INDIANAPOLIS -- When new Tampa Bay Buccaneers and former Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano took the main podium during Thursday's media portion of the scouting combine, he knew he was going to answer questions about his hire of "special assistant" Butch Davis, who had Schiano on his staff with the Miami Hurricanes, and whose last coaching position with North Carolina brought forth a new definition of the NCAA's favorite phrase: "Lack of institutional control."
Davis' title was of particular interest because while one assumes that he'll be performing specific coaching-related duties, especially as it applies to defense, the non-coaching title was an interesting workaround that would ostensibly allow Davis to keep the $2.7 million severance package he received from North Carolina after he was fired in 2011. Had Davis been hired as a coach, the annuity would have dried up much sooner, as any income he received from coaching would offset those payments. So ... will Davis be doing any coaching-related things? Will somebody get to audit that? That's a facetious question, because how on earth could anybody keep track of something like that? Lucky for Butch, nobody really can.
When Schiano discussed the construction of his coaching staff, he used some interesting verbiage, which we've highlighted for your convenience.
"When I left the NFL in 1998, it was kind of an unspoken rule that if you moved with advancement, you could move from club to club. I also understand that the league has restrictions, with all the half-baked titles and all that stuff. So, it was difficult with these guys that I came up in the business with, and wanted to have on my staff, but wasn't able to do that because of contractual obligations. That's understood. So then, we moved to different people, people that I thought were equally qualified, but maybe that I had not worked with before, or guys that I didn't know quite as well. But I'm really excited.
"We're not going to rush, I've always said that I'd rather be a month late in hiring a staff than a day early, I want to make sure that the chemistry is a fit, and the people have the same core values that I do, and the same core values that the organization has. You save a lot of time if you can do it on the front end. I've been spending time almost exclusively on that, because it's so important. Leadership is everything, and your coaching staff needs to be that leadership."
Well, we're not sure if we'd want to throw "core values" out there in this case, for reasons already documented. Leadership? Well, that's a relative term in this case.
More Schiano, on the process of the Davis hire:
"I couldn't -- like most of the candidates that were interviewing for other jobs -- just pick up the phone and say, 'Hey Butch, if I get this thing, do you want to come.' As much as I trust Butch, I don't want to tell anybody, because we had the best recruiting class we've ever had at Rutgers and I wasn't about to jeopardize that for a job I didn't know I was going to get. So why do you go down that path?
"This time, every step of the way, although I was sad about leaving my players, that was the toughest thing, it felt right. And when I called Butch the day I accepted the job, we just kind of batted around some ideas. He had a trip planned, so we took three days where we didn't speak and then we got back on the phone and just kind of worked through it and what I wanted was someone who could help the head coach be a head coach, someone who had done what I was trying to do, and that's go from Division I college football to the National Football League and learn some of the good things that Butch did when he did it, some of the things he wishes he could have changed, just trying to eliminate as many mistakes as we can. I'm going to make mistakes; we're going to make mistakes. That's life. But try to eliminate some of them."
So, basically, Davis is there as a coaching consultant. Not a coach. Alrighty then.