The Butch Davis Title

February 10th, 2012

Bucs fans are turning over rocks, seeking some sort of conspiracy since learning of Butch Davis' title with the team.

Joe Twittered out the link to Alex Marvez’s piece yesterday announcing that Butch Davis would be the Bucs’ “senior defensive assistant” and Joe instantly was hammered with e-mails and Twitter messages asking for both an explanation and demanding to know who will wear the defensive coordinator title.

Joe will explain, which should satisfy the grassy knoll types.

As Rick Stroud wrote in the Tampa Bay Times, it’s not quite a done deal with Davis, largely because Davis is still being paid by the University of North Carolina and is owed millions. The contract also forbids Davis from coaching anywhere or he could forfeit that cash.

So as much as Davis may want to coach, who exactly can flush away seven figures of legal tender?

Hence, why Davis may not be the coordinator but an “advisor.”

Why won’t Davis be the coordinator?

It’s likely because of a buyout in his contract with North Caro­lina, which fired him last year. It calls for him to receive about $2.7 million unless he accepts another coaching position. He already has received $933,000 and is set to receive $590,000 in January of 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Now for the grassy knoll types: there could be much more than what we know at face value.

Having Davis be an advisor means the job of defensive coordinator is still open. This allows the Bucs to hire an NFL position coach to come in and serve under that title, all the while learning from Schiano and Davis. Think Bill Muir when he was listed as the Bucs’ offensive coordinator under Chucky, but Muir was nothing of the sort.

Or, the Bucs could grab a college guy — let’s throw out a name like Tom Bradley — and said coach could ease into the position while Schiano (and Davis, wink, wink) do the heavy lifting for a few seasons.

Now Joe’s going to go all Area 51 on people: Joe has heard whispers — nothing more than rumors — that Schiano will implement a strict blackout of assistants talking to the pen and mic club, not unlike Tuna Parcells used to have and currently what Bill Belicheat has in place.

This practice began to spread so quickly, given the copycat nature of the league, that the NFL, tired of head coaches hogging the spotlight, put a kibosh on the growing trend and forced all NFL teams to offer up both the offensive and defensive coordinator to the press on a weekly basis. Other assistants are under no such mandate and if ordered by the head coach (Belicheat for example), can be prohibited from speaking on the record.

If, as Joe hears, Schiano implements this restriction on his staff, and Davis keeps his moniker of a special assistant (not a coordinator by title), he would never have to deal with reporters covering the Bucs, yet still have a heavy hand in molding the Bucs defense each week (wink, wink).

Now mind you, this is all speculation. Shoot, we don’t even know if North Carolina will swallow this scheme much less NFL warden commissioner Roger Goodell.

But isn’t it fun to play David Brock?

The more Joe ponders this Davis maneuver, the more brilliant the plan appears.

56 Responses to “The Butch Davis Title”

  1. Brown Bag Says:

    Joe, this is very interesting. Never thought of this angle. I would suspect UNC is going to watch every Bucs game, perhaps buy a ticket andhave someone with binoculars, watching to see if he is ‘coordinating’. Maybe now the Bucs will prohibit bringing binoculars, monoculars, telephoto lenses and even monacles to the game.

  2. jvato24 Says:

    Even if the team is tight lipped. I wouldn’t be surprised if Goodell sends a spy to practices and TC to make sure he isn’t coaching.

    It will not be as good if he can’t be hands on out on the field. But he will still help, especially with drafting Defensive talent.

  3. jvato24 Says:

    If his involvement will be limited just give him a 3 year deal @ 700k per season.

  4. CC Says:

    If Davis was named DC. Would he have to pay back the $933k? If not, Why can’t the Bucs pay $509k per year? Even if you divide the entire $2.7mil over the 4 years its still only $675K. Not to bad for a top DC in the NFL.

  5. Meh Says:

    This is ridiculous. So basically, he’s going to steal money.

  6. Brown Bag Says:

    It’s not about the Bucs not paying him. It’s about Butch wanting to double dip. He doesn’t have to pay back what he got last year. He wasn’t coaching. But the free till stops paying once he gets a coaching job.

    So they make him an advisor (not a coach), pay him and he also gets paid the other way. Win Win for Butch, win for Bucs if not caught. Goodell doesn’t care. UNC is the only one dealing with problems.

    This is no different than Gruden being on TV. Gets his Bucs check and TV check simultaneously.

  7. jb Says:

    “The more Joe ponders this Davis maneuver, the more brilliant the plan appears.”


  8. Brown Bag Says:

    And this makes sense as to why it took awhile to make the hire. Attorneys were considering the logistics of the double-dip deal.

  9. Brad Says:

    The Glazers said they would do whatever takes to put a winner on the field. They need to buy out Butch’s contract, pay him, give him a new contract. It might be expensive but they said whatever it takes. The guy has the pedigree. Now who is the OC going to be?

  10. Brown Bag Says:

    Meh: In America this isn’t considered stealing. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if whomever concocted this idea doesn’t end up an executive on Wall Street someday. Bwaahaaa!

  11. T in Orlando Says:

    I posed this thought on another article, is it possible that Butch Davis’ position with the Bucs is the reason why Quinn didn’t want leave UF? He didn’t want to have a significantly reduced role in how the defense is run compared what he has at UF.

  12. Joe Says:


    is it possible that Butch Davis’ position with the Bucs is the reason why Quinn didn’t want leave UF?

    Very doubtful. Quinn is in a nice position making good cash (reportedly $500,000/annually). If the Gators turn things around, Quinn will be a sought-after candidate for a good head coaching job.

    Quinn joining the Bucs as a position coach simply wasn’t a smart professional move for him.

  13. RustyRhino Says:

    I hope we don’t get bit in the arse with this plan. What happens if the ncaa decides it thinks Davis is double dipping, and they get the NFL involved. This could blow up in our face. It might even cause us more problems with hiring other coaches in the future. With that said I like the hire if Davis will be our DC not as a advisor position. I wonder if we would be having these types of issues with finding a coaching staff had we have gotten a “vet NFL” head coach like say Marty, Billick, or even Sherman.
    Here’s to hoping we bring in Tim Testerman as our OC…..

  14. Bulldog Says:

    I wonder if this stellar business solution would have been necessary if the testosterone free glazer twins had proceeded with a little more sense of urgency in the beginning? Now this kinda s$$t is something to be proud of. Says a lot about anyone thinking this is a coup as well in my book. Just sayin.

  15. jfgobucs Says:

    Can you say…. Marc Trestman…..OC

  16. eric Says:

    hard for me to believe this shell game will get by the university legal dept.

    coaching v advising is a pretty flimsy distinction imo.

    gonna have to at least call somebody dc id imagine.

  17. T in Orlando Says:

    Since this is a coach going from the NCAA to the NFL, if it is deemed something as a contract violation, there will be no more penalty than Butch (or the Bucs by paying Butch the difference) having to pay back the $2.7 mil.

  18. bucfanjeff Says:

    I like Davis as a DC (or whatever role). He was never a great HC but it’s hard to argue some of his success on the defensive side of the ball. UNC…UNC!, played pretty well under him. Not exactly where players go for FOOTBALL.

    If we hire him, I like it.

    OC is the more delicate hire though, we can’t F that up. Critical.

  19. Meh Says:

    If you want him, cut the crap, pay the price, and name him DC. He’s exactly what we need. This stupid shell game is exactly what we DON’T need.


    This will come down to who has the bigger lawyer.

    BTW, so happy about Davis on staff. Now waiting for an exciting offensive announcment. Specifically OC and QB coach.

  21. Thomas 2.2.. Says:

    I’m just glad RahRah Morris is responsible for another team’s secondary and not our defense.

  22. Fatmosh Says:

    I also wonder if part of it is Davis wanting to keep a lower profile for a while because he was exhausted after the scandal at UNC. He might not want the cameras on him and (as you suggested) having to talk to the press.

    Either way, I’m on board with having some expertise on staff. I just hope there is a clear chain of command and this doesn’t cause any power struggles with the actual defensive coordinator.

  23. 941Buc Says:

    I love it! We need NFL experience. I will still not renew my season fix until the Glazers spend money in free agency and land at least one big name on each side of the ball. I will not give the Glazers a dime until they invest in the team

  24. Occassionally Right Says:

    Meh and jb,

    Are you idiots?

    Think this through. There is nothing illegal about it and nothing amoral about it, BUT the benefit this opens for the Bucs is huge.

    We can, effectively, have two top quality Defensive guys of like mind. It’s genius.

    Will you still complain if a big name is signed as DC? Say, just throwing a name out there, Marty? Okay, it’s unlikely to be a Marty, but you get my point.

    Another plus is as Joe said. The Bucs can take their time and groom a younger DC, or find a promising defensive guy that has potential.

    I love this move and I could care less about a college that robs its players of millions getting the short end of this deal.

  25. Occassionally Right Says:

    btw, thank you for posting this article, Joe.

  26. Meh Says:

    Why in god’s name would we want TWO big time DCs? Where’s the chain of command? And it damn well is immoral. I’m sure they’d had the lawyers in to study the letter of the contracts and come up with a cute plan that might let them steal this money, but that doesn’t make it right.

    And I’m sick of all the personal insults on this site. It is almost driving me off. Why can’t any of you stick to making your points without personally insulting those who don’t agree with you?

  27. Matthew Says:

    I love all these self-rightous people on here pretending they wouldn’t try and maximize their earning potential. These are the same guys screaming at athletes to “HONOR YOUR CONTRACT” even if they are underpaid. UNC signed the deal, they owe Butch the money. Great job by the Bucs for getting a great defensive mind & smart by Butch Davis for getting paid twice because of how he negotiated his contract.


    My comment disappeared. Strange.


    NM. Sorry.

  30. Nick Says:

    you gotta be really good at being cheap to pull this one off

  31. Draft TR Says:

    Why wouldn’t we just buy out the remainder of the money?? Are we really this cheap ?

  32. Macabee Says:

    This is not a legal opinion, but an opinion from a part-time bass fisherman who loves the Bucs.

    The UNC will remain silent on the matter until a contract is signed. If there is any language in the contract or action of the parties that hint at actively coaching, they will sue Davis to end the payout. They are already paying Davis and have nothing to lose by contesting the contract.

    If Davis has not signed a contract yet, he is or if properly counseled, should be seeking to have the Bucs mitigate his damages if sued and loses his payout either through settlement or outright buyout of the stream of payments.

    You can’t unring a bell. Davis cannot say just kidding and resign. If he became a coach in any sense for one minute, the agrement for the payout is voided.

    This could have all been avoided by hiring Davis as DC, agreeing to buyout his UNC agreement for a lump-sum lesser amount as a one-time signing bonus. What happened to the “we will spend whatever it takes to win” promise?

    No matter how this ends up, the Bucs are better off to have Butch Davis in any capacity.

  33. eric Says:

    is it such a great idea to have a guy on your staff hat has to worry about crossing the line between advising and coaching?

    unc doesnt start paying till next jan.

    sounds like a possible distraction.

  34. raphael Says:

    @meh… why you a crybaby ? nobody is insulting your gay arse!

  35. eric Says:

    after all the money the bucs have invested in drafting defensive players why would u get butch davis where he cant coach

    not seeing the brilliance at all.

    sounds mickey mouse.

  36. jvato24 Says:

    Eric .. Stop it dude …

    THey can get him on conference at any time to Help out !!

  37. jvato24 Says:

    conference call*

  38. Matthew Says:

    No one knows what he CAN or CAN’T do in regards to coaching the team. Has anyone on this board actually seen Butch Davis’s contract with UNC or the Bucs??? Are one of you the lawyers that drafted the contrats?! Wow these boards are ridiculous sometimes. We finally get a great defensive minded coach on our staff who’s got an eye for scouting top NFL Defensive talent, something all Bucs fans have been clamoring for and instead of just being happy & seeing where the rest of the offseason goes the whiners come out.

  39. Matthew Says:

    “The Glazers are cheap, great he won’t be able to coach, stupid move he’ll just sit and stare aimlessly unable to help the team.” How can any of you possibly believe the Bucs would hire Davis and not be sure he’d be able to help the club in the way they hired him for. The Glazers can’t be called “cheap” if they hired a guy just to do nothing as some are claiming or you must admit they made a smart hire with Butch Davis & clam Bucs can’t attract any coaching talent nonsense. You haters can’t have it both ways.

  40. Bobby Says:

    You know, I’m sure the reason this has taken so long has nothing at all to do with the Glazers having attorneys pouring over every single work of the Davis N.C. contract. They probably couldn’t afford good attorneys so they’re just guessing that making him Defensive Asst. is a way to not violate his contract with North Carolina. I mean come on…many of you have been calling the Glazers idiots for a long time now. This spur of the moment hire just proves how stupid they really are.

  41. OAR Says:

    I was thinking the same things!

  42. CreamsicleBananaHammock Says:

    The more Joe ponders this Davis maneuver, the more brilliant the plan appears.

    The more CBH ponders this Davis Maneuver, the more cheap the plan appears to be.

    What is keeping the Glazers from just matching the amount UNC is going to give him? I mean……why should Butch HAVE to double dip? Just match what UNC was paying and make him the DC. Problem solved

  43. Josh Says:

    Everything will make sense when they make the official announcements next week people. It sounds like contrary to all of our pessimism Schiano and the organization have been working their tails off. I like the secrecy. It makes things more dramatic which might make the team…better.

  44. eric Says:

    if they only match butch is effectively working for free

  45. CreamsicleBananaHammock Says:


    No, right now he’s getting paid for not working. If they match (or let them exceed, I don’t care) then he’s getting paid for working.

    Do you think Butch would be against giving up his UNC money if the Bucs matched or exceeded what he’s getting paid for sitting on his duff?

  46. Vic Says:

    Pretty obvious the Bucs gave Davis a salary but will cover any potential losses and legal fees if UNC puts the legal squeeze on him.

    “Hey Butch, we’ll cut you $800,000 a year for three years and we’ll eat the remaining $2 million-plus from UNC if you’re busted.”

  47. Theodore Says:

    I’m actually hoping “Defensive Assistant” means helping tackle.

  48. Jersuza Says:

    Hows about: The Honorable Butch Davis, Secretary of Defense ?

  49. Occassionally Right Says:

    It appears that certain people have decided to hate ANYTHING the Bucs do, no matter what.


    If Davis said he wouldn’t come if he had to give up that other money, and the Bucs wanted him bad enough (which, I remind you…SO DID YOU!), they had no choice but to meet his demands.


    (end of breakdown)


  50. thegregwitul Says:

    I think a lot of people are missing the point on this one. Butch wants the cash from NC. We could be paying him $5 million per year and it wouldn’t matter, it’s likely Butch wanting to stick it to NC for the way he exited the program. I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, but this has nothing to do with the Bucs being cheap.

  51. 941Buc Says:

    Secretary of Defense! LOVE IT!

  52. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    Money may not be the only issue with North Carolina. The school actually had the right to fire Davis with cause and not owe him another dime, but the board decided to give him a “severance” totaling up to $2.7 million over three years. They willingly did this. Why? My guess is they have a vested interest in keeping Davis happy because he knows things that could be very compromising for the school. Knowing where the bodies are buried can be a very lucrative thing.

  53. Joe Says:

    Let’s say, as some have suggested, Team Glazer pays Butch Davis a standard NFL defensive coordinator salary on top of what he would lose with the Tar Heels.

    NFL owners would have a conniption. Half of the league’s defensive coordinators would be beating down the doors of their respective team’s owners demanding a robust raise.

  54. CreamsicleBananaHammock Says:


    I guess that makes sense……not so much the owners having a conniption (the same owners who wouldn’t let us interview their current staff), but why would an owner pay a guy more out of their own pocket than they have to?

    Still, maybe I’m just not money hungry enough, but if I were in Butch’s position I’d be happy taking the same amount from the Bucs to work and just let UNC off the hook

  55. eric Says:

    I never good figure out how Butch got blamed for that whole thing there at UNC.

    To my knowledge nobody proved he had any involvement. Classic scapegoat situation.

    COuld very well be he knows where the skeletons are burried and they may leave him alone on this thing.

    Excellent point Flboy

  56. 13frain Says:

    I think thegregwitul is right. This has nothing to do with the money or the the BUCS being cheap. This has everything about Butch getting back at UNC. They had a contract, If they could find a way to fire him and not to pay him they would have. They put this clause in just bust his chops and to end his coaching career. At his age it’s a lot harder to find a job when you’re out of the game for a couple of years.