Mentioned as a potential candidate for the unexpected opening at FIU, Butch Davis could find himself in play for another opening in the same state further up the conference food chain.
Or, at least, he’s putting it out there publicly hoping he’ll be in play.
In a conversation with Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times, the former North Carolina and Miami (Fla.) head coach officially tossed his name into the Bulls’ mix, labeling the situation as “a very intriguing job with lots of potential” and adding that he’s hopes he will be considered as “a serious candidate” in the school’s search.
Davis has been out of coaching since he was fired by the Tar Heels a month before the start of the 2011 season in the midst of an impermissible benefits/academic scandal. While he wasn’t implicated in any wrongdoing in the NCAA’s report, it’s believed the shadow cast by the situation has pushed suitors away from the long-time coach.
Davis, though, made certain to again state his innocence on that front.
“There was nothing that came out later in the report that wasn’t known in the first 60 days of the investigation in 2010,” Davis said last month. “Nothing was new except for this ongoing academic issue that they’ve got that’s been going on for over 20 years. The thing that probably was detrimental to me getting a job last year was that the NCAA hadn’t had its final ruling until February.”
The UNC football program was hit with a bowl ban for the 2012 season and scholarship reductions as part of the punitive measure levied by the NCAA in mid-March.
The 61-year-old Davis, currently a special assistant for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, acknowledged over the summer that he still had the itch to continue his coaching career. Given his ties to the fertile Florida recruiting grounds, the USF job could be the perfect opportunity for both him and the program for a career relaunch.
Then again, Willie Taggart could throw a significant wrench in Davis’ plans as it pertains to USF as there is significant speculation the Western Kentucky head coach has informed those around that program that he’s leaving for the Bulls. In other words, stay tuned…