UNC's Thorp admits he violated an NCAA rule

UNC chancellor spoke about offer to ex-coach Davis' son

Staff WriterAugust 6, 2011 

University of North Carolina Chancellor Holden Thorp said Friday that he committed an NCAA secondary violation when he acknowledged a scholarship offer to former football coach Butch Davis' son during a phone interview.

On Thursday, Thorp told a reporter from The News & Observer and The Charlotte Observer that he was disappointed that Butch Davis had offered a scholarship to his son Drew, a senior quarterback at East Chapel Hill High, without first consulting Thorp or athletics director Dick Baddour.

"Yesterday I honestly answered a specific question asked by a reporter about a scholarship offer to a prospective student-athlete," Thorp said in a university statement released Friday. "I am advised that acknowledging the scholarship offer was an NCAA Level II Secondary violation, which I regret. In accordance with NCAA policy the University has voluntarily reported this to the ACC."

According to NCAA bylaws, a secondary violation is one "that is isolated or inadvertent in nature, provides or is intended to provide only a minimal recruiting, competitive or other advantage and does not include any significant impermissible benefit (including, but not limited to, an extra benefit, recruiting inducement, preferential treatment or financial aid)."

Drew Davis hasn't received a scholarship offer from any other school. Thorp said during the interview Thursday that with all the controversy surrounding a football program facing NCAA allegations of nine major violations, it was important for everybody to work together.

Thorp said, though, that no one factor led to Davis' firing July 27.

At the time of the scholarship offer, Butch Davis was working under a contract worth an average of $2.2 million a year. An athletic scholarship at UNC for the 2011-12 school year is worth $16,879 for in-state students.

Butch Davis responded Thursday night with a statement that said he believed Thorp knew for some time about the recruitment of Drew Davis. Thorp didn't indicate he had any concerns, according to Davis' statement, until five days before Davis was fired.

Drew Davis completed 125 of 229 passes with 16 touchdown passes and seven interceptions in six games during an injury-shortened junior season last year.

ktysiac@charlotteobserver.com or 919-829-8942

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