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North Carolina

Donors set deadline for Thorp records request

Posted September 16, 2011

— A public records request filed by a group of donors to the University of North Carolina seeking correspondence between Chancellor Holden Thorp and various people close to the decision to fire head football coach Butch Davis, has gone unfulfilled more than a month later.

The initial request was filed Aug. 8 by a group of donors that signed on to help fund an upgrade to the UNC's Kenan Stadium. Many of the donors to the "Blue Zone" upgrade say they committed to the project with the assurance that Davis would remain head football coach.

Don Brown, one of five attorneys for the investors, says the group is citing possible fraud, alleging that Thorp waited to terminate Davis until after the donations were secured.

Brown was the representing attorney that drafted Friday's letter that further requested the emails, text messages and cell phone records be released.

The letter reads in part: "We know the request was received, not only because we have a facsimile confirmation receipt, but because the University acknowledged in response to media requests that it had been received, and also because you apparently acknowledged to WRAL television, while at an NCAA meeting in Indianapolis, that you received the request and that you would comply with it.."

The follow-up letter delivered Friday from the attorney's representing the group gave Thorp one week to respond to the request before further legal action is pursued.

The letter continued, "While we are certainly prepared to be reasonable, and to a degree patient with regard to a timeframe for responses, we are very disappointed that not only have we received no documents as requested, but to date, we have not even received a response."

North Carolina state law does not require a specific date of delivery of requested public record, but does demand the delivery be "as promptly as possible."

The attorneys, Brown, Matthew J. Dixon, J. Scott Hampton, Mark A. Johnson and Ray Smith III are all UNC alumni. They said they will make a determination on whether or not to follow through on the lawsuit after going over the requested information. Brown added that they are doing the work pro bono.

Chancellor Thorp said during a press conference on July 28 that it was his decision to fire Davis despite no new evidence that linked the former coach to an ongoing NCAA investigation into the football program. The investigation involves academic improprieties and agent relationships among accusations.

Since the firing, there has been much discussion over the relationship between RAMS Club members who donated to the newly constructed Blue Zone and have asked to be released from their membership. In August, Kenneth Plusnick made multiple attempts to cancel his membership but was deferred and he was told they would get back to him.

Everett Withers was named the interim head coach a week before the start of fall practice and has led the Tar Heels to a 2-0 start.

40 Comments

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  • devildj Sep 17, 11:45 a.m.

    Someone needs more fiber in their diet...

    Seriously? That's it? That's all you've got? That's your rebuttal? Hey , I can't tell anyone how or what to post but that's awful. More to the point , it attacks the poster NOT the post. It's also diversionary , has bupkiss to do with the scandal that SMUNC is currently mired in and , worst of all , it just ain't funny. Geez Louise , if you're gonna take the time to type a brief snarky reply at least make me laugh. Look , the ONLY comedy goin' on right now is at UNcLV. It's a hoot an' a half too. Got any opinions on it or are ya just gonna continue with the " I-really-have-no-defense-whatsoever-for-the-corruption-being
    - committed-at-unx-and-I'm embarrassed-by-it-all-anyway-so-I'll-simply-entertain- myself-by-posting-quick-snide-unfunny-self-satisfying
    -comments-at-those-who-upset-my-fairy-tale-vision-of-the-car
    olina-way " responses? Rome is burning , Nero. Put down the fiddle. Please don't tell us you're dropping music for stand-up , though. However , if ya REALLY got yer heart set on it, I know a school that can supply ya with a wealth of comedic material. Need a link?

  • raybachmann Sep 17, 10:09 a.m.

    Probably a bit more of a headache than "The Thorpster" had expected. Arrogance always underestimates the ultimate impact of their reckless decisions.

  • TarheelTurtle Sep 17, 7:54 a.m.

    You are correct, fzero, that's why I added the addendum...(apparently edits are not allowed on... View More

    — Posted by TarheelTurtle

    Oh that's right. Where was your update again? And I will apologize to zee Germans for... View More

    — Posted by fzero

    WOW! Someone was up late (or early). Whassa matter? All the ugly gals @ Pure Gold turned you down, so now you're home alone, internet trolling? I have no argument with you, doughnuthole. You would need to have a point (I'll even give you an invalid one at this juncture) in order to make an argument. I know it's fun to hit yourself in the head while you're discussing the merits of Jergens v. Vaseline in the mirror, but you're not so good with socialization...that must be why you constantly use the terms "brah", "bro" and other similarly outdated (were they ever "in?") words in an attempt to convey said "point". Really, I enjoy it. Most of us haven't heard those words since Starsky and Hutch came out.(The television show, not the movie).

    As for steaming? Yes, thank you, I'm enjoying a nice plate of eggs benedict with a mimosa before shopping, tailgating, and gametime with family and friends. Oh, one more thing, my mental midget friend...While I do wear a bra, I'm not a "brah". ;)

  • fzero Sep 17, 1:43 a.m.

    You are correct, fzero, that's why I added the addendum...(apparently edits are not allowed on... View More

    — Posted by TarheelTurtle

    Oh that's right. Where was your update again? And I will apologize to zee Germans for misspelling their word. I spelled it kindergarden. I have disgraced zee furher. Whatever shall I do? Seriously brah......eat a steaming bowl of you know what. Your argument holds jack .... and you know it. U mad bro?

  • TarheelTurtle Sep 16, 11:39 p.m.

    Any chance this same group of SMUNC attorneys go after Butch's 216 records with the same fervor?... View More

    — Posted by devildj

    Someone needs more fiber in their diet...

  • redistrumps Sep 16, 11:08 p.m.

    How stupid are some of my fellow UNC alum? Law school and they can't tell the difference... View More

    — Posted by unc70

    I agree that this is the way it SHOULD be, but we all know the old saying MONEY TALKS,... View More

    — Posted by redistrumps

    Most of those in the Blue Zone, even when they have completed meeting all their pledged... View More

    — Posted by unc70

    I'm not a gentleman or ANYTHING related to UNC, I am a Wolfpack Club member and NC State season ticket holder. Wasn't trying to offend your UNC gentlemenly code, just stating facts that I don't like anymore than you, but it's just the way it is....

    PS: Might want to lay off the Carolina Gentlemen thing a little now that the NCAA has shown what the UNC way really is....just saying...Tacky is as cheaters are....

  • unc70 Sep 16, 11:05 p.m.

    How stupid are some of my fellow UNC alum? Law school and they can't tell the difference... View More

    — Posted by unc70

    I agree that this is the way it SHOULD be, but we all know the old saying MONEY TALKS,... View More

    — Posted by redistrumps

    Most of those in the Blue Zone, even when they have completed meeting all their pledged financial obligations, will not have contributed as much cumulatively as I have -- and I am nowhere near being a "big donor". If you bought one of the private boxes then, yes you might start qualifying as a relatively big donor.

    Otherwise, you might want to check your ego at the gate. A Carolina Gentleman does not act surprised when presented with the check (or bill) at the end of the evening. Certainly doesn't complain about the wine after the meal is over. Tacky.

  • MO_DUKE IS BANNED Sep 16, 10:53 p.m.

    WAAAAAAAAAAA I want my money back. I'm gonna take my ball and go home, I don't want to play anymore. Being lied to, haha, grow up, this is Carolina you're dealing with. What did you all expect?

  • redistrumps Sep 16, 10:27 p.m.

    How stupid are some of my fellow UNC alum? Law school and they can't tell the difference... View More

    — Posted by unc70

    I agree that this is the way it SHOULD be, but we all know the old saying MONEY TALKS, BULLS&*^ WALKS, and that is the case in college athletics for sure! Donors know this without a doubt....and without the big donors, the program would be NOWHERE and the university knows that...

  • unc70 Sep 16, 10:15 p.m.

    How stupid are some of my fellow UNC alum? Law school and they can't tell the difference between a charitable DONATION carrying with it certain privileges versus some presumed right of governance or of control. Did they not take contract law?

    Donating/buying seats in the Blue Zone doesn't give you naming rights or any presumption about who will be the players, coaches, or opponents now or in any future year. Absolutely none. At most, if you meet all you financial and "other" obligations, you will continue to have the privilege of purchasing seats in the Blue Zone or wherever.

    Just because my name is on the wall of donors in the Dean Dome or part of the A&S Honor Roll doesn't mean that I have any say at all about the UNC basketball program nor, for example, what productions will be mounted this season by Playmakers Repertory Company, what will be shown at Morehead Planetarium, or what classes taught in any department. Donation, yes. Contract, no.

    Grow up guys. Suck it up and get a life. It is only money. Quit embarrassing yourselves and the rest of us. Go Heels.

    BTW: You wanted seats in the sun and out in the rain. Did you not even wonder why that happened to be the last section of Kenan to be built?

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