In an effort to perhaps thwart possible NCAA sanctions North Carolina made a preemptive strike Wednesday and fired football coach Butch Davis.
North Carolina, which is under investigation by the NCAA, had a tumultuous 2010 as 14 players missed at least one game and several had to sit out the season due to eligibility and academic problems.
"To restore confidence in the University of North Carolina and our football program, it's time to make a change," North Carolina chancellor Holden Thorp said in a statement. "What started as a purely athletic issue has begun to chip away at this university's reputation. I have been deliberate in my approach to understanding this situation fully, and I have worked to be fair to everyone involved. However, I have lost confidence in our ability to come through this without harming the way people think of this institution.”
North Carolina’s decision was a reversal in course as Thorp previously supported Davis.
North Carolina’s decision was likely made in an effort to prove to the NCAA that it hasn’t lost control of its football program. The national collegiate governing body has come down hard on schools in recent seasons and has recently beefed up its enforcement department.
The USC football program was sanctioned by the NCAA recently, getting hit with a two-year bowl ban, recruiting restrictions and a loss of 30 scholarships over the next three seasons.
Ohio State, which vacated all of its wins from 2010, fired coach Jim Tressel and suspended five players for the first five games of next season is expected to learn if the NCAA will sanctioned it for violations in the coming months.