Davis dismissed as Tar Heels’ coach
Change ‘to help the entire university community move forward’
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- University of North Carolina chancellor Holden Thorp on Wednesday announced that Butch Davis has been dismissed as head coach of the Tar Heels' football program.
Davis was informed of the decision by Thorp and director of athletics Dick Baddour.
"To restore confidence in the University of North Carolina and our football program, it's time to make a change," Thorp said. "What started as a purely athletic issue has begun to chip away at this University's reputation. I have been deliberate in my approach to understanding this situation fully, and I have worked to be fair to everyone involved.
"However, I have lost confidence in our ability to come through this without harming the way people think of this institution. Our academic integrity is paramount and we must work diligently to protect it. The only way to move forward and put this behind us is to make a change."
Thorp said the decision was not related to any change in the NCAA investigation, but that it was the result of the cumulative damage to the University's reputation during the past year.
"Athletics and football are an important part of this university, and a successful football program is essential to the overall health of our athletic program," Thorp said. "That's why we have to put this behind us and move forward."
Davis was 28-23 with the Tar Heels. Last year, 14 players missed at least one game and seven were forced to sit the entire season in the wake of an NCAA probe into the UNC program.
Last month, the NCAA sent a notice of allegations to the school outlining numerous potential major violations.
"The last 13 months have been some of the most difficult that anyone associated with the athletic department and football program have dealt with," Baddour said. "At this time, a decision has been made to change the leadership of the football program to help the entire university community move forward.
"I want to thank Butch Davis and his family for their four-plus years of service and dedication to the University and the Chapel Hill community," Baddour said. "My staff and I will work with Chancellor Thorp to transition to an interim head coach as soon as possible. It is critical that we do all we can to help our students and other staff members on the football team since preseason training camp begins in just eight days."