Although the news came out yesterday that new Bucs coach Greg Schiano has hired his old friend and colleague Butch Davis, there have been conflicting reports about precisely what role Davis will have in Tampa Bay. And the reason for the conflicting reports appears to be an issue regarding Davis wanting to collect paychecks from the Bucs while also collecting all the severance pay he can from the University of North Carolina.
North Carolina fired Davis in July amid an NCAA investigation into academic misconduct and accusations that players received impermissible benefits from agents. According to the Tampa Bay Times, when Davis was fired the school agreed to give him up to $2.7 million in severance. (Because giving $2.7 million to a football coach who was fired amid a scandal is a great way for a public university to use its resources.)
Davis has already received $933,000 of that severance, but the rest of it comes in increments of $590,000 a year in 2013, 2014 and 2015 — but only if Davis is unable to find a coaching job. If Davis has resumed his coaching career, North Carolina can deduct his coaching salary from that $590,000, and if his coaching salary is more than $590,000 North Carolina doesn’t have to pay him anything.
So Davis is apparently hoping to work out a title with the Buccaneers in which he will “serve the Bucs in an advisory capacity” rather than become a coach, and therefore he’d be able to get paid by the Bucs while still collecting his full severance from North Carolina.
Davis hasn’t signed a contract with the Bucs yet, and it’s still possible that they’ll just hire him as a coach, pay him more than $590,000 a year, and end North Carolina’s obligation to pay him anything. But at the moment he doesn’t have a specific title, and North Carolina isn’t off the hook.