Butch Davis

Butch Davis’ admission of responsibility hollow unless UNC takes action


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.

Ole Miss OT Laremy Tunsil to return for Texas A&M on Oct. 24

Associated Press

As if this day wasn’t busy enough, Ole Miss announced late Monday evening star-crossed offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil‘s suspension has been capped at seven games, meaning he’ll miss Saturday’s trip to Memphis but return in time for Texas A&M visit to The Grove on Oct. 24.

From the university:

The University initially withheld Tunsil from competition at the start of the season as both the NCAA and the University examined several alleged improper benefits.  During the course of the process, it was determined by the NCAA that Tunsil received impermissible extra benefits that included the use of three separate loaner vehicles over a sixth-month period without payment, a four-month interest-free promissory note on a $3,000 down payment for purchasing a used vehicle, two nights of lodging at a local home, an airline ticket purchased by a friend of a teammate, and one day use of a rental vehicle.  In addition, it was determined that Tunsil was not completely forthcoming when initially questioned by NCAA investigators regarding the loaner vehicles.  He later corrected his account and since apologized. 

As part of his reinstatement conditions, the NCAA imposed a seven-game suspension, ordered Tunsil to pay the value of the extra benefits to a charity, perform community service, and he will also make the vehicle down payment.

Said Tunsil: “I take full responsibility for the mistakes I made and want to thank everyone for their continued support. I want to apologize to my teammates, coaches and the entire Ole Miss family for how my choices affected our program. This was a learning experience, and I’m looking forward to being back on the field with my team and redeeming myself. The last 10 months have been a physical and mental battle for me, but I love playing this game more than anything else. I want to be here for my teammates who are depending on me to finish what we started together.”

The news is, obviously, great for Tunsil and head coach Hugh Freeze personally, as well as the entire Ole Miss football program. It’s also a nice plus for NFL scouts, as it means Tunsil’s first live action of 2015 will come against possible future No. 1 draft pick Myles Garrett.

Hope he’s been practicing.

Report: Steve Spurrier set to retire

Steve Spurrier

Say it ain’t so, Steve.

According to a report from Thayer Evans of Sports Illustrated Monday evening, Steve Spurrier is set to retire.

Spurrier, 70, is a legend the likes college football has never seen before and never will again.

He was a Heisman Trophy winning quarterback at Florida, then returned to his alma mater and turned the program into a juggernaut, leading the Gators to 122-27-1 record from 1990-01 and a national championship in 1996. After a stint with the NFL’s Washington Redskins, Spurrier landed at South Carolina, where since 2005 he’s racked up a school record 86 wins.

But those wins slowed down of late. After an SEC East championship in 2010 and three straight 11-2 seasons from 2011-13, the Gamecocks fell to 7-6 in 2014, and are off to a 2-4 mark this fall. With the possibility of losses to nemeses old and new like Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Florida and Clemson ahead, Spurrier, it appears, would rather fade away quietly to the putting green.

Perhaps no two sentences summarize Spurrier, then and now, more precisely than this:

Combined with his three years at Duke, Spurrier closes up shop with a 228-89-2 mark, and a bust in the coaches’ wing of the Hall of Fame waiting for him.