Lawyer: Davis' records show agent, recruit compliance
Posted September 21, 2012
Updated September 27, 2012
Chapel Hill, N.C. — Complying with Superior Court Judge Howard Manning's order, former North Carolina head football coach Butch Davis released his 216 area code cellphone records Friday morning.
Davis made no phone calls between March 2009 and November 2010 to sports agent Gary Wilchard, Chris Hawkins or Drew Rosenhaus, Davis' attorney Jon Sasser said. He also had no contact with UNC professor Julius Nyang'oro, who resigned in July 2012.
No calls were made to potential recruits outside of allowed contact periods.
During the 20-month period, Davis exchanged five phone calls with Jennifer Wiley, his son's tutor who also worked with UNC's Academic Support Program and was found to have provided improper academic assistance to players. In the five phone calls, Davis and Wiley spoke for a combined 20 minutes, according to the records.
According to Sasser, four of the five phone calls pertained to Wiley's work schedule. On the fifth call, Wiley approached Davis "as a father figure" and asked about about a meeting with university officials. According to Sasser, Wiley "was concerned and asked him what the meeting was about, who would be present and if she should bring her father." Davis did not have a response for Wiley at the time and directed her to university officials.
Wiley subsequently hired an attorney and refused to answer questions by the NCAA or UNC at the advice of her lawyer and father, according to Sasser.
"As the NCAA found, and UNC has consistently maintained, Coach Davis did nothing wrong," Davis' lawyer Jon Sasser said in a statement. "These phone records should, once and for all, confirm that fact."
Davis also placed numerous phone calls to Director of Athletics Dick Baddour, as well as to assistant coaches Everett Withers, John Blake, John Shoop and others.
On the day Blake was fired, Davis spoke with Baddour four times and other UNC football administrative personnel nine times. Davis' last phone contact with Blake was on Aug. 30, 2010, five days before the assistant was let go and four days before their season opener against LSU in Atlanta.
In the 20 months of records, there were dozens of calls to Kevin Elko, a motivational speaker based out of Pittsburgh. Both Sasser and the university have confirmed that Elko is a close friend of Davis and on occasion spoke with the team.
In his August ruling, Manning said "university officials and coaches may not use their personal cellphones to 'dodge' or evade the North Carolina Public Records Law."
WRAL News and other media outlets requested Davis' records after learning through previously requested phone records that John Blake, a former assistant at UNC, had repeated contact with Wilchard over a multiyear period.
Friday, 136 pages of Davis' phone records were released with personal calls redacted.
Davis was fired by the university in August 2011 after more than a year of investigation and allegations of both football and academic improprieties within the program. He received a $2.7 million buyout from the university and has since been hired as a special adviser with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
A week before his firing, Davis said that he would willingly release a redacted version of the records. After his firing, the release of the records became the subject of debate, and the records were eventually subpoenaed in October. Davis’ attorney filed a motion to quash the subpoena the following week.
In July, Davis filed a protective order for the records and sought to have the lawsuit dismissed on the grounds that they were no longer relevant and that the release of them violates Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
An NCAA investigation into the football program found nine major violations related to academic misconduct, agent interactions and improper benefits. Davis’ name was not mentioned in the final report and he was never found to have any knowledge of the improprieties.
The school received a one-year postseason ban, three years of probation, a reduction of 15 scholarships over three years, a $50,000 fine and was forced to vacate all 16 wins that spanned the 2008 and 2009 seasons.