North Carolina did what Ohio State didn’t have the testicular fortitude to do; they fired their coach amid an NCAA investigation and other outstanding allegations while their AD stepped down in the process.
It didn’t matter that Butch Davis was the school’s most successful coach since Mack Brown in the 90’s, nor did it matter that he constantly said that he had no idea that his football team was running amuck. The school still held him responsible and told him to get to steppin.
I give now former AD Dick Baddour props for what he did yesterday. He swallowed his pride and admitted his mistake that Davis wasn’t worth the trouble that he was allowing to happen under his watch.
Baddour hired Davis to rebuild the North Carolina program in the way that he did with the University of Miami before Larry Coker took over. Davis recruited very well with future NFL-ers Marvin Austin, Greg Little and Hakeem Nicks standing out during his time there.
However, the school was caught in a huge scandal involving athletes receiving improper benefits from people outside of the program and more recently it came to pass that there were academic irregularities involving his players.
Davis continuously played dumb by stating that he had no idea of what was going on at the time and UNC went with it…
Baddour fired Davis and then today stepped down as AD a year ahead of his retirement. He did so to ensure that the next coach wouldn’t have any conflict between his departure and the arrival of a new AD next year.
If only Gene Smith had the same level of care in his system.
This is what Ohio State should’ve done when it came time to discipline Jim Tressel. Sure Tressel was a highly successful coach and kept OSU in the top 10 nationally, but he was running a shoddy program.
Smith knew this and so did Gordon Gee. Instead of suspending him back when they knew of the violations they let all of 2010 play out, let him coach in the Sugar Bowl (not to mention let the players play), suspended him for two games, then only when the situation kept getting worse and worse did they finally allow him to step down or be forced out, whatever story you believe.
UNC didn’t let its recent success get in its way of making the right decision. It was clear that Davis was at fault for what was happening and it did the right thing by releasing him of his duties. Furthermore Baddour upped the ante by removing himself from his position due to the fact that all of this happened all of his watch.
The Tar Heels admitted their mistakes; the Buckeyes turn their dishonest leaders into martyrs.
North Carolina may not be on the same playing field as Ohio State when it comes to football, but rest assured the men in charge know what to do in a situation that calls for immediate action.
The Tar Heels will suffer in the short term on the field as they look for a new coach to get this team ready for football with only a month to prepare.
However, they should be the standard when it comes to disciplinary action. Their message to Butch Davis and any other coach that comes in is simple; hold others accountable for their actions as well as yourself. Success matters, but so does the integrity of the institution. If you can’t comply with both then you will not be a coach here.
I wish Ohio State would’ve taken that stance earlier this year.