Butch Davis Fired By Tar Heels via ESPN: North Carolina fired football coach Butch Davis on Wednesday, saying the past year of turmoil amid an NCAA investigation into improper benefits and academic misconduct was doing too much damage to the school's reputation. The school issued a statement announcing Davis' dismissal nine days before the start of preseason practice. Chancellor Holden Thorp said the decision was not prompted by any changes in the ongoing NCAA investigation but said he "lost confidence in our ability to come through this without harming the way people think of this institution." The school has scheduled a news conference for Thursday morning in Chapel Hill to discuss the change. Davis compiled a 28-23 record in four seasons with the Tar Heels after taking over for John Bunting. His program looked ready to contend for an Atlantic Coast Conference championship and a BCS berth last year before NCAA investigators arrived on campus last July. Safety Deunta Williams said he was "sad" to hear of Davis' dismissal. Williams was one of many Tar Heels found by the NCAA to have received an extra benefit from a third party last year. "Part of the reason is the things we did and I feel bad about that," he said. "He was a good coach to all of us. I hope he can land on his feet." (ESPN.com) Rumors are swirling about Davis' replacement. Look for associate HC Sam Pittman to take the reigns, although nothing is certain. It will be interesting to see how this move effects the Heels as they get set to take on #2 Oregon in the hostile environment of Autzen Stadium.