Tutor backs Davis

Former UNC tutor says coach Butch Davis did not know about 'impermissible' academic help.

Staff WriterDecember 3, 2010 

The former tutor to athletes at the University of North Carolina who officials say provided "impermissible" academic help to football players did so without the knowledge of Tar Heels coach Butch Davis, according to the tutor's lawyer.

The tutor, Jennifer Wiley, had also worked directly for Davis' family as a tutor for the coach's high school-aged son.

Joseph Cheshire V, a Raleigh lawyer representing Wiley, said in a statement that Davis wasn't involved in Wiley's actions with UNC athletes that have drawn scrutiny.

"Coach Davis and his family played no part whatsoever in the matters under investigation that have been referred to as 'impermissible extra benefits' and 'impermissible academic assistance' as related to Ms. Wiley," Cheshire said.

Cheshire made clear in the statement that Wiley, who is a UNC graduate, does not want to harm Davis, who is wrapping up his fourth year as coach of the Tar Heels.

Cheshire said Wiley does not want to "engage in conversations about this matter with people whose aim is to continue to attempt to hurt the young men she cared about, the University of North Carolina and its athletic program, and especially Coach Davis and his family."

Cheshire said that Wiley would not comment further.

Wiley, an elementary school teacher in Durham, has declined interviews with the NCAA and with UNC administrators as part of probes into NCAA violations in the football program, officials have said.

The probes led to 14 football players being withheld from at least one game and led to permanent ineligibility for five of them. The university is waiting to see if the NCAA will impose further sanctions.

In a letter to Wiley last month, UNC athletic director Dick Baddour said that in 2009 and 2010 Wiley provided impermissible academic help to some athletes, which "adversely affected" their eligibility.

In 2009, she also provided unallowed "extra benefits" worth more than $2,000 - help that Cheshire has said involved her allowing a player to use her credit card. Cheshire has said the money was paid back immediately.

Wiley worked for the Davis family from December 2008 to May 2010.

Baddour, as well as UNC chancellor Holden Thorp, have said they have found no evidence that Davis was aware of the tutor's actions. And Davis has said he didn't know what Wiley was doing.

Thorp last month gave the coach a resounding vote of confidence and said Davis will return next season.

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