Davis Talks Kenan Expansion

So Dick Baddour and Butch Davis are all “no comment” about the any contract extension talks but Davis has been absolutely forthcoming concerning what he wants in terms of facility upgrades at UNC.

From ACC Now:

North Carolina coach Butch Davis said Monday he’d like to see Kenan Stadium expand by 8,000-10,000 seats via a combination of general admission, club seating and skyboxes, although he knows it probably won’t happen all at once.

“I think it will always be in some form or fashion of a phase,” he said of expansion. “Where it’s going to end, I don’t know. But I can see it being anywhere from 67, 68 [thousand] to mid-70s. But does it get there all in one swoop? I don’t know.”

At this point I think we understand that Davis has some expectations of UNC to sweeten his package in an effort to block any offers from other schools.  The simplest way to look at this is UNC needs to match salary with any suitor that comes along.  The issue there is Arkansas job has been rumored to be a $3.5 million deal, I do not see UNC matching that because in doing so they set off a chain reaction which means they need to up Roy Williams’ package.  Davis is well aware this is the case which is why I think the current dance between Baddour and Davis might end up being more about facilities upgrades and less about the actual figure on Davis’ paycheck.  What I think that means is UNC is very willing to shell out the money to keep Davis but instead of committing money to the coaches salary they are more interested in putting that money into renovating Kenan.

And Davis is probably fine with this.  So much gets made about how much Davis makes at UNC versus how much he can make at Arkansas and I would argue that salary is not the issue unless he simply wants it for the status.  I think Davis sees more value in maybe taking a smaller raise and then seeing the university commit to creating a top tier football stadium.  The reason being is if Davis gets UNC back to the level they were at during the mid 90’s on the field and manages to push through major stadium renovations that improves recruiting and raises the program to a new level I have to believe that is worth far more than getting $1.5 million more a year from Arkansas as it pertains to his reputation.

The interesting thing to note here is Davis’ willingness to dance this dance in the media.  Davis is far more media savvy than the previous two head coaches.  The statements he made yesterday are salvos intended to pressure UNC into moving forward with whatever talks they have going on with him.  And this is not the first time we have seen such a maneuver in the Triangle.  Coach K publicly flirted with the LA Lakers for the very purpose of demonstrating his importance to a new president and to jump start work on a new practice facility for his team.  In Davis’ case he is not openly flirting with another job or actually interviewing for one like Frank Beamer did with UNC in 2000.

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5 Responses to Davis Talks Kenan Expansion

  1. Jackie says:

    I agree and his willingness to ‘dance’ might not mean he’ll leave for Arkansas, but to me it does inidcate that he’s not a Tar Heel for life. Doesn’t mean he can’t finish rebuilding the program and leave it better than it was when he arrived.

  2. Tar Heel Fan says:

    I think we all knew going into this deal he was probably not a Tar Heel for life but I think there is a sliver of hope he might actually allow this to be his last job. There are so many high profile jobs open this season and the domino effect is going to shake things up more. That kind of upheaval might not happen again for a few years which means if UNC can lock him in now they get at least five years from him.

  3. Wayne says:

    The list of coaches who might be thought of as “a Tar Heel for life” is probably pretty short. Let’s see. Jim Tatum maybe. Dean Smith. Roy Williams. Feel free to add to that list . . .

  4. jackiemanuel says:

    That is a very good point. One could argue that hiring a Paul Johnson type and hoping he turns into the next Jim Grobe might be better than hiring someone who will use the Carolina job as stepping stool to somewhere easier (no place better!). I’m not necessarily making that arguement but it is very risky to put top 25 money into a program that isn’t top 25 and even if it does become top 25 might not be able to keep who got it there.

    To be fair about all of this….Butch has not done anything wrong as it is standard university procedure to not discuss contracts….we’ll just have to see what happens.

  5. Dan Schwind says:

    If Butch doesn’t leave for Arkansas, I think there’s the reasonable possibility that he could be a Tar Heel for at least the length of his contract, if not until retirement. Remember, the generally accepted belief (though that’s not gospel) is that the two jobs he covets are Arkansas and the Cowboys.

    If he doesn’t leave for Arkansas now, who knows when that job could open again, and the Cowboys have given Wade Phillips the reins until Jason Garrett is ready to jump from offensive coordinator to head coach. And if he stays here, he could create quite a legacy while not having to live under the shadow of previous coach, as he would at Michigan or many other schools.

    Bottomline, I think he sticks around long enough for us to get back on decent footing and be an attractive option for young, quality coaches next time we have to search.

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