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.