Headlinin’: North Carolina makes Everett Withers the new boss, for now

Making the morning rounds.

Here are the keys to your new office. (p.s. We're going to need those back.) As expected, North Carolina stayed in-house by promoting defensive coordinator Everett Withers to interim head coach in the wake of the sudden ouster of Butch Davis earlier this week. Withers has never been a head coach, and once oversaw the worst statistical defense in Big Ten history in his only year at Minnesota (2007). On the bright side, he's a North Carolina native (Charlotte), has years of NFL experience with the Tennessee Titans, has overseen some quite good defenses at UNC and offers some semblance of continuity amid total chaos as the season approaches.

Whatever happens in the meantime, you can still expect a thorough house-cleaning that purges the Tar Heels of all traces of the Butch Davis era at season's end.[Associated Press, Charlotte Observer]

Speaking of chaos… Earlier on Thursday, Carolina also announced the pending "retirement" of longtime athletic director Dick Baddour, who will stay on long enough to help guide the department through the ongoing NCAA investigation into the football program and give his eventual replacement a clean slate. [Charlotte Observer]

Here's the story of a Hurricane. A day after confirming the departure of one formerly touted quarterback, Tulsa welcomed the arrival of another: Nebraska transfer Cody Green, who chose the Golden Hurricane after flirtations with Boise State, USC and Baylor, among others. Green started five games in two years and played significantly at Nebraska as a backup — just significantly enough to know he was unlikely to overtake former classmate Taylor Martinez for the full-time job over the next two years. He'll sit out this season and lead the bidding to replace current starter G.J. Kinne in 2012. [Tulsa World]

Don't burn that redshirt! Alabama receiver Darius Hanks, a fifth-year senior with 20 starts and 49 receptions over the last two years, will sit out the Crimson Tide's first two games in September to preserve his final season of eligibility. Why? Because Hanks appeared in one game as a true freshman in 2007, hauling in one pass for six yards in a 52-6 win over Western Carolina. Accordingly, his fifth season required a waiver from the NCAA, which apparently attached the two-game breather to offset Hanks' contribution to that hard-earned victory four years ago.{YSP:MORE}

On the bright side, Hanks' absence means the young 'uns will be able to get a little more work in against Kent State and Penn State. [al.com, TideSports.com]

Nothing to see here. LSU, on the other hand, likely will enjoy the presence of wide receiver Russell Shepard in its season opener against Oregon, according to coach Les Miles, who said he's confident Shepard won't miss any time to an ongoing eligibility scare. According to multiple reports, LSU is investigating an off-campus housing arrangement between Shepard and his girlfriend — an employee of the athletic department — that could lead to a short-term suspension.

"There have been communications that would make it appear that it's not very, very serious," Miles told reporters after addressing the Baton Rouge Rotary Club. "Oh, he's fine. No, he won't have to sit out. He'll come to practice. We wouldn't expect there to be any issues there." [Shreveport Times]

The bros are back in town. Continuing our tour of SEC suspensions, South Carolina is expected to reinstate its suspended quarterback and its suspended quarterbacks coach in time to begin preseason practices next week. Starting QB Stephen Garcia has remained on ice since an apparently alcohol-related incident in April — at least his fifth in four years since enrolling at USC in 2007 — put his status in jeopardy; his position coach, G.A. Mangus, was put on indefinite suspension earlier this week after being arrested for "nuisance conduct," specifically public urination at 1:31 a.m. on a Tuesday morning. [Charleston Post & Courier]

Quickly… Georgia may lose a backup linebacker to shoulder surgery. … Chip Kelly says his "conscience is clear" about his relationship with Willie Lyles. … Bo Pelini would like to make freshmen ineligible. ... Cal's home date with USC could be affected by the World Series, if the Giants get that far. … A 2012 All-Name Team selection commits to Auburn. … Scott Frost on the importance of building a solid offensive identity. … And Joe Posnanski articulates my longstanding qualms about paying college players better than I ever have.

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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.

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