Support Continues for Davis

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – University of North Carolina chancellor Holden Thorp reiterated his support for Butch Davis at a Board of Governors' committee meeting on Thursday morning, and the fourth-year UNC head coach responded later in the afternoon with praise directed back at the chancellor.

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BUTCH DAVIS
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** WRAL reported Thursday morning that Thorp told the UNC Board of Governors' Committee on University Governance that the school did not have any evidence to suggest that Davis knew about or took part in any of the issues that occurred in relation to the ongoing NCAA investigation. The chancellor then restated his support for Davis, saying, "He's our football coach."

Davis was asked about Thorp's comments during his media availability prior to Thursday afternoon's practice.

"We've had lots of conversations over this entire three-and-a-half months," Davis said. "I will tell you one thing – I think Holden Thorp has done a remarkable job. He and Dickie [Baddour], their cooperation with the NCAA, their willingness to turn over every stone and look at absolutely everything within the athletic department and the academic support program… I have tremendous confidence that they're doing a great job in what they're doing and I know that they have been extraordinarily supportive."

But there are still segments of the public and media that question whether or not Davis should have known what was taking place under his program's roof.

"Absolutely I wish I would have known," Davis said. "Who would have wanted to have gone through any of the things that this institution has gone through for the last couple of months? And we're going to do everything we can to ensure in the future that if there's anything like that, that hopefully we will know in the future.

"Obviously, there are some things – it's almost impossible to know the private lives of some individuals. It's just very difficult to know that. But I think the most important thing is that if you find things that haven't been done properly in any phase, you act on it. And that's basically what we have done throughout this entire review."

And while the university has received a severe black eye due to the ongoing NCAA investigation, Davis believes that the administration has handled the situation in the appropriate manner that alumni and fans should expect from the school.

"I think what this review is ultimately going to prove is that there are a lot of great things about the University of North Carolina – the academics, the willingness of this institution to go to the nth degree to make sure that they maintain the character and the integrity of this entire university and this program," Davis said. "I think that inside the program and inside the university with the powers that be, I think a lot of people knew a lot of the things, but the review had to run its course… There would have been no way that anybody could have ever said that we didn't fully cooperate and/or allow everything to be totally looked into."

Regardless of the result of any potential ruling by the NCAA, there will likely be some that will forever brand Davis with the wrongdoings that have occurred in Chapel Hill.

"I certainly hope not," Davis replied when asked about that possibility. "I know that I've taken a great deal of importance in my coaching career to do all of the right things. To emphasize graduation with the athletes, to recruit ethically, to have coaches on our coaching staff that are good people that care about kids and I all I can do is every day try to do the very best job that I possibly can.

"I really enjoy the University of North Carolina. I love working here. It's been a great situation and I'm looking forward to many more years in the future."

** It's been nearly two months since red-shirt junior Cam Holland moved up the depth chart to the starting center job in the days following the season-opening loss to LSU. That move allowed former starter Jonathan Cooper to join the rotation at guard with Alan Pelc and Travis Bond. So far, the results of Holland's ascension to starter have been positive.

"He's been very solid," Davis said. "Obviously, he got a chance to start an awful lot last year and I think that really helped his confidence to be able to know that he can go in and play…

"Cam is physically a strong person and he's very bright – one of the major criteria for any offensive center is that you've got to be a very smart person because you've got to set all of the protections, you've got to identify the fronts [and] you've got to start the communication along the line of scrimmage."

** While North Carolina fans have been working through the various scenarios that have to play out for the Tar Heels to earn an appearance in Charlotte for the ACC Championship Game, the same cannot be said for the UNC head coach.

"Lord no, I'm just trying to have a good practice on Thursday," Davis said.

** On the injury front, Davis spoke in generalities about the possibility of several players suiting up against Florida State that did not play against William & Mary, but he did provide some insight into the status of cornerbacks Mywan Jackson (groin) and Tre Boston (ankle), both of which were listed as "questionable" in the official injury report released Thursday evening.

"They're going to attempt to try to practice today," Davis said. "We'll evaluate what they're able to do and to what extent, but they've made some improvement. They've gotten better with some treatment and some time off."

Both players saw limited action in Tuesday and Wednesday's practices.

** Davis moved Thursday's practice into the Eddie Smith Indoor Facility, citing safety concerns related to the wet outdoor practice fields.


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