Friday, July 29, 2011

UNC Athletic Director Dick Baddour “Stepping Down”

BADDOUR (L) (Chuck Liddy/Raleigh News & Observer)
Yesterday when we said that Roy Williams and his UNC basketball program was all that was keeping North Carolina Athletic Director Dick Baddour from sharing a cab ride out of Chapel Hill with fired head football coach Butch Davis, we were kidding…sort of.

Evidently, the same thought occurred to Chancellor Holden Thorp as well.

Now, one  day after the school fired Davis amid an NCAA investigation into his program,  Baddour said Thursday he will step down after 14 years. In the final year of a three-year contract extension that expires in June, Baddour will stay until the school can hire a replacement who will select the next coach instead of inheriting a hire.

“It is my responsibility to do what is in the best interest of the program, and this is my decision,” Baddour said in a news conference to discuss Davis’ firing.

Chancellor Holden Thorp said Baddour will attend the school’s hearing before the NCAA infractions committee in October, then serve out his contract in another position once the school hires a replacement.

It was an unceremonious way for Baddour to announce his exit from the school where he started working in 1967 as assistant dean of men. He took over as athletic director in 1997 after John Swofford became ACC commissioner. Baddour successfully lured Roy Williams from Kansas back to Chapel Hill to take over the struggling men’s basketball program in 2003, while the Tar Heels won 13 national championships during his tenure.

(Robert Willett/Raleigh News & Observer)
Baddour’s tenure will end in upheaval like it started. Less than four months in, Hall of Fame coach Dean Smith retired as the winningest coach in Division I men’s basketball history. Two months later, Mack Brown left for Texas after guiding the football program to consecutive top-10 national finishes.

Baddour never stabilized the program after Brown’s departure. Carl Torbush and John Bunting combined to go 43-63 in the next nine seasons, while the once-praised hiring of Davis in 2006 ended even uglier.

To read more, click here.  

Dear Mr. Snyder

Haynesworth just moments before he ate his jersey and his mother.
(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Dear Mr. Snyder:

Congratulations on a compacted and productive express free agent period.

According to various published reports,  your Washington Redskins have actually made some quality free agent grabs which will make the team younger and better.

According to Yahoo! Sports, the skins have added Barry Cofield, Stephen Bowen,Josh Wilson, Donte Stallworth and Jabar Gaffney whom they describe as “what the Redskins have needed to do for years: ignore the glamour of big names while adding solid, anonymous pieces that make a decent team.

VINCE YOUNG (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
But more importantly you managed to shed Fat Albert Hayensworth and Donovan McNabb.  As usual, you were the consummate deal maker ridding yourself  of millions of dollars of salary dead weight in return for a chainsaw, a case of tape, two pairs of scissors, an old Belichick sweatshirt and a kicking tee.

The boys up in Minnesota kicked in the chainsaw on the McNabb deal. Evidently, they read the City Paper too and are following your lawsuit via Deadspin’s daily update/reminders.

Now, if we just had a real quarterback…Hey, we hear the Titan’s cut Vince Young…?

Your Loyal Fan

UNC Names Withers Interim Head Coach

(Photo by Robert Willett/News & Observer)
(AP)—North Carolina has promoted defensive coordinator Everett Withers to interim head coach.

The school announced the move in a statement Thursday night, one day after Butch Davis was fired amid an NCAA investigation into improper benefits and academic misconduct in the program.

Chancellor Holden Thorp says Withers “is the right person for our football program under these challenging circumstances.”

Withers is a Charlotte native who has been the Tar Heels’ defensive coordinator and secondary coach for three seasons.

The school says it will amend his contract for this season to reflect his new responsibilities, and will begin searching for another assistant to complete the staff.

The coaching upheaval comes roughly a week before the Tar Heels begin preseason practice.
To read more, click here.

Pictures Of The Day

Cleaning up a mess in Chapel Hill…literally, Evidently, good housekeeping for the Athletic Department at UNC begins win vacuuming the banner prior to the press conference announcing the departure of A.D. Dick Baddour.  (Photo by Robert Willet/Raleigh News & Observer)

WWKCS?  As in What Would Kurt Cobain Say?  Courtney Love attends the  horse races at Goodwood racecourse on July 28, 2011 in Chichester, England.  (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images Europe)
Anybody got a lawn mower?  Gerina Piller of the USA hits from the rough during the second round of the 2011 Ricoh Women's British Open at Carnoustie on July 29, 2011 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
NHRA funny car driver Bob Tasca III (near lane) races alongside Cruz Pedregon during qualifying for the Mile High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colorado.  (Photo by Mark J. Rebilas/US Presswire)
Cowboy Lee Graves of Calgary performs during steer wrestling slack elimination with an 8.3 second result at the 115th annual Fronteir Days in Cheyenne, Wyoming.  (Photo by William Mancebo/Cal Sport Media.)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

UNC Fires Butch Davis

Baddour, Davis and Thorp. (Ted Richardson/Raleigh News & Observer)
The head line reads “UNC-CH Fires Butch Davis To Restore Confidence In University.”


"To restore confidence in the University of North Carolina and our football program, it's time to make a change," Chancellor Holden Thorp said in a statement. "What started as a purely athletic issue has begun to chip away at this university's reputation."

Apparently, Holden and ever-more-looking-like-a-buffoon Athletic Director Dick Baddour don’t have a calendar.  The now 13-month old Tar Heel football scandal started last July and to insure that the program remains mostly irrelevant and consistently mediocre, the powers wake up five weeks prior to the opening game of the 2011-12 season and decide they can no longer live with the scandal.

Were it not for Roy Williams, Baddour, who has installed a revolving door in the head football coach’s office and who took much heat for botching both the hiring and firing of Matt Dougherty, would be sharing a cab with Davis.

Evidently…nine major violations is one too many.

The school has called a news conference for 11 a.m. today at the Friday Center in Chapel Hill. The school did not announce who will take over as interim coach in Davis' absence; the team begins practice Aug. 5. The Heels open with ACC-killer JMU on September 3 in Chapel Hill.

"I was honestly shocked to receive word that I will no longer be the head football coach at the University of North Carolina," Davis said in a statement late Wednesday. "I can honestly say that I leave with full confidence that I have done nothing wrong. I was the head coach and I realize the responsibility that comes with that role. But I was not personally involved in, nor aware of, any actions that prompted the NCAA investigation."

On Monday, in an article on, Davis said he never considered quitting.

 Davis, 59, had an overall record of 28-23 with three bowl appearances in four seasons, but he steered UNC into what he said earlier this week was the most serious issue the school has faced in decades. A school with a strong track record of rules compliance saw 14 players miss at least one game and seven sit out the entire 2010 season in connection with the NCAA investigation into impermissible benefits given to players and into academic misconduct.

Sources close to Baddour tell T.A.H. Mike Leach and Jim Tressel are unlikely candidates although the should-be-embattled A.D. refused to rule them out completely.

To read more, click here.

Related photo gallery from the Raleigh News & Observer, click here.

Meanwhile over in Raleigh, the Wolfpack got new unis...They look a lot like the old unis.  They're red and white. 
*Items in italics may not be true.

Tar Heels’ 2013 National Championship A Lock

The last two times, North Carolina’s men’s basketball team has played in the Maui Invitational they have gone on to win the NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball National Championship.

Make room for another banner.

Three-time champion North Carolina and first-time participant Butler headline the field for the 2012 EA Sports Maui Invitational.

The rest of the teams that will play in the championship round at the Lahaina Civic Center announced Wednesday are Illinois, Marquette, Mississippi State, Southern California, Texas and Division II Chaminade, the host school.

North Carolina won tournament in 1999, 2004 and 2008.  After their last two appearances, the Tar Heels went on to win the Big Dance.
Butler, the NCAA tournament runner-up the last two years, and Mississippi State will be appearing for the first time.

The four Division I teams that will participate in the opening and regional games of the 2012 Maui Invitational will be announced later.

The 2011 tournament will be Nov. 21-23 and features Duke, Georgetown, Kansas, Memphis, Michigan,Tennessee, UCLA and Chaminade.

Pictures Of The Day

UNC's Butch Davis talks to the media after the Bill Dooley Triangle/East Chapter Pigskin Preview Thursday July 21, 2011, at the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club in Durham, N.C.  (Photo by Ethan Hyman/Raleigh News & Observer)
Jean-Piere Guillambert rides Red Gulch to win the Poker At bet365 Stakes at Goodwood Racecourse in Chichester, England.  (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
“You just ride your silly bicycle skinny boy, while we sit here and drink and get old talking about speed skating, cheese, tulips and those insanely uncomfortable wooden shoes.”  A couple locals watch cyclist pass by during the Criterium of Stiphout in southern Netherlands two days after the Excursion de Tricheurs de France.  (Photo by Robin Van Lonkhuusen/Landov/EPA)
No longer “reserved:” Butch Davis' parking spot sits empty at the football center as the sun sets (in more ways than one.) (Photo by John Rottet/Raleigh News & Observer)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Riddle Report: Former Elon Record-Setting QB Lands Tryout With Jaguars

(Prophoto2008 via Flickr
Ramseur NC native, lifetime family friend and neighbor of T.A.H. Pop Culture Editor Young A.T. and the all-time leading passer in the history of Elon and Southern Conference football, quarterback Scott Riddle has agreed to sign a contract with the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars.  Riddle was on a plane earlier this morning headed to training camp.

Riddle, who was a first-team all-league selection by the SoCon's coaches in 2010, capped a stellar career by throwing for 3,231 yards on 274 completions in 10 games.

Riddle tossed 28 touchdown passes to lead the league. By leading the SoCon in passing yards as a senior, Riddle became the first quarterback in the storied history of the SoCon to lead the league in passing for four consecutive seasons. He also topped the league in pass efficiency (154.5) and total offense (318.8 yards per game).

Twice on the season Riddle threw for over 400 yards, including a 452-yard, five-touchdown performance in the season-ending win over Western Carolina. Riddle ended the year having thrown a touchdown pass in 22 consecutive games, surpassing his own mark of 21 set early in his career. Riddle finished 13th in the voting for the 2010 Walter Payton Award and was named to Phil Steele's 2010 FCS All-American Team.

Riddle ranks fifth all-time at the FCS level with 13,264 career passing yards. In his four years Riddle completed 1,168 passes in 1,779 attempts, a completion percentage of 65.65 percent. In his four seasons, Riddle threw a SoCon-record 105 touchdown passes and passed for 200+ yards 40 times, 300+ yards 23 times and 400+ yards three times. He tossed at least one TD in 44 of his 45 career outings.

"Jacksonville was the first team to call and showed a lot of interest," said Riddle. "I've had great coaching throughout my career to prepare me and I think I've developed a lot over the last four years. This opportunity is a blessing and I'm very grateful for this chance. The situation in Jacksonville is a good one for me…Hopefully I can compete for a spot on the roster." 

Noles Media Picks To Win ACC, Lawyer Clark Giddy

In voting results announced Monday, Florida State and Virginia Tech were the preseason picks to meet in the ACC title game, with the Seminoles favored to win their first league title since 2005.

It’s the third straight year Florida State and the Hokies were picked to win their divisions, following a vote of 71 media members in attendance. The Seminoles—who were selected first overall on 50 ballots, with 18 votes going to the Hokies—return 17 starters from last year’s team.

That group beat rival Florida, used a late three-game winning streak to claim a spot in the ACC title game and closed out a 10-4 season by beating South Carolina in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

 Florida State  has won or shared 12 ACC titles under Bobby Bowden in the two decades since joining the conference.  

“I’d vote for them too,” Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer said.

Florida State was the overwhelming pick to win the Atlantic Division with 65 first-place votes. Four went to Clemson and two went to Boston College. The Hokies were voted first in the Coastal on 66 ballots, with Miami receiving four first-place votes and Georgia Tech receiving one.

Virginia Tech beat Florida State 44-33 last year to claim its third ACC title since 2007 and fourth since joining the conference in 2004. The Hokies and Seminoles have been the preseason picks to win their divisions in five of the seven years since the ACC split into divisions in 2005.

BC running back Montel Harris is the preseason player of the year with 26 votes, with Manuel receiving 14 and Boston College teammate Luke Kuechly receiving 12. Harris enters his final season with 3,600 yards rushing—the most by any ACC player after his junior year—and is 1,002 yards shy of Ted Brown’s 33-year-old ACC career record.

The bottoms of the divisions have a familiar look, too.

Duke, picked to finish last in the Coastal, has been a preseason pick to finish last either in its division or overall every year from 2000-09.

Pictures Of The Day

Larry Center competes in bareback riding during the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo in Cheyenne, Wyoming.  Larry does not appear to be enjoying his ride. (Photo by Andrew Carpenean/U.S. Presswire)
Carl Edwards celebrates winnin the Federated Auto Parts 300 at the Nashville Superspeedway by doing a back flip from his car.  He was uninjured.  (Photo by Walter G. Arce/ASP/Cal Sport Media)
In the file titled "Poorly Disguised Rules Infraction:" Edmonton Eskinos’ Jykine Bradley is called for pass interference against Calgary Stampeders’ Romby Bryant during the second half of their Canadian Football League game in Calgary.  (Photo by Mike Sturk/Reuters)
 The peleton rounds the top of the Champs Elysees with the Arc de Triumphe in the background during the final stage of the Excursion De Tricheurs De France from Creteil to Paris.  (Photo by Mike Powell/Sports Illustrated)

Answer: Because they can!  Inidan stuntmen perform in the “Well of Death” set up at a fiar in Srinagar, India.  (Photo by Farooq Khan/EPA)

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