Butch Davis’ admission of responsibility hollow unless UNC takes action

3 Comments

North Carolina coach Butch Davis says he’s responsible for the NCAA fiasco in Chapel Hill. “Fully and completely” responsible as a matter of fact.

He’s right. Fully and completely.

After all, it was Davis who willingly hired former assistant John Blake. The same John Blake who has been accused of leading players to former agent Gary Wichard. The same John Blake who put UNC in a bind for allegedly not cooperating with the NCAA’s investigation.

It was Davis who had ties to ex-tutor Jennifer Wiley, who tutored Davis’ own son and allegedly provided benefits to students-athletes.

Yet, it was Davis’ name that was left out of the Notice of Allegations against the program.

But Davis is, by his own admission, fully and completely responsible for the current pickle in which UNC finds itself.

I’m the head football coach,” Davis said today during ACC Media Days. “And things that happen, anything I can do to make sure these things don’t happen…anything that we can do to make sure that doesn’t happen again, that’s part of my responsibility.”

So why isn’t he being treated as the one responsible?

He hasn’t considered resigning, and North Carolina hasn’t indicated they plan on firing him because — as of last November — there is no evidence “that Coach Davis knew about or took part in any of the things that happened”.

If that’s their logic, fine. Davis still deserves to be fined and suspended from having any contact with his team until the school realizes their fate at the hands of the Committee on Infractions. If, for nothing else, he deserves it on the very grounds that is saving his job.

He didn’t know. Allegedly.

Butch Davis, the head football coach of North Carolina, didn’t know one of his assistants was potentially causing some major problems for his program — completely oblivious; ignorant; out of the loop.

Coaches can’t always keep tabs on their 100-plus football players 24/7, but they sure as hell can keep tabs on their coaching staff.

If Davis won’t be suspended for the allegations, he should be suspended for not seeing the possibility ahead of time.

Coaches are control freaks, micro-managers. They are the captain of the vessel. Their job is to know what’s going on in their program.

Need proof? Ask a coach during, say, conference media days.

It amazes me time and time again how coaches aren’t held to the highest of standards for their actions. Oh, sure, programs talk a big game about holding their coaches accountable, but those statements ring hollow until they follow through.

If UNC wants the NCAA to take them seriously, they’ll do more than stand idly by watching Davis express his remorse.

Because words are worthless.

Show them he is accountable. After all, Davis admitted he was.

Fully and completely.

SEC leads NFL Draft for 11th straight year as Alabama and Michigan set school records

Brandon Wade/AP Images for NFLPA
4 Comments

The 2017 NFL Draft has come and gone, and once again it is the SEC claiming another NFL Draft national championship. A grand total of 53 players from the SEC were drafted by NFL teams. It is the 11th straight year the SEC has had the most players drafted by NFL teams.

The ACC ended the draft with 42 players drafted, followed by the Pac-12 (36) and Big Ten (35). The Big 12 ended the draft with just 14 players drafted.

Helping to contribute to the SEC’s NFL Draft total was Alabama setting a school record with 10 players drafted.

Alabama’s nine players drafted in the first 80 picks was also a new Alabama record.

Michigan ended up having more players drafted than any other Big Ten team, slipping past Ohio State by the time the draft closed up shop this year. For the Wolverines, 11 players ended up being drafted. The previous school record for draft picks was 10, set in 1972 and tied in 1974. Head coach Jim Harbaugh will get plenty of the praise for developing that many players getting a chance to be drafted, but Brady Hoke should be recognized for recruiting those players as well (and blamed for not developing the talent he brought in).

 

Air Force changes rules for football players with NFL aspirations

AP Photo/The Colorado Springs Gazette, Michael Ciaglo
2 Comments

One of the top players from Air Force was ineligible to be drafted by the NFL this weekend, and it had nothing to do with NFL rules. It also had nothing to do with NFL teams backing away from a particular player due to off-field concerns. Instead, a policy at Air Force is what is to blame for wide receiver Jalen Robinette not moving on to the NFL at this time.

The U.S. Air Force will not approve requests from academy graduates to defer their two years of active duty in order to be allowed to play professional football. Just a year ago, the Department of Defense changed the policy to allow for the possibility, which made it possible for Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds to be allowed to play. Reynolds later joined the Baltimore Ravens. Reynolds had received a recommendation to be allowed to play by the U.S. Naval Academy.

“The Air Force notified academy leaders [Thursday] that the service would not approve requests to waiver active duty military commitments for cadet athletes,” a statement from Air Force read. “Cadets will be required to serve two years active duty prior to entering Ready Reserve, which would allow their participation in professional sports. The Air Force places tremendous value on our cadet athletes and their contributions to the nation as we continue to build leaders of character, engage in combat operations overseas and continue to ensure our highest military readiness at home.”

Because of the policy change and confirmation, Robinette was not able to be drafted. He may still have been a long shot to be drafted by an NFL Team, but the policy also means he is unable to be signed as an undrafted free agent as well.

Rawleigh Williams carted off at Arkansas scrimmage

AP Photo/Chris Brashers
Leave a comment

Any time a player that has previously undergone neck surgery goes down on the field and needs to be carted off is quite the scary moment. On Saturday, the Arkansas football program had that exact scare when Rawleigh Williams went down on the field in pain and ended up having to be carted off the practice field during the Arkansas scrimmage.

Williams was placed on a stretcher and taken out of the facility on a cart to receive medical attention. His legs and arms were moving on the ground, a slight sigh of relief given the hit and his injury history. In 2015, Williams was carted off and had to undergo surgery on his neck. Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema said the injury concern on Saturday was apparently not related to the previous neck injury, which was expected to have a full recovery.

It is an unfortunate ending to the spring for Williams, because all indications seemed to be he was certainly improving running the football. Bielema said earlier in the week Williams was running with more patience, which is always a key for a running back.

Arkansas moved its final scrimmage of the spring indoors due to bad weather rolling through the area.

Justin Herbert shines in first Oregon spring game under Willie Taggart

Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images
Leave a comment

A glimpse of a brand new era of Oregon football took center stage in Eugene, Oregon on Saturday as the spring football season drew to a close. Willie Taggart showed fans a little bit of what to expect from Oregon in the fall as the program looks to bounce back from a down season under the coach who has shown a knack for improving programs. As is usually the case in a spring game, Oregon’s quarterback situation was under a microscope, and sophomore Justin Herbert took advantage of the opportunity.

Herbert completed 16 of 26 passes for 327 yards and established a connection with wide receiver Darren Carrington. The two connected for three touchdowns in the game. Sophomore Travis Jonson and early enrollee Braxton Burmeister also saw playing time in the game, but Carrington was confident in saying this is Herbert’s job to lose.

”Our chemistry has definitely improved this spring, and it’ll improve more by the time fall comes, but Herbert, I mean, that’s the guy right now to beat,” Carrington said after the spring game.

As for the team as a whole, Taggert knows there is much still to address as a new system and style are implemented and the roster adjusts physically to the demands of the new coach.

‘We’re still building. We’re nowhere where we need to be as a football team yet. We have some good players. We don’t have a lot of depth that we need to have, that’s going to be a work in progress,” Taggart said. ”The thing for us as coaches is just to make our guys better than they were before. If I guy wasn’t good enough we want to make him look better than he was before. If I guy was good we want to make him great.”

Og course, it wouldn’t be an Oregon spring game without having that typical Oregon uniform flair. Even with a new head coach and with the talk suggesting the Ducks will go for a more traditional approach to uniforms in the fall, the spring game was used for some sizzle on the unis.

Oregon’s spring game crowd of 36,821 assured the Ducks of having the highest spring game attendance among Pac-12 school for a third consecutive year.