More than six months after North Carolina fired Butch Davis amid a multi-pronged NCAA investigation, Davis is back on a football coaching staff.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced Monday that Davis has joined their staff as a "special assistant to the head coach." Davis, according to the NFL team, will "assist and advise" first-year coach Greg Schiano "in a wide range of football aspects."
Because he's joining the Buccaneers as a consultant, Davis still is eligible to receive what UNC agreed to pay him as part of his buyout, according to his lawyer. University spokesman Steve Kirschner said Monday evening he did not have any details on whether Davis' new job would have an impact on his settlement. UNC has paid Davis $1,203,917 as part of his buyout.
After a tumultuous 2010 season that was marked by NCAA investigations into impermissible benefits and academic fraud, UNC fired Davis last July, just before practice was to begin. Davis was not named in the NCAA's Notice of Allegations, which was delivered to UNC on June 21, 2011.
UNC officials appeared in Indianapolis in front of the NCAA's Committee on Infractions on Oct. 28. The university still is waiting for the NCAA's final ruling.
The school owes Davis an additional $1.77 million, to be paid in three $590,000 installments. Davis is to receive the first of those payments by Jan. 15, 2013, and one each on the same date through 2015.
If he accepts a coaching position between now and Jan. 15, 2013, his buyout would be affected and he'd receive a prorated amount depending upon when he accepted a given coaching position, according to Jonathan Sasser, one of Davis' lawyers.
Sasser said Monday that Davis accepted an advisory job with the Buccaneers not because he wanted to remain eligible to receive his buyout money from UNC but because the job with the Buccaneers represented the best opportunity for him to transition back into football.
Plus, Sasser said, Davis "doesn't want to disrupt the staff in Tampa Bay should he decide to leave." It's feasible Davis could accept a coaching job before January 2013, Sasser said.
In Tampa, Fla., Davis will be reunited with Schiano. When he was the coach at Miami, Davis hired Schiano as the Hurricanes' defensive coordinator in 1999. In a statement released by the Buccaneers, Schiano described Davis as "a close friend and mentor."
"I am excited to have his extensive football background and knowledge on board," Schiano said. "He has had success on every level, and I know he will be a huge asset, not only to me, but to the entire Buccaneers organization."
In the same statement, Davis described joining the Buccaneers' staff as a "terrific opportunity."
"It is an honor to be here to help Greg and the Buccaneers in any way I can," he said.