what looks to be an outstanding athletic director and exciting new head coach. So when Davis was fired remains a moot point.

Davis opined that the escalating NCAA and academic investigations got him and “if they eliminated me from the scenario” it was a sign that UNC was cleaning up the program. Precisely because, whether directly complicit or not, a six-figured CEO has to take the fall when the company’s reputation is at stake. Part of the job, not to mention a major NCAA violation by anyone on his staff was grounds for firing in his contract.

Asked how a head coach could not know all the things going wrong with his program, Davis said “there was so much to know” and diverted to how he cleaned up Miami football and had to dismiss 18 players from the team his first year at UNC, saying something about “hundred dollar bills laying on their beds and putting it on Facebook.” Fact checkers, let’s get on that one.

He called his coaching staff “as proactive as any in the country” in monitoring their players. That was the perfect entrée for Gravley to ask Davis why they didn’t know what the half-dozen potential first-round draft choices were doing when Marvin Austin’s tweet from a South Beach bistro set off a chain reaction that brought down a program. A sign-up system ensued, but the damage had been done.

Davis continued to distance himself from John Blake, his long-time friend whom he taught in high school and coached with at Dallas in the NFL. He said Blake passed all vetting from UNC Human Resources to the NCAA and, due to two 12-year periods when they did not work together, claimed the only knowledge he had of Blake was as a great defensive line coach and recruiter. Gravley mentioned that Blake “was a little shady” but did not pursue his widespread recruiting reputation that gave him the industry nickname of “Black Santa”. Virtually every athletic director and football coach in the country knew about that side of Blake except, apparently, the ones at Carolina.

 
Davis was highly complimentary of Chapel Hill and his family’s involvement in the community and noted the amount of money he and Tammy donated to the university. Yet, he never wished good luck to any of the players he left behind or to the current Carolina team.

All in all, it was a good recruiting tape to show Arkansas and anyone else looking for a new coach. “I’m not done,” Davis said, “absolutely, I’ll be coaching again somewhere.”

 
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