11/15/10 — Coggins: Flames beginning to lick higher on Davis' hotseat

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Coggins: Flames beginning to lick higher on Davis' hotseat

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on November 15, 2010 1:47 PM

Those "I support Butch" T-shirts worn by North Carolina students during home football games should be auctioned off on ebay. The money might be needed to help lure a new football coach to Chapel Hill.

The temperature on Butch Davis' hotseat got a little warmer after a disastrous second-half performance against Virginia Tech.

The Tar Heels are beyond snake-bitten.

They haven't recovered from the NCAA probe that rocked the football program just days before the season opener against LSU in Atlanta. The players involved have been punished, but the university's once-pristine image has been tarnished.

The school's integrity has been compromised. A black cloud looms over the athletic program, which prides itself on academic excellence.

A cancer survivor, Davis took the job at UNC with good intentions of improving the program's academic standards and putting a better product on the football field each Saturday afternoon. He's done both in admirable fashion and has drawn rave reviews among his coaching brethren.

Administrators continue to voice their support for Davis, who has humbly and publicly apologized on numerous occasions for the trouble the football program has caused the university. Television commentators and reporters have chastised Davis, saying that he should be held accountable for the players' actions.

Unfortunately, they're right. Davis is going to held accountable for the actions of irresponsible football players who can't grow up and realize their decisions have consequences beyond themselves. Davis will become the fall guy because the blame has to lie somewhere and it's going to land on his broad shoulders.

Even if the Heels become bowl eligible and conclude the season with back-to-back victories over in-state rivals N.C. State and Duke, it might not be enough to save Davis' job.

That doesn't sound fair, does it?

But, it's the reality in the college football world these days.

A coach's price tag is no longer based on the number of players who receive an education and graduate from his program. It's based on wins, losses, bowl games and how many players get drafted in the NFL.

UNC has paid a costly price.

Will Davis?