UNC-CH Chancellor Holden Thorp said Thursday he was disappointed that former football coach Butch Davis offered son Drew Davis a football scholarship without consulting with Thorp or athletic director Dick Baddour.
With all the controversy surrounding the Tar Heels football program, Thorp said, it would have been better for Butch Davis to talk with Thorp and Baddour before offering Drew a scholarship.
Thorp also reiterated previous comments that there was no one reason for Davis' firing on July 27, but rather a "collection of problems" as UNC faces NCAA allegations of nine major violations involving cases of academic misconduct and improper benefits received by football players.
Thorp and other university officials are scheduled to attend an Oct. 28 hearing with the NCAA's Committee on Infractions to address the violations.
"I found out about that (scholarship offer) a couple months ago when I saw it online," Thorp said during a telephone interview, "and yes, I was disappointed that neither the athletic director nor I knew about that."
Thorp offered no other details on how he learned of the scholarship offer.
"I'm disappointed Chancellor Thorp has chosen to mention our son publicly as a part of his explanation for the decision to terminate my job," Davis said in a statement. His son Drew is a 6-foot-3, 195-pound senior quarterback at East Chapel Hill High.
Before suffering an injury to his non-throwing arm last season, Drew Davis was 125-for-229 passing with 16 touchdown passes and seven interceptions in six games.
A coach offering an athletic scholarship to a son or daughter is not against university policy, a UNC spokesman said.
However, Thorp said UNC's football team remains under a lot of scrutiny and needs everybody to pull together to make sure things work best for the program. The NCAA's Notice of Allegations arrived June 21.
Three of the alleged major violations cited by the NCAA were tied to former university tutor Jennifer Wiley, whom Butch Davis employed as a tutor for Drew while she was working for the university. She also worked for Davis after UNC let her go for being "too close" to some players.
It also was revealed in June, in records released after a court ruling in a lawsuit filed by The News & Observer, The Charlotte Observer and other media outlets, that fewer than 12 players had amassed 395 parking tickets with fines totaling $13,125.
Then in July, UNC officials learned they had failed to detect plagiarism in a term paper written by defensive lineman Michael McAdoo, who has been ruled permanently ineligible by the NCAA.
Butch Davis was to be paid an average of $2.2 million a year under the contract extension he signed after the 2007 season. A full scholarship for an in-state student for the 2011-12 school year is worth $16,879.
"Drew is a good kid and I feel bad for him in all this," Thorp said, "and for all I know, we would love to have him on the football team. But with everything going on, it would be good for the athletic director and the coach to talk about that and probably for all three of us to talk."
Baddour, who announced July 28 he is stepping down to allow a new athletic director to search for Davis' replacement, declined to comment for this story, saying he is looking ahead to helping interim head coach Everett Withers get preseason camp off to a good start.
East Chapel Hill High coach Bill Renner - whose son Bryn is the starting quarterback at UNC - said he wasn't aware of the Tar Heels' scholarship offer to Drew Davis. He said Davis is a talented athlete who doesn't have other scholarship offers. Renner said other programs are waiting to see senior year tape on Davis before making a decision on him.
Davis is rated a two-star prospect by scout.com, an online recruiting site. Three of the four quarterbacks Butch Davis signed for the Tar Heels were three- or four-star prospects; A.J. Blue was a two-star prospect.