Clearly we underestimated the value of two straight Meineke Car Care Bowls. But Butch Davis is something of a hero in Chapel Hill, where he took the Tar Heels from mediocrity to ACC Success, which we remind you is not the same as actual success.
But glory is relative, and the Butch Davis era will be seen as a high water mark — at least to the rats trying to leave the sinking ship. A group of donors to Kenan Stadium's new "Blue Zone" addition are threatening legal action seeking refunds of their donations, because they claim they committed to the project only because they were told Davis would remain head coach. Now that he's out, they want out too.
The Blue Zone's a big deal for the program. With 3000 new seats, including 20 suites, it would go a long way toward making Kenan Stadium look the part of a big-time program's home. To say nothing of the money, of course — upon Davis's arrival in 2007, the university committed to increased funding for the football program. So UNC wants to play at the top, and the tutoring and agent scandals just come with the territory.
Sadly, so does booting Davis. Despite having overwhelming support from the university community, Davis had to be sacrificed to save the school from a penalty so severe it would undo all the recent strides made. That's a lesson UNC learned from Ohio State: someone's got to take the fall.
So now we've got UNC boosters enlisting the (pro bono) help of UNC alumni attorneys to file a public records request against UNC's chancellor. Checkbooks are swinging their weight, lawyers are involved, and the threat of NCAA sanctions still loom. Sounds like UNC's arrived as a big-time program after all.d