CHAPEL HILL — Four days after basketball coach Roy Williams was asked if he would be willing to take a pay cut to help the university, North Carolina football coach Butch Davis faced a similar question from the same local TV station during his news conference today.
Davis' answer, in a nutshell: His football program is trying to find a way to make cuts; he gives back to the community, the university and his church; that's a better question for the university's leadership to face.
Davis, like Williams, averages more than $2 million a year in salary, but neither coach is paid entirely from state funds.
Here's the extended text of his comments:
Q: Do you have any concerns with the budget crises at the university at this time, and would you be willing to participate in an involuntarily furlough or take a pay cut?
Davis: "That's a very, very interesting topic all across the country. There's no question everybody recognizes that we are in very challenging and difficult economic times.
"I can tell you there's not a day that goes by in this athletics department, and especially in this football program — we are always looking for ways that we can be smarter and more prudent about our budget: last year, busing to Virginia as opposed to flying to Virginia.
"This year, we just had a significant meeting about ways — whether it's hotels, meal plans, the number of players that travel ... the way we do training camp, are their smart ways that we can be prudent about that money that we have? I will tell you that I feel unbelievably blessed and fortunate to be a coach and be in this situation.
"And I will tell you that every single place that I have coached, my wife and I have given back not only to the community and not only to our church, we have given back to the institution itself. Long before it was economically in a crisis, we were doing that, and we look forward in the future to always being in a position to be able to do that, to give back to this university, to the community and to our church.
Q: Would you take a paycut, though, or participate in a furlough?
Davis: "That's not a question — that's a political hot button, and not really a question that any coach should be put in a position to have to answer. ... The leadership of the university, that's probably more in line with a decision they would need to make."
-- Robbi Pickeral