I REALLY recommend one takes time to read the comments to this column. There are MANY but they tell a tale and probably answer YOUR question ....
UPDATES BELOW IN THIS COLOR ....
July 28: I attended Scotty & The Idols last night at The RBC Center. I’m sure you all want to read all about the concert ..... What? You mean something ELSE happened yesterday ?? OK, we'll talk about Scotty later.
It was a pretty normal Wednesday until Albert called about 4:20. "Hey BobLee, I just heard a rumor ...." Then a local radio station called. Then my iPhone lit up like a Christmas tree. Then my email went nutz.
At 5:27 a local sportswriter pal emailed me. His six words were classic:
“Thelma just went over the cliff.”
UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp Fired Butch Davis late Wednesday afternoon.
UPDATE AFTER THURS PRESS CONF ...
I attended the presser and have watched the video twice. Realizing that my original thought process at 2:00 this morning was INCREDIBLY ON POINT. I do not retract or modify a single syllable. I totally nailed it.
Am I really as incredibly intuitive as I would like to be? Apparently so.
Neither Thorp nor Baddour are ex-jocks or physically intimidating to say the least. "Doogie & Prince Tassel Loafer" for Heaven's sake. That physical presence hurts both in a presser on sports stuff. That said, I thought Holden was especially effective and Dickie was "better than he often has been". Many of you will disagree. That's OK.
That Dickie "gave notice" is not a really big deal but will delight many UNCers who blame him for "pretty much everything". If he had just dropped that "ie" 40 years ago and become "Dick" I think that woulda helped a lot but too late for that now. My bet is the next AD will be an outsider. I know the current staff candidate and to a man they lack "gravitas" not that Dickie ever had any. I'll have a short list shortly. No one with a first name "Mack" or last name "Brown" will be on it.
The Butch "buy-out" is no big deal in a big picture view. $$$ figures affect each person based on their personal concept of "a lot of $$$". $2M is "a lot" to me but I'm not paying it so it doesn't affect me at all.
As to the TIMING of the firing .... I have explained that in as simple terms as I can. My explanation is 100% correct .... but you are free NOT to believe it. At the end of the day ..... what you believe only matters to YOU. The convening of the new BOT is 100% Why Now. But The Mayan Calendar was going to be my 2nd explanation if I had been unsure on my actual reason.
No word yet on the Interim HC but I have cast my vote for Kenny Browning as have at least a few others. If Kenny does get it I am claiming full credit just so you know.
Why was the presser held at The Friday Center? I asked three people. They didn't know. It is a pretty building with lots of open parking and a big portrait of Kindly Ol' Bill in the lobby.
Gotta go walk and reisten. Love the comments so far even the ones that are totally wacked.
Oh .... those total lunatics who are threatening Holden Thorp with bodily harm (and worse) are a disgrace to the human race. Go throw your miserable selves off a high bridge by 5PM today.
I’m just going to cover the basics in this column. I plan on being at the 11AM press conference. Meanwhile the following oughta cause some cussin' and fussin' and maybe even a few fist fights.
Q: Why now?
A: Simple. Yesterday was the first meeting of the NEW UNC BOT without BOTBob Winston as chair. It did not have anything to do with The Mayan Calendar despite what you may read on a monkey board.
BOTBob’s tenure on the BOT expired after the last meeting. Wade Hargrove is the new BOT Chair effective yesterday. As reported here for the past 11 months.... BOTBob was one of the Infamous BOT3 that hired Butch and served as his human shield when the Fit Hit The Shan a year ago. ..... For Chancellor Thorp to publicly go against his board, chaired by Winston, was virtual suicide. The BOT3 would have/did block all earlier moves to oust Davis.
Factoring that into the equation explains the rest of the bumbling broadbrush cover-up including the tutor crap. The BOT3 stonewalled "the Truth". The Sgt Schultz Gambit had to keep expanding to cover anything that percolated to the top of the septic field. .... and all The BOT3 ever wanted was "Bragging Rights".... sigh, sob, sniff.
Q: Did I know this was coming down?
A: I could get all froggy and claim “Yes. I was on the inside all along”; but no, I wasn’t. I knew something was in the works and it was based on the new BOT; but I was blindsided just like you.
Q: Was this just done to placate the NCAA?
A: No, it was done to placate ME. Silly wabbit. As noted above, the timing was 100% due to the new Brd of Trustees taking office yesterday.
Q: Is my support of the much maligned Chancellor now justified?
A: “Justified” ? I have been resolute in my support of Holden Thorp. I knew he was under INTENSE PRESSURE to cave to the BOT3. As I stated in a recent column Bureaucracies are very nasty swamps to get caught in. Very nasty indeed.
Q: What happens immediately?
A: An interim head coach will be named at the Thurs AM presser. My vote goes to Kenny Browning who is the only current staffer with a solid unblemished reputation. Sam Pittman is linked to Blake and Shoop, et al all are seen as “Butch’s Guys”. Regardless it’s going to be a crazy Fall “amid Kenan’s lofty pines” for sure.
Q: What about the players’ support for Davis blah blah?
A: YAWN ..... players always “support good ol’coach”. That’s how Dickie chose Carl Torbush. KLUNK! Remember the pissed off posse supporting Matt Doherty. Do not allow semi-literate 18 y/os to make critical decisions for a multi-multi-million dollar operation. School hasn’t started. Any whiners who want to transfer let’em go but don’t waive the sit-out year.
Line the entire team up on Kenan’s 1-yard line at noon Thursday. Ask all who support the interim coaching situation to “step across the goal line”. Any who hesitate – clean out their locker.
Q: Will there be an alumni/fan "backlash”?
A: ABSOLUTELY. The bugged-eyed bottom-feeding board monkeys are in full warpaint and screaming in unknown tongues. They were counting on Butch taking them to some mythical BCS Promised Land. Somehow that would vicariously vindicate their otherwise empty lives. .... There will be an uproar from a cabal of old fat cat farts drunk on blue Kool-Aid who believed Butch “just because”. NOTE: To one nasty old coot in Greensboro who threatened a friend of mine for “being a friend of BobLee”. Hey nasty old coot – EAT A BUG. ..... Chancellor Thorp is certain to receive a LOT of very scary hate mail. So will I but not anything like Holden will. His new enemies are quite nasty. This ginned-up bunch of pissed-off loonies will threaten all sorts of recrimination.
Wal-Mart won't sell so many cheap UNC caps this Fall.
Q: How will the blood thirsty ABC lynch mob react?
A: That gang of machete-wielding nutjobs won’t be satisfied until Kenan Stadium AND The Dean Dome are torn down and the land they are on “salted”. To their twisted minds “This proves everything and everyone associated with UNC is dirtier than Marvin Austin’s toejam.”
Look for them to immediately demand Roy and Mike Fox be gutted and their entrails dumped in The Old Well. Don’t try to make sense of that or them.
Q: What about all that End Zone fru fru ?
A: "In Xanadu did Kubla Khan a stately pleasure dome decree .....
...... And all who heard should see them there,
and all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread,
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise."
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Q: What about Dickie ..... and the search for a New Coach?
A: Dickie likely extends as AD thru the new search out of necessity. Will he head up the search? Maybe “officially” but certainly not in reality. Could UNC simply repeat the BOT3 Disaster? Yes, that is possible but I don’t think so. Chanc Thorp will be VERY careful with this situation. There ARE Good Men & True among UNC leadership.
I see the new coach being a Dudley Do-Right High Character Guy. They are rarer than white running backs in Big Time College Football but they do exist. Way too early to speculate.
What about Mack Brown rumors? Oh Puleeze!
What about BobLee heading the search committee? Oh Puleeze! But lets get that rumor started and see how many heads explode !
Operation Kenan Klean-up Has Begun
Hark The Sound!
Check back for updates over the next few days.
Hang on Sloopy!
PS: The Scotty & The Idols Concert was very very cool. The last concert I attended in person was when I worked security for Paul McCartney & Wings – before Scotty was born. ..... and I've started Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy. Love it so far. Oh, and The Cobra has a kick-butt surprise ending.