The attention is warranted. It’s pretty unprecedented for a college coach, responsible for supposed amateur athletes, to be on the payroll of both a university and a professional sports agent.
But far more damaging to the reputations of Davis and the university are allegations regarding tutor Jennifer Wiley, whom the head football coach once personally employed.
The NCAA report alleges that Wiley paid off $1,789 in parking tickets for one UNC football player, bought a $150 airline ticket for a player and provided 142 free hours of tutoring to nine football players.
Wiley appears to have provided these impermissible perks while in Davis’ personal employ tutoring his son. The help came after she was let go by the university’s sanctioned tutoring program. Oh, and she did all this after receiving a letter from the school telling her not to provide any further academic assistance to student-athletes.
Davis and the university, meanwhile, have refused to provide any information about how much he paid the tutor. Wiley has lawyered up, refusing to talk to NCAA investigators about any of it.
They apparently still have something to hide. Or, maybe talking about where a college student gets nearly $1,800 to pay off another student’s debt is just too embarrassing.
The details laid out in the NCAA report regarding Wiley’s help to football players is the kind of circumstantial evidence that criminal prosecutors love. It paints a picture not easily undone.
The NCAA, of course, is not a court of law. No one has accused Davis or his tutor of breaking any laws. Rules intended to keep collegiate sports fair are at issue.
What Davis has done is tarnish both the athletic and academic reputation of the state’s flagship university.
So far, though, the only harkening sound from over on the hill is equivocation. Or, is it just plain silence?
That so many who have nurtured and protected that reputation for so many years — Bill Friday, C.D. Spangler, Paul Hardin, Erskine Bowles — haven’t publicly called for Davis’ head is the saddest part of the whole sorry episode.
The NCAA report makes clear that the scandal marks the most significant wrongdoing in a collegiate sports program in North Carolina since a basketball point-shaving scandal enveloped UNC-Chapel Hill and N.C. State University during the early 1960s.
Yet those with significant influence in the university system sit on their hands.
Apparently those who worship at the alter of the almighty collegiate sports dollar exercise the real power within the UNC system.
Nothing else explains why this man still has his job.