NCAA FB

Ex-UNC coach Davis defends himself

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP)

Former North Carolina coach Butch Davis has posted a video on YouTube defending himself from allegations following an NCAA investigation into the UNC football program, saying he is ''absolutely committed to a clean program.''

In the 9 1/2-minute clip, Davis says his philosophy has always been to succeed academically and on the field.

''Those who have implied my ethics were different at the University of North Carolina couldn't be more wrong,'' Davis said.

He said he didn't know about ex-assistant John Blake's close friendship with an NFL agent, a focus of the NCAA probe into improper benefits and academic misconduct.

''Did I know he had such a close relationship with a sports agent? No,'' Davis said. ''''Should I have known? I wish I had known. As the head coach, you want to know every single thing. ... But logically, you know you simply can't know everything.''

Davis said he submitted Blake's name to the university for school officials to run a background check. He said there were no red flags, though the NCAA has charged Blake with trying to steer players to late agent Gary Wichard and accepting loans from Wichard.

Davis, who pointed out he hasn't been charged with wrongdoing, said his family wanted to make UNC ''our last coaching stop and home forever.''

Davis had kept a low profile since being fired just before training camp. He said he decided to comment publicly because the school's appearance before the NCAA infractions committee has passed and that he has received ''thousands'' of messages of support. He also sent an editorial to The News & Observer of Raleigh with similar comments.

The son of two teachers and a former high school biology teacher himself, Davis pointed out that the American Football Coaches Association has recognized his teams for academic success in nine of his 10 seasons as a head coach.


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''After keeping quiet for 14 months, I'm sure there were a whole lot of things that he's just been dying to say,'' said Jonathan D. Sasser, a Raleigh attorney representing Davis. ''He's particularly concerned about people that say he was really not that interested in academic performance. And based on his family history, that's simply not the case.''

Nancy Davis, a UNC spokeswoman, declined to comment on the video.

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