There is an old saying, the Winter of our discontent. Well this summer could be called the summer of dismissal. There have been several coaches fired, dismissed, for various infractions in the past 6 mos. From Jim Tressel at Ohio State for covering up many digressions by a number of the players on his watch, to Bruce Pearl of Tennessee for lying to investigators looking into his own digressions.
To name just two. The latest one comes at a most curious time. I am not here to defend North Carolina head football coach Butch Davis who was fired Wednesday. There really is no defense. His dismissal was warranted. The infractions are numerous. From allegations that then Associate head coach John Blake was receiving money from sports agent Gary Wichard, to other allegations that athletes were receiving improper benefits leading to the suspension of 13 players before the start of the 2010 season. This was the first opportunity to fire Davis. He was the man in charge, correct? Why not then? Then back in June the NCAA notified the Athletic offices in Chapel Hill that they were investigating them for potentially numerous major violations. Again. Another opportunity. But the higher ups at UNC chose to sit on their hands. And even expressed their undivided support of their beleaguered football coach. Even letting him goes as far as attending the Atlantic Coast Conference Media Days over the past weekend. Where coach Davis was interviewed and talked to several people of the media with no inclination that 48 hours later he would be dismissed. Why wait? This couldn’t be a worse time. When they finally pulled the trigger on Wednesday, they did so seven full days before players are to report for fall camp. Seven days. A week. Not good. This does a complete disservice to the kids in their program, and is unacceptable. More heads should roll. (After I wrote this, UNC Athletic Director Dick Baddour has stepped down.) Now do I think Davis deserved to be fired? Probably. Absolutely. But many months ago. Long before the summer of discontent began.