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Eddy Landreth: Hey, You Know Who’d Make A Good Sacrifice For The NCAA?

Always consider the motivations.

Via Tar Heel Illustrated

The NCAA, as with religions of antiquity, requires a sacrifice in cases such as the one that lay before Carolina with the official Notice of Allegations released this week.

This would be the ideal time for UNC to make that sacrifice and render a strong statement that it has learned from its errors and will act in concert with the image it strives so hard to portray.

There is no better way to accomplish this than for Dick Baddour, director of athletics, to retire gracefully.

He should make a statement that he has done his best for the school he loves so dearly and is ready to spend more time with his family.

Now is no time for stubborn pride.

He has served the university longer than many of its alumni have been alive.

There is no need to take cheap shots at him on the way out the door, either. Throw him a party; congratulate him on a retirement well-earned and then get down to the business of finding an AD who can finish what Baddour has guided the school through so carefully in the last year.

But it is important that he walk out that door.

His retirement and then a strong statement from a new AD could go a long way in Carolina’s favor. UNC has already done plenty by suspending players later found to be innocent, and by losing players who were guilty of accepting improper benefits and academic improprieties.

The NCAA wants its pound of flesh.

UNC appears to an easy target for making an example, unlike Auburn and the rest of the Southeastern Conference, which the officials at NCAA headquarters clearly fear.

Doc pointed out to me via email that this is not necessarily the craziest idea in the world. A high level member of the current athletic administration would be a nice bone to toss the NCAA(whether it would actually matter is another discussion.) Dick Baddour, for various reasons which have nothing to do with the scandal, is looking pretty wooly. Baddour has been at UNC for 40 years and director of athletics for the past fourteen. His age and tenure makes him an ideal candidate for retirement at this point. Since it is probably going to happen within the next year why not do it now as a quasi-offering to the angry enforcement gods in Indianapolis?

The answer is that it makes more sense for the man responsible for the football program be held accountable. And Eddy Landreth is very quick to tell you just how wrong you are for thinking that.

Of course, by now many of you reading this are saying, maybe even screaming, that Coach Butch Davis is the one who should go.

You are wrong.

Davis is at fault for hiring John Blake. But no coach in America can keep a player from taking money from a runner or agent if the kid wants to do it.

As Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski said, ‘It only takes one kid to do it.’

Also, Davis does not oversee the tutoring program. That falls under the leadership of Chancellor Holden Thorp and Baddour.

With the tremendous investment in the football program at the moment and Davis’ public relations skills, he can lead the football program out of this mess, back to respectability and to more wins on the field.

As for Thorp, he is relatively new to the job and would be better off learning from his mistakes than resigning. His departure would be an unnecessary sacrifice.

So while I agree with Doc that is not necessarily a crazy idea given the ease at which Baddour could retire. What I do find completely nuts is the logic Landreth employs here. It is as though Landreth has a conclusion he wants to reach and twists the logic to get there. That means downplaying anything that might make Davis look worse and playing up the angles that you can pin to Baddour. Such maneuvering is not uncommon that is until you get to this line.

The sacrifice must come from the man whose direct responsibility was to see that these kinds of mistakes did not occur in the athletic department.


If I said to you which UNC athletic department employee has the most in the way of “direct responsibility” for the current scandal who’s name would you utter? I have little doubt it would the initials BD and not the reverse. Yes, you can make an argument the tutoring issues are more of a Baddour/Thorp problem than a football program issue. Except the only academic issues which were discovered were with the football team and it was one tutor who was let go according to procedure in 2009. Hardly the stuff of a massive academic scandal and certainly not playing on the same level as the Blake allegations. To say Baddour has more direct responsibility than Davis is simply ridiculous, especially in light of a defense which heavily insulated the head coach. If Davis escaped culpability in the notice of allegations how much more so is Baddour covered? The passion in which Landreth pursues his case against Baddour can only lead to one conclusion.

Eddy Landreth really hates Dick Baddour.

I mean really hate him not to mention Landreth’s fan boy homerism is enough that even Bob Harris thinks it’s excessive.  Landreth is apparently invested in Butch Davis and really believes what he writes when he says Davis can be the guy who brings UNC out of this. Who knows, he might be right but in all of Landreth’s rush to push Baddour out the door he conveniently ignores that at some point Davis too should be held accountable.  This is a football only scandal with nine major infractions involved. The man running that program, regardless of the absence of his name in the allegations, probably should have a standard of some sort applied to him. Is that a suspension of X number of games? Forfeiture of a  year’s salary? Cleaning up trash at Kenan Stadium? I don’t know the answer. Short of Davis being fired or resigning, other actions will be seen as ultimately meaningless. That doesn’t mean the effort shouldn’t at least be made.

At this point Davis enjoys enough support where it counts to stave off any serious consideration he will lose his job between now and the end of this calendar year. Baddour, on the other hand, is soundly disliked by UNC fans in general for the mishandling of past major hires. Any suggestion he should leave would be considered the best idea in the world by most. However letting Baddour go as some kind of sacrifice offered to angry deities is “for all the wrong reasons.” There are numerous reasons one might come up as grounds for Baddour to step aside. What Landreth offers up here should not among them. Earlier I indicated most of the actions that could be taken against Davis would be seen as meaningless. Having the athletic director step aside while not touching the coach overseeing a football program with major infractions pending will look far worse.

Note: I correct a fair amount of typos because I wrote this at midnight last night and actually may have been half asleep when I did it.

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10 comments to Eddy Landreth: Hey, You Know Who’d Make A Good Sacrifice For The NCAA?

  • 850inExile aka UNC RAJ

    “With the tremendous investment in the football program at the moment”

    That says it all. The Carolina Way no longer exists. Money and wins is all that matters these days.

    I am no fan of Dick Baddour. I want him to be fired because I want Butch Davis to be fired and I don’t want Baddour around to botch yet another coaching search.

    But to say that Dick Baddour who has done his best to serve UNC honorably for the last 40 years should be booted out, but not Davis who has only been at UNC for 4 years and whose program has been anything but honorable … Money and wins … that is the only way to justify that argument (and the irony is Davis doesn’t even give us that many wins…)

  • smallandpettypat

    Fire errybody. Dickie, BGDD, the support staff, all of ‘em. Get them gone and get started on rebuilding the image of the school and its sports programs. This whole affair has been and continues to be a terrible black eye on the university and it’s time to begin to move past it. The first step to doing so is ushering in a new era with fresh blood.

    And if anyone suggests Urban Meyer for the next coach I’ll come find them and help them to adjust their thinking.

  • Heel To The End

    we did run Blake by the NCAA before he was hired, didnt we?
    thought i read that here.
    if the Manager of Staples hires a guy who lied about his employment history, and his resume’ goes through corporate…the Manager gets fired?
    maybe there’s someone at the NCAA who should be fired.

  • Ding-ding-ding!

    Now that’s the part of the discussion no one wants to have. Here you have a guy whose reputation was so nefarious yet the NCAA had nothing on him? Everyone in college football knew he was bad news except NCAA and apparently Butch Davis. The latter is UNC’s problem but UNC leaned on the former who said it was fine.

    So to recap the NCAA is all over Chris Hawkins declaring him to be pure evil for doing, well, no one really knows but Blake who everyone in college football said was bad is given a green light by the NCAA.

    Try not to think about that too much.

  • 850inExile aka UNC RAJ

    ^I hear what you are saying, but if the NCAA could never pin any evidence of wrongdoing on the guy then they can’t tell people that they suspect him of being dirty. Why can’t they tell people that? Because Blake could sue the crap out of them if they did.

    Where I work if somebody calls about a former employee all I am able to do is confirm whether or not they ever worked here. I can’t give any information about what their performance was or why they don’t work here anymore. All the NCAA can do is say whether or not they ever caught Blake doing something wrong. It’s basically a rubber stamp.

  • Andy In Omaha

    “Fire errybody. Dickie, BGDD, the support staff, all of ‘em. Get them gone and get started on rebuilding the image of the school and its sports programs. This whole affair has been and continues to be a terrible black eye on the university and it’s time to begin to move past it. The first step to doing so is ushering in a new era with fresh blood.”

    Agreed by me….I thought Butch should have been fired for a lackluster record, hiring a laughably incompetent defensive coordinator, and huge underachievement anyway, but this works for me.
    The question is, however, who do we bring in to replace Butch Davis? I’m willing to wager a steak dinner that Butch is gone after the penalty phase, so which direction should we go? Should UNC gun after an established coach with a reputation for winning, or do we give a new guy his first shot?
    Regardless of if Butch stays or goes, there will be rebuilding involved. UNC will have to do a lot to overcome this mess, as I think Butch’s recruiting prowess will be hampered to the point where TOB might own North Carolina for a while

    “And if anyone suggests Urban Meyer for the next coach I’ll come find them and help them to adjust their thinking.”

    Come on now! We just had John Blake pretty much running a prostitution ring for agents out of our backyard….you mean you don’t want a guy who set a record for player’s arrests running our program after Butch?

  • 850inExile aka UNC RAJ

    ^Whoever it is, if its Baddour’s pick it will be a disaster. 100% guaranteed.

  • chaucer1350

    “Well, the NCAA approved Blake….”

    Where does this line of nonsense come from? The NCAA does not vet coaches. The fact that the NCAA did not write a letter stating that, “Well, he sure screwed up at Oklahoma, and his old college coach basically threw him out in Dallas, and he seems to have a sketchy reputation, so we don’t recommend him,” does NOT excuse his hiring. That’s not the NCAA’s freaking job. It’s Baddour’s and Davis’ job, and they blew that one. Period.

    Blake was bad news. I knew it the day he was hired. Anyone who followed college football knew it. He was part of a dysfunctional program culture at Oklahoma as a player and at Dallas as an assistant. He ran a bad program at Oklahoma. His resume had nothing to recommend him outside the sort of knowledge and connections that could only lead to trouble.

    I’m just sick of the justifications and excuses. We hired a guy who spent his entire career disrespecting the rules, and guess what? We ended with a bunch of players with a similar attitude.

    So we can stop pretending Choir Boy Blake turned to the Dark Side when no one was looking. We hired Darth Vader. Now we get to pay the price.

  • UNC asked the NCAA if there were any red flags on Blake and they said there was not. That means the NCAA has never charged Blake or found him guilty of anything. So it’s not an excuse nor does it relieve UNC of responsibility. My point is for all the noise people are making about how bad Blake was it is interesting the NCAA did not have anything on him until now but Hawkins who very little is know about was labeled pure evil.

  • Andy In Omaha

    The NCAA saying Blake doesn’t have any red flags does not absolve UNC of any wrongdoing, however this is another example on how the NCAA dropped the ball on something and is looking at excuses to hammer an institution.
    Let’s talk facts here….what happened at UNC, Ohio State, USC, and other schools isn’t the exception, it’s the norm. Who has established that norm? Why it’s the NCAA. Parking tickets, selling jerseys, tutors getting cozy with players, impermissible benefits, etc, etc happens EVERYWHERE and the NCAA knows it. What they do every once in a while is drop the hammer selectively to show that they have teeth, or at least provide the illusion that they do. Meanwhile, they protect their favorites and whoever the flavor of the month/season is.
    People need to get over this crap that the NCAA actually gives a damn that the NCAA cares about education and integrity. They do not. In the end, they are a big business only concerned with money and ratings. I have no issue with that, but what I do take issue with is the illusion that they’re an upstanding organization untouched by corruption and cronyism.
    Throw the book at UNC if you like, but I can’t take the NCAA seriously anymore in their selective punishments and hypocrisy. I think it’s time for new leadership at the NCAA level and a review of some of their ridiculous regulations.