UNC chancellor explains why
During a Thursday morning press conference, UNC chancellor Holden Thorpe said, “We anticipate we won’t be dismissing Coach Davis for cause. We will not.”
“I don’t believe he knew about the things that went on.”
Those were just two of the interesting things that were stated during the presser.
Athletic director Dick Babbour, who is under contract through next summer, acknowledged that he has offered to step down. The chancellor will immediately begin a search for a new athletic director. Baddour will stay on until the new AD has been named.
Baddour will not be involved in the selection of the new head coach.
Baddour explained, “As someone who has hired coaches for the past 14 years, I know it is even more imperative for my successor be able to name the next permanent head coach. Therefore, I have asked Chancellor Thorpe to begin the search for an athletic director as soon as possible, so that that person may be available to hire the permanent head coach in time to recruit next season’s freshman class. Your head coach needs to know who your athletic director is going to be.”
Asked if dismissing Butch Davis was a reaction to potentially lightening the severity of the forthcoming NCAA penalties, Thorpe responded, “Absolutely, not. We reached the point where that’s not the primary concern anymore.”
Thorpe said, “We can’t get better without making a change.”
“I considered making changes in the fall and throughout this whole process.”
“I know that the timing is terrible.”
UNC is on the hook for a maximum of $2.75 million to Butch Jones. The chancellor will be meeting with the staff later today to determine who will serve as the interim head coach.
Butch Davis releases statement, but will not be doing interviews
Butch Davis address his dismissal as the UNC head coach this evening.
Davis said, "I was honestly shocked to receive word that I will no longer be the head football coach at the University of North Carolina. I can honestly say that I leave with full confidence that I have done nothing wrong. I was the head coach and I realize the responsibility that comes with that role."
"But I was not personally involved in, nor aware of, any actions that prompted the NCAA investigation. I thank my family for enduring this tough situation. I thank the fans and broader university community who have embraced us and endured these difficult circumstances with poise and grace. To the players, I wish them only the best on the field and academically. The coaches and their families know how much I appreciate their work and dedication. It's a sad day, but I'm certain better times will follow."
Davis also released a statement:
"My family and I were surprised and saddened to learn that I have been relieved of my duties as head football coach at Carolina. I am not naïve enough to have ever considered this situation anything less than a serious matter and a significant priority. I have worked as hard as possible to address all aspects of the program that have been questioned. I fully believe we were on our way to getting past these issues and move forward. vMy family and I have been able to endure this difficult period in our lives for several reasons: First and foremost, as a family we have known all along that I personally did nothing wrong. That is the truth. Second, we have also had remarkable support from friends, family, the players, our coaching staff and so many others within the Tar Heel community. That these players and coaches were able to achieve the success they did last season, under such circumstances, makes me enormously proud."
"Moving forward, I wish only the best for the current team and coaches. For the players in particular, I wish them nothing but success on the field and in the classroom. The coaches already know how I feel about them. I couldn’t be more proud of their hard work and dedication. In fact, during the past year or so, my respect and love for our players, the coaching staff and the football administrative staff has grown enormously. It’s a wonderful group of people and I will miss them all."
"For now, I will not be doing any interviews. Perhaps in time I will feel more comfortable about discussing my future. But for now, it’s important to move on as smoothly as possible, because I absolutely do not want to add any further distraction for the players and coaching staff as they approach the 2011 season."
Gary Patterson: If you want to win championships...
TCU is predicted to finish second in the Mountain West Conference behind Boise State.
If the Horned Frogs are going to win another championship, head coach Gary Patterson says they’ll win it with 2’s and 3’s.
Patterson explained, “We brought in five freshman safeties and we have three redshirt safeties so we have a lot of talent to pick from.”
"That's been one of the secrets to our success."
If the Frogs are to repeat as MWC champions, they'll have to do so without five players that were selected in the NFL draft. Patterson, however, was one of just twenty-five head coaches to keep his staff completely intact during the off-season.
The list of programs without an assistant coaching change this off-season include Arkansas, Army, Bowling Green, Cincinnati, East Carolina, FAU, Florida State, Fresno State, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Iowa, Iowa State, LA Tech, Missouri, NC State, Notre Dame, Ohio, Oregon, Penn State, USF, TCU, Texas A&M, Troy, Virginia, and Washington.
TCU opens at Air Force. A week later, the Frogs will play at Baylor. The showdown with Boise State is on the blue turf in the middle of November.
Chris Petersen responds to ruling of no more 'All Blue' uniforms
Mountain West Conference coaches thought Boise State had an unfair advantage by wearing blue on blue on the blue turf.
It’s a competitive advantage, they say.
The conference commissioner agrees. On Tuesday, Mountain West Conference commissioner said that Boise State will no longer be allowed to wear “all blue” during conference home games.
Head coach Chris Petersen isn’t pleased and said, “I thought it was ridiculous. That’s our colors. That’s who we are. That’s who our fans have wanted us to be since I’ve been at Boise State. That’s what it’s been through and through.”
He added, “Nike has saved us by giving us a bunch of different combinations. If we can’t wear what we want to wear, then we will wear a bunch of different other stuff.”
After opening with Georgia in Atlanta, Boise State returns home to host Tulsa. Just a wild guess, but we’re thinking the Broncos will rock the “all blue” look since it’s a non-conference game.
In a related story, we are hearing that SEC coaches are petitioning Mike Slive to ban the "eye of the tiger" at midfield in Baton Rouge. Too intimidating and an unfair competitive advantage.
Nutt responds to hot garbage coming out of Starkville
For the first time publicly, it appears Houston Nutt reached a boiling point and responded to the garbage coming out of Starkville swagger started by Dan Mullen and continued by the Mississippi State athletic department.
During a Rebel Club event on Tuesday night in Jackson, Mississippi, Nutt took a subtle shot at Mississippi State.
Nutt may have been trying to highlight the class that Ole Miss. (Boring)
He may have just wanted to remind the Rebel fans of the 45-0 trouncing he put on Mississippi State during his first season as Ole Miss head coach. (Always acceptable to remind your fans of an in-state butt kicking)
OR he may have wanted to hint to Rebel fans that he’s tired of this garbage coming out of Starkville. (In which case, he probably just fired up the Rebel fan base.)
Nutt said about the 45-0 win in 2008, “Nobody had to carry around the trophy and show everybody.”
According to the Clarion-Ledger, Nutt said this year's Egg Bowl against Mississippi State is, "Personal."
Here’s one of the videos the Mississippi State athletic department released that is touting the back-to-back Egg Bowl wins over Ole Miss. The Bulldogs toured the state with trophy, then attempted to make some funny marketing videos to brag about the trophy.
Obviously, Nutt doesn’t think too highly of the garbage production.
Lane Kiffin jabs at Golic
The coaches representing the schools of the PAC-12 South are in Bristol, CT today going through the ESPN “car wash.”
Lane Kiffin just wrapped up an in-studio interview with Mike & Mike in the Morning and Kiffin didn’t pass up the chance to jab at Golic.
Golic, a Notre Dame graduate, not surprisingly reminded Kiffin early on of the 20-16 Irish win in The Coliseum last November.
But before the segment ended, Lane was able to joke back with Golic.
Kiffin reminded Golic of the nine USC players that were drafted this past year. He said, “We actually passed Notre Dame for the most all-time draft picks.”
Golic responded, “Oh, really?”
Kiffin swiftly responded, “Yes. That was a long run (smiling).”
Golic jokingly asked Greenie, “Are we done with this interview yet? I’m ready to move on.”
A few minutes later, Kiffin appeared on set with Chris Fowler during a LIVE SportsCenter feature.
Although he doesn't agree with the severity of the sanctions against USC, Kiffin is very glad the program at least knows what they have to deal with.
Lane said, "Yea, it (last two years) hasn't been very much fun."
And he's no longer interested in talking about the investigation and sanctions. "I don’t really care. It doesn’t really matter. Everyone wants to focus on other universities and what’s happening to them. Our scholarships aren’t coming back and our bowl game isn’t coming back. Let’s move on."
Lane is looking forward to a great year in 2011. "If we just played 2-minute defense ok, we’re 11-2 last year. You take 51 scholarship players to a great Stanford team, maybe the best Stanford team ever, and have them beat until the last play of the game, shows us that we’re not far away."
Jim Grobe: We can't do that at Wake Forest
Jim Grobe led Wake Forest to twenty-eight wins over three years from 2006-2008, but the Demon Deacons have won just a total of eight games over the last two seasons.
Grobe told the David Glenn Radio Show, “Last year, it was youth. We just had a very small senior class. I think we had 13 freshman start at least one game for us, three of those were true freshman, ten were redshirt-freshmen.”
“We can’t do that at Wake Forest. We have to develop players. We have to play a lot of juniors and seniors.”
“We’ll be a much better football team this year.”
A year ago, Wake Forest had to play against a number of outstanding quarterbacks including Andrew Luck, Christian Ponder, Joshua Nesbitt, Tyrod Taylor, and Russell Wilson. That’s not the case this year.
Grobe said, “As tough as our schedule is going to be, a lot of these teams are plugging in new quarterbacks. You can’t count on that because some of these quarterbacks may step up and play great, but we’re going to play more teams that are similar at the quarterback position than not.”
Notre Dame will visit Winston-Salem for a November 5th kick-off.
Grobe said, “We had an open date and I was hoping maybe, not for a penciled in win, but maybe for a half-a-w on the schedule card and then my boss, Ron Wellman, comes to me and says that Notre Dame wants to play. I couldn’t turn it down for our players. If our players knew we had a chance to play Notre Dame and we turned it down, they would have been really disappointed in me. As coaches, you already have eight bowl teams on our schedule, and now you get the Irish. You just buckle your chinstraps down a little and get after it.”
What about the long-term prognosis for Jim Grobe?
“My hope is that in another ten years, we’ll still be talking to each other here in Pinehurst.”
Tuberville: Oklahoma has won because Stoops has more of an SEC mentality
During a radio interview today with Sports 56 in Memphis, Texas Tech head coach Tommy Tuberville explained the difference between the Big Twelve Conference and the SEC.
Tuberville said, “(Last year) We had to be the slowest team in college football, on offense and defense. Now, we could score points, but we couldn’t stop anybody. We never made any big plays on offense. We never had a 10 yard pass go for 70, we’d always get caught from behind or something.”
“I think you can be a lot more consistent with what is done in the SEC. The SEC is build around championships because you win with defense, then the running game is there. When you run into a bad day, sometimes you can dig yourself out of a hole because it’s not as hard to play defense or run the ball.”
“In the Big Twelve, people come out throwing and end the game throwing. I think it’s a carry over to the defense side of the ball because when you throw the ball, you’re defense isn’t as good, you can’t play the run as well, and there’s not as much emphasis put on it.”
“But if you look at teams like Oklahoma…Oklahoma has been very successful, won at least half or more than half of the Big Twelve championships and it’s because Bob Stoops has more of an SEC mentality. He’s going to play defense, he’s going to run the ball, but he’s also going to throw it. He’s going to mix ‘em all up. He’s more of an SEC type of philosophy over there.”
“Now, we’re going to try to get to the same thing. Obviously, you can’t do something you don’t have the personnel to do.”
“We rushed for 30 yards a game before I got to Tech, last year we averaged 150 yards a game. So we got to that point. We kept throwing the ball, we made some big plays, we got to that point. But our defense…we couldn’t play a good high school team last year. Number one, we had some injuries and then we just didn’t have the speed to keep up with anybody.”
“If we were to win a game, we would have to score 40 points.”
“It’s (Big Twelve) more of a take your chance league. There’s not as much chance when you play in the SEC. You know when you play Nick Saban, you’re going to get three yards and a cloud of dust and they’re going to play great defense.”
“We’re on our way. We’re having a heck of recruiting year.”