Davis remains quiet yet optimistic
GREENSBORO--- Head coach Butch Davis continued to provide few details into the NCAA's inquiry into North Carolina's football program at Monday's second day of the Atlantic Coast Conference's annual Media Days.
The fourth-year UNC head coach, following the advice of NCAA officials conducting the review, deferred all questions regarding the situation and avoided speculating.
"First off, I think the most prudent thing that I could probably say is that I know there's a lot of people that would like to ask an awful lot of questions about the NCAA review, and as a have redundantly said throughout the course of today, there's just no way that I can comment right now," he said.
"The NCAA said that one of the fastest ways to get this process to happen as quickly as possible is for as few things to have no comment in the newspapers---so they've asked us not to talk---so unfortunately I'm not going to be able to answer a lot of those questions."
"The other thing that probably falls into the same category is that speculative questions, right now it's very difficult," Davis continued.
Davis simply wasn't willing to reveal whether he feels Marvin Austin or any other Tar Heel player will be facing suspensions at the conclusion of the NCAA's inquiry.
He compared hypothetical questions like asking about eligibility of certain players to asking whether a player will be out with injury or any other reason prior to the start of the season.
"Who knows? I don't have a crystal ball and I can't tell you what the future holds," he said. "It's like asking any of the other 11 head coaches, 'Well what would happen if Christian Ponder breaks his leg playing sand volleyball this weekend?'"
"I can't tell you today what the weather is going to be like for any of our games," Davis added. "Are we going to play in a driving rain storm? Is there going to be sleet? Are we going to get bad officiating calls?"
Pretty much the only substantial thing related to the investigation that Davis would talk about was his firm belief not only that the University has fully cooperated with the NCAA, but also that the players were instructed to be forthcoming and truthful to the investigators.
"I do know that our institution has done absolutely everything that they can from a compliance standpoint," he said. "We've cooperated with the NCAA. The feedback that we got from them was the more cooperative, the more help that you can provide, the faster that these things move along."
"The only thing that I will tell you, the only instruction that we gave the players was to tell the truth," Davis added. "That's the only smart, rational instructions that you can tell anybody is to just tell the truth. We told our players---that's what we told them."
At this point Davis, the rest of the UNC program and its legions of fans are all just waiting to see what will come of the situation.
"Right now the ball, certainly it's in their (the NCAA's) court," he said. "They've done their role. We've done our role. And now we just wait until further notice."
"I don't know how it's progressing at any other schools around the country and whether we're the first (to be reviewed by the NCAA) and somebody else is going to be the tenth, I can't tell you."
Having coached for many years at a school like Miami that was constantly on the NCAA's radar for various reasons, this isn't exactly Davis's first time down this road.
"I've gone through similar types of situations at the University of Miami. This is not the first situation where I have seen similar types of things," he said. "There's been other things around the country that you can see how things have unfolded, and you just try to make the best decision given the facts that you're going to be given."
"I know if you're going 1-11, you probably don't have many agent issues," he added.
Davis was given widespread praise for helping clean up Miami's image during his time as head coach from 1995 to 2000, and while this newest situation may certainly tarnish his reputation a little bit with some, he's not worried about that element.
"You know what? All I can do is do the best you can with the players," he added. "We'll start again in two weeks and we'll start educating the kids about ways to make good decisions on and off the field."
He's optimistic that this whole thing won't derail one of the more promising football seasons in recent memory in Chapel Hill, and in the end the program will actually better itself by becoming more aware of problem areas and better educating the players about avoiding risky situations.
"No. I don't think so (that it will derail the season)," he said. "They are instances that happen and we will deal with these things, and I think we will be a better program because of them."
"I think we'll learn some things about this world that's out there---that maybe we were somewhat naïve or maybe not as educated or maybe didn't know as much about---and I think we'll be a lot better football program because of it."
"The one thing I can tell you is that there's no single person, including every single person at this table and me included, that doesn't make a mistake," Davis continued.
"People make mistakes, and you learn from them and you use those mistakes to help educate the guys that haven't made mistakes---the new incoming freshmen. You love them, and you just keep moving on."