Friday, October 1, 2010

UNC Football – Tarmageddon: And So The Race Begins

Wanting to be sure he takes the early lead in the Butch Davis Resignation Stakes, Raleigh News & Observer senior columnist Caulton Tudor is calling for the resignation of UNC head coach Butch Davis.

According to Tudor, “Butch Davis should resign as North Carolina’s football coach. If that doesn’t happen – and soon – the school needs to dismiss Davis. In view of the revelations of the past several months, his removal from the job is the single most necessary step in the rehabilitation process for the school and the football program.

Tudor, for whom we generally have great admiration, proceeds to site a clause in Davis’ contract where Tudor believes “ample violations have occurred.” We say, good luck with that as 100 lawyers could argue the interpretation of each word 100 different ways. A tough out at best.

Tudor also wonders if it’s “reasonable to ask why Davis did not know more about Blake’s relationship with (NFL agent) Wichard?” On the surface, we suppose that makes sense. After all, Blake was Davis head recruiter so it seems logical that Davis would want to know everything about him. That said, if Blake was doing something he wasn’t supposed to be with Wichard, isn’t it natural to assume that Blake would go to great lengths to keep Davis from knowing about it?

Does the email go like this: Hey, boss, I’m bustin’ up some rules here with an NFL agent in California. Thought you should know. BTW, that kid from Tucumcari can flat fly, he’s a beast. Hey to the family. – JB

Really?

Here in our real world – horse racing – we have what is known as the “ultimate insurer” rule. Simply put, this means that the owner of a racehorse is ultimately responsible for everything about the horse. In addition, the owner is “ultimately responsible” for everything the trainer or groom does as well. People he has no direct control over, we might add.

However, the owner is not responsible for what the jockey does on his horse during a race. That is a separate area of jurisdiction with its own set of rules.

This makes perfect sense (a rarity for horse racing rules, we know), since the owner has no control over what the jockey does during the race which is conducted before lots of spectators. Point being – if the jockey (Blake) is going to cheat, or try to cheat, or, at the bare minimum, do something questionable, the last person he’s going to tell is the presiding stewards (the NCAA).

The next to last person likely to be in the loop is the ultimate insurer (Davis).

It’s too soon to roll out the guillotine. Better to try and clean up your mess, then end up like USC where the offending coach and players have moved on to handsomely compensated new jobs while the universities they tainted gets penalized.

The Suits In Kansas will bugger this up soon enough.

For now, let ‘em ride.

To read Tudor’s column, click here.

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