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UNC buyout holding up Butch Davis’ hiring at FIU

Butch Davis AP

Christmas Eve, the Miami Herald reported that “the next head coach at FIU will be Butch Davis.”

A short time later, FIU athletic director Pete Garcia, who played Alfred to Davis’ Bruce Wayne during their time with the Cleveland Browns last decade, quickly and vehemently shot down the story, labeling it “totally false.”

According to Alex Marvez of, FIU is indeed “set to sign Davis to a multiyear contract averaging roughly $500,000 a season.”  The holdup?  Davis’ previous employer.

Davis was fired by the Tar Heels a month before the start of the 2011 season in the midst of a scandal involving impermissible benefits to football players as well as academic improprieties.  As part of his “severance package,” Davis is still owed $1.77 million from the university as part of the buyout written into his contract, with $590,000 payable every Jan. 15 from 2013 through 2015.

Simply put, as Marvez writes, “UNC doesn’t want to pay the money if Davis accepts another coaching position.”  Normally there are offsets written into a head coach’s contract, with any buyout number lowered — or “offset” — by the amount of money he makes at his next coaching job.  The specific language written into Davis UNC contract and how it deals with future coaching employment offsetting any outstanding buyout dollars is unknown.

Marvez reports that Davis found himself in a similar position earlier this year when Greg Schiano was interested in putting him on his Tampa Bay Buccaneers coaching staff.  Davis and the Bucs got around that contractual stumbling block by giving the 61-year-old “the title ‘Special Assistant to the Head Coach’ so he wouldn’t forfeit money owed by North Carolina by accepting a traditional staff position.”

Obviously, that won’t be an option in this situation, and how soon Davis, FIU and UNC can get past this contractual obstacle remains the great unknown.

After firing Mario Cristobal in early December, FIU remains the lone FBS school without a head coach.

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9 Responses to “UNC buyout holding up Butch Davis’ hiring at FIU”
  1. vols84 says: Dec 28, 2012 1:55 PM

    Really? Time to move on FIU.

  2. effjohntaylornorelation says: Dec 28, 2012 2:28 PM

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The entire Buccaneer’s organization should be ashamed of how they helped purport this! Davis has made his living shape shifting and bending rules. He needs to exhibit the same positive qualities & characteristics he’ll claim to stand for once he is finally introduced as the HC of a collegiate football program. Scum

  3. floridacock says: Dec 28, 2012 2:47 PM

    The Buccaneers just finished paying Jon Gruden millions so he could make millions off TV. If he had coached during that period, he would not have been paid the Bucs money, so I got NO problem with Davis having to wait or NOT get paid by UNC. What a scum.

  4. mdac1012 says: Dec 28, 2012 4:12 PM

    “Special Assistant to the Athletic Director in charge of Gridiron Management.” Problem solved!

  5. thefiesty1 says: Dec 28, 2012 5:22 PM

    Basic contract law. Pay him. UNC needs to move on and get over it.

  6. John Taylor says: Dec 28, 2012 6:29 PM

    “Special Assistant to the Athletic Director in charge of Gridiron Management”

    That is spectacular. Well done, sir.

    As an aside, you don’t happen to work in the federal government?

  7. mdac1012 says: Dec 28, 2012 6:45 PM

    Thank you and no.

  8. 35longmiles says: Dec 29, 2012 7:46 AM

    What’s that Miami? Speak up, I can’t hear you. You say you don’t want to schedule FIU because some long ago brawl issue? I’d say it’s more of a case of knowing that Butch will come in and kick your sorry ass sooner than later. This will be one of the most delicious ironies in the history of Dade county football. Butch’s rule following ability has always been laughable but dude does know how to win football games. He will build a program that will embarrass the little school that could. Cane fan will turn on Butch like never seen before. Massive NCAA penalties will come down and Goldenfraude will be gone and you will be just another middle of the road small school that takes road trips to FAU. But you keep believing that your building something down there cane fan. It’s high comedy.

    (Attention cane fan: CLICK DISLIKE NOW)

  9. geofferystevens says: Dec 29, 2012 9:41 AM

    UNC not in a hurry to help this turd out. Payback is a mother. I hope they can hold him up long enough that the only kids left to scout are the ones that only got in the 4th qt of blowouts.

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