The buck stops there.

As cynical butt-covering moves go, North Carolina’s decision to part ways with Butch Davis during the week after ACC Media Days concluded (who needs that pesky media scrutiny, anyway?) and before fall practice starts (as Tony Barnhart put it, “North Carolina has decided to get out of the football business for a while”) ranks right up there with Michael Adams’ and Vince Dooley’s decision to sacrifice the Georgia men’s basketball team’s postseason in the wake of the Jim Harrick scandal.

Matt Hayes has it right.  This is a call that was inevitable as soon as the NCAA became Ohio State’s enabler by allowing that school to pin the entire problem on its head coach.  It’s the path that Tennessee is taking, as well.  In Mark Emmert’s world, it’s all about plausible deniability for the administrators and tough luck for those kids who actually played by the rules only to get burned when it turns out that the head coach they trusted didn’t.

At this point, any athletic director with half a brain is going to set up a firewall between himself and the head coach.  Oh, sure, there will be any number of compliance people who will be sent around wagging fingers at coaches about following regulations.  But there will also be plenty of blind eyes turned to what those coaches are doing when the compliance folks aren’t in the room with them.  So when the shit inevitably hits the fan, those ADs and the presidents they work for can blink their eyes vapidly at the NCAA investigators, claim they had no idea what was going on and swear they’ll get rid of the rogue bad apple.  And it’ll work.

Nice system you got there, NCAA.

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13 Comments

Filed under ACC Football, The NCAA

13 responses to “The buck stops there.

  1. lrgk9

    Again with the Sgt Shultz defence. As Gomer of Mayberry NC would say – “Shame Shame Shame.”

    Rumor is that cell phone records, a la Houston Nutt, between Butch and ‘the Agent(s)’ are due to hit the press under the State Sunshine laws.

  2. I like the basketball parallel. Sacrifice the 2nd banana (Davis) to try to make sure that your star (Roy Williams) doesn’t get caught in the crossfire. I don’t think there are issues in the UNC basketball program, but they probably want to make sure they get the NCAA out of Chapel Hill ASAP.

  3. HVL Dawg

    Now $2.5 -3.5 million a year doesn’t look like too much to pay a coach that you are likely going to scapegoat someday.

  4. Scorpio Jones, III

    Coaches, and Universities for that matter, can deny and shift blame from now till the end of time. For the kind of money Davis and Tressel were making, they OUGHT to be completely in charge of the football program, and if they are not it is still their responsibility.

    Cheating by a staff member should not provide a coach with plausible deniability….if the coach did not know, he should have.

    And if anything this lessens the “wiggle room” for the guys out there who are cheating, and are aware of what is going on, and allow it to continue.

    • gastr1

      I have to agree. Coaches who pay for cheating with their jobs and careers is a new thing in NCAA-world; in the past it is has been far too easy for them to cheat away and leave scot-free (it still is, really). But this one part the NCAA has right: if they can put the fear of God into the coaches, much of the cheating go away, because the HC’s are the individuals most in position to control it by a long, long, way.

  5. SCDawg

    The NCAA will eventually pass some legislation to deal with this, kind of like the Cam Newton rule. It won’t affect Tenn, OSU, and UNC, but it will affect the programs after. And it will probably be ridiculous and overreaching, and create three more problems than it solves.

  6. Go Dawgs!

    UNC Fan: So, just so we’re clear, we’re not talking about anything having to do with basketball, right?
    Reporter: Nope, just football.
    UNC Fan: Good day, sir.

  7. Dog in Fla

    Michele reacts upon hearing the good news that they had fired a Butch

    However, her excitement wanes later when she learns that the Butch fired was only some UNC football guy

  8. Mayor of Dawgtown

    In related news, UNC announced Thursday morning that it had hired former Ohio State University coach Jim Tressel to be its new head football coach.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      In a further development, UNC announced Friday that it was hiring former Tennessee Athletic Director Mike Hamilton to be its new AD. Tressel and Hamilton were last seen discussing the future direction of the UNC football program with their new consultant Willie Lyles at a Charlotte strip club.

  9. Tywebb01

    “Nice system you got there, NCAA.”

    … Be a shame if something happened to it.