No matter how sunny the days are in this quaint college town in the next three months, a black cloud will hover over North Carolina's football team all season. A second year of turmoil is under way. Two investigations into the program last year affected 16 players and led to the dismissal of John Blake as associate coach and charges by the NCAA of nine major rules violations. Coach Butch Davis was fired in late July, only eight days before the start of practice. The team is now in the hands of interim coach Everett Withers, who was promoted from defensive coordinator. And on Oct. 28, the day before a home game against Wake Forest, UNC school and athletics officials, and possibly Davis, will be in Indianapolis to appear before the NCAA infractions committee to plead for leniency. Welcome to the 2011 season, fellows. Now go out and win 12 games and the ACC championship, beat N.C. State for the first time in five years and secure a spot in a BCS bowl.
Tar Heels are facing 2nd year of turmoil
The Winston-Salem Journal
Saturday, Bryn Renner will step under center and get his first career start, trying to build on a career stat line that currently reads 1-for-2 for 14 yards.
The redshirt sophomore saw action in three games last season but didn't get a chance to compete much as T.J. Yates ran the show for the fourth straight season.
Inexperienced Renner not alone in starting QB role
The Daily Tar Heel
If new North Carolina starter Bryn Renner throws a 60-yard touchdown pass this season, he promises to keep his reaction low-key.
Really. OK, probably.
Well, he will try.
Energetic QB learns role
The Charlotte Observer
With an excellent opportunity to start the football season 6-1 or possibly 7-0, let's say Everett Withers completes his interim head coaching season at North Carolina with nine or more wins.
Keep in mind that Butch Davis, in four seasons, never finished better than 8-5 overall or 4-4 in the ACC.
If UNC excels, does Withers stay?
The Charlotte Observer
Coming off a controversial season, the University of North Carolina Tar Heels have lost 24 senior football players, nine of which were drafted to play in the NFL.
The biggest loss is the firing of head coach Butch Davis. In his four-year tenure at UNC, Davis tallied a record of 28-23. While that is not the best record, Davis was able to bring together a team broken by suspensions and pull out a comeback win at the Music City Bowl against the University of Tennessee Volunteers last year, according to ESPN.
Zeroing in on the Tar Heels
The JMU Breeze