Attorney releases phone records for ex-UNC coach

Associated Press Modified: September 21, 2012 at 5:19 pm •  Published: September 21, 2012
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An attorney has released cellphone records for fired North Carolina football coach Butch Davis to media outlets, saying it should prove "once and for all" that Davis did nothing wrong regarding misconduct by players.

Friday's release follows a judge's ruling last month that job-related calls Davis made on the phone should be public under state law but his personal calls would remain private. Media outlets, including The Associated Press, had sued for access to the records as they sought information about the NCAA's investigation of the football program.

Davis had said he planned to release records for work-related calls before his firing in July 2011 because of damage done to the university's reputation by the probe. Davis denied wrongdoing and wasn't cited for a violation when the NCAA issued a one-year bowl ban and other sanctions in March.

The football probe later expanded into concerns about misconduct in an academic department and helped lead to this week's resignation of chancellor Holden Thorp, effective after the school year.

The phone records, totaling 136 pages, span from March 2009 to November 2010. The school has said outside counsel reviewed them and found "nothing of concern." Davis had said he wanted to protect the privacy of personal contacts, though at least partial records were included for nearly all calls in what attorney Jonathan D. Sasser described as an effort to be as open as possible.

"As the NCAA found, and UNC has consistently maintained, Coach Davis did nothing wrong," Sasser said in a statement. "These phone records should, once and for all, confirm that fact."

Fourteen players missed at least one game in 2010 and seven were forced to skip the season for a variety of infractions. Some received jewelry from people outside the program. Others received improper benefits for travel to California, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., and Miami. Academic violations centered on players receiving improper assistance on papers — sometimes for even minor revisions — from a tutor who had also worked with Davis' teenage son.

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