Davis releases video in effort to clear his name

Butch tries to clear his name

acarter@newsobserver.comNovember 16, 2011 

Months after being fired amid an NCAA investigation into impermissible benefits and academic fraud within the North Carolina football program, former Tar Heels coach Butch Davis on Tuesday continued his attempts to clear his name and distance himself from the scandal.

Davis appeared in a YouTube video that was posted on Tuesday - the same day in which the News & Observer published a piece he wrote for the opinion page of the newspaper. In both his editorial and video, Davis defended his character and reiterated his belief that he didn't deserve to be fired.

"I am absolutely committed to (running) a clean program," Davis said in the video, in which he appears wearing a dark blazer, a crisp white shirt and tie.

As he did in his newspaper piece, Davis spent much of the 9-minute, 25-second video promoting his educational values. He also addressed several other issues, including:

His relationship with John Blake, the former UNC assistant coach who was found to have a close relationship with a sports agent.

The rash of on-campus parking tickets that UNC football players received during Davis' tenure.

His reluctance to release to the public his cell phone records, which could help to further vindicate him.

Davis blamed the parking tickets on a lack of available parking spaces for his players.

"The area where the players normally parked for practice was under construction," he said. "And the courtesy of not issuing parking tickets for the students attending practice had been eliminated. So over the course of three-and-a-half years, 11 players accumulated 395 parking tickets.

"Yes, they should have paid them as they received them. No, they didn't."

Still, Davis said the players "put their account in order" when notified of their outstanding balances.

Davis downplayed his relationship with Blake and said he wasn't aware of Blake's ties to Gary Wichard, a prominent NFL agent who died in March.

In his YouTube video Davis also blamed UNC's athletics academic support staff for failing to instruct Jennifer Wiley, a former tutor who played a central role in the academic fraud case, not to help athletes.

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