Monday, August 8, 2011

Tar Heel boosters considering lawsuit against UNC

A group of North Carolina football supporters who agreed to help fund Kenan Stadium’s “Blue Zone” project are exploring possible legal action against chancellor Holden Thorp and the school.

Don Brown, one of five attorneys representing the group, said he plans to file a public information request as early as today asking for all correspondence – including emails, text messages, letters and voice recordings – between the Chancellor and various University officials.

The issue, according to Brown: Why was Butch Davis fired just nine days before fall practice, and after repeated public statements over the past year supporting Davis as UNC’s head coach?

“I can tell you, everybody that we represent is furious about the timing of Butch Davis’ firing,’’ Brown, whose Brown & Associates firm is based in Charlotte, said during a phone interview this morning. “They feel like their investment was based on Butch Davis being the head coach … and the public reassurances over the past year that he would remain the coach. … They want answers.”

Brown and the other four lawyers are all UNC graduates and have taken on the case pro bono, Brown said. The group they represent wants to remain anonymous at this point, he said, but includes donors of differing financial contributions.

Brown stressed that a lawsuit hasn’t been filed, and he doesn’t know what a cause of action or damages might be: “At this point, we are seeking information … The law we are stressing now is the North Carolina Public records law,’’ he said. “I can’t speculate further than that … what the law might be [in the case of donations] depends on the facts of what facts we find.”

UNC faces an Oct. 28 date with the NCAA Infractions committee to discuss nine allegations of potentially major violations that included academic misconduct and impermissible benefits. The NCAA investigation began more than a year ago; 14 players missed at least one game last season and seven sat out the entire year as a result.

Thorp pledged his support of Davis throughout the investigation, saying there was no evidence that Davis knew about any misconduct. But then he abruptly fired Davis July 27, he said, because the scandal was damaging the academic reputation of the University.

“The chancellor's explanation doesn't … pass the smell test,’’ Brown said.  “… It doesn't make sense that why you would do such an about face, raises more questions than answers. People want answers.”

-- Robbi Pickeral


Anonymous said...

once again, the deep pocket alumni boosters will trade all their integrity and morals for an 8 win season and a low level bowl game. bring butch back, things are a lot funnier when hes wearing tar heel navy blue anyway.

MichaelProcton said...

EXACTLY, 10:27. You sell your soul and you get what? A Tire Bowl appearance here and there?

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