While many continue to scratch their heads over the timing of the firing of North Carolina coach Butch Davis, several UNC boosters are doing something about it.
Several football supporters, who are providing ample funds to UNC's Kenan Stadium "Blue Zone" project, are seeking possible legal action against chancellor Holden Thorp and the school because of the odd timing of Davis' firing.
Don Brown, one of five attorneys representing the group, said he plans to file a public information request as early as today asking for all correspondence — including emails, text messages, letters and voice recordings — between the Chancellor and various University officials.
The issue, according to Brown: Why was Butch Davis fired just nine days before fall practice, and after repeated public statements over the past year supporting Davis as UNC's head coach?
"I can tell you, everybody that we represent is furious about the timing of Butch Davis' firing,'' Brown, whose Brown & Associates firm is based in Charlotte, said during a phone interview this morning. "They feel like their investment was based on Butch Davis being the head coach … and the public reassurances over the past year that he would remain the coach. … They want answers."
Brown and the other four lawyers are all UNC graduates and have taken on the case pro bono, Brown said. The group they represent wants to remain anonymous at this point, he said, but includes donors of differing financial contributions.
While an actual lawsuit has yet to be filed, this is just another distraction for the Tar Heels, who are in the midst of preparing for their season opener against James Madison. And really, it's just another black eye for a program that's awaiting its Oct. 28 meeting with the NCAA's Committee on Infractions. At that point, the university will get to discuss and dispute the nine major violations, which included impermissible benefits and academic improprieties, levied against it and will no doubt face major penalties from the governing body.
But what's really interesting about this potential lawsuit is that Thorp said he fired Davis because the scandal was damaging the academic credibility of the university. However, now Thorp's actions stand to damage the monetary side of it as well.
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Graham Watson is on Twitter: Follow her @Yahoo_Graham.
- Butch Davis
- Holden Thorp