North Carolina football fans continue to support head coach Butch Davis, according to a new survey released today by a Raleigh-based Democratic polling firm.
According to the poll of North Carolina voters released by Public Policy Polling, 41 percent of voters describing themselves as UNC fans approve of the job Davis is doing as coach, while 20 percent disapprove. In addition, only 14 percent of the Tar Heel fan base polled thinks Davis should be fired, while 57 percent think he should keep his job.
In all, 597 voters statewide were polled, but only those 159 who described themselves as Tar Heels fans were asked questions about Davis. Tom Jensen, Public Policy Polling's director, described the poll’s plus- or minus-7.8 percent margin-of-error ratio as high, but said he is confident in the poll’s findings because the numbers were so lopsided.
“I thought it [the opinions on Davis] would be a lot more divided,” Jensen said. “What it tells me is that most of the anti-Davis sentiment is not coming from Carolina fans. The biggest takeaway is that within the UNC fan base, there is a lot of support for him.”
Public Policy Polling conducts monthly polls on political issues, but also adds other questions about Andy Griffith, athletics and other topics This poll was conducted before UNC beat Virginia in Charlottesville, Va., last weekend for the first time since 1981 – pushing the Tar Heels’ record to 4-2 entering Saturday’s game against Miami.
UNC chancellor Holden Thorp and athletics director Dick Baddour have expressed support for Davis as the NCAA continues to investigate agent benefits and possible academic misconduct on the football team.
In all, 14 players have missed at least one game because of the investigations. Five of those Tar Heels have been cleared to play; six have either been dismissed for the season, or for good, by the NCAA or the school; and three other cases have yet to be resolved.
Of those polled who described themselves as “hardcore” fans, only 9% of them supported replacing Davis, while 68% said he should remain as coach.