Butch Davis and John Blake – Butch and “Black Santa” – go way back together. Waaay back.
… Davis, 60, has known — and trusted — Blake, 51, for nearly 40 years. They first met during Blake’s sophomore year of high school in Sand Springs, Okla., a suburb outside of Tulsa. Davis was Blake’s biology teacher.
“He made such an impression on me that I still remember exactly where he sat in my class when he was 15 years old,” Davis told the Tulsa World in 2009. “That’s John Blake. He has a gift when it comes to relationships.”
And yet somehow the NCAA allowed itself to be convinced that in one teeny, tiny area of malfeasance – selling college athletes to professional agents – Davis was completely blindsided by what his old friend was up to, despite the publicity Blake received after he was canned by Oklahoma more than a decade ago.
… After Blake’s firing in November 1998, The Oklahoman reported “it was widely known” that Blake went to work in the agent business and Oklahoma officials privately were angry that Blake attempted to contact Sooners players in that role.
“Through the process, I sacrificed a whole lot and took a whole lot of negative things,” Blake told The New York Times two years ago. “But if it’s for one man to gain the glory, then I’ll just accept it. That’s fine with me.”
The NCAA, where every coach is encouraged to find his inner Sargeant Schultz.