North Carolina football coach Butch Davis talked briefly about associate head coach John Blake but deflected questions about the NCAA's investigation into the Tar Heels football program at UNC's media day today.
Davis declined to talk about Blake's possible role in the investigation or Blake's relationship with agent Gary Wichard, who told The N&O that Blake is involved in the NCAA probe.
"I'm not talking about any of the things that have anything to do with [the NCAA] review," Davis said.
Blake and senior players Marvin Austin and Greg Little are the focus of the NCAA investigation into the program which became public on July 15. The NCAA interviewed Austin and Little about potentially receiving improper benefits from an agent.
Austin and Little, two of the team's best players, have been practicing with the second-team while their eligibility status is being evaluated by the NCAA.
Davis answered one question about Blake and then declined further comment about his recruiting coordinator.
Davis said he hired Blake in Dec. 2006 because "he was a very good teacher, a good defensive line coach."
Asked if there was any question or concern about Blake's relationship with Wichard, an NFL agent who represents former UNC defensive tackle Kentwan Balmer, Davis said: "No."
Davis then added, "I'm not talking about any of the things that have anything to do with this review."
Here's a transcript of the questions about Blake and Davis' response from today's press conference:
Q: What was the primary reason that you hired John Blake?
Davis: "He was a very good teacher, a good defensive line coach."
Q: Was there any question in your mind about his relationship with Gary Wichard? Any concern?
Davis: "Any question in my mind? No. ... I'm not talking about any of the things that have anything to do with this review."
Q: Just to be clear, you're saying that the assistant coach is involved in the review?
Davis: "Just to be clear, I said we're not going to talk about the review."
Q: I didn't ask you about the review, I asked you about a coach.
Davis: "I know you did and I told you that anything that has anything to do with any kind of investigation or any kind of review, we're not going to talk about it. I'd be happy to talk all you want about football."