UNC Associate Head Coach John Blake Resigns Effective Immediately
One startling decision, however, was reached Sunday night, when it was announced by UNC that associate head coach John Blake has resigned.
Blake has been involved in the NCAA investigation of the UNC program, according to Gary Wichard, an NFL agent and Blake's close friend.
UNC head coach Butch Davis has also connected Blake to the investigation into defensive tackle Marvin Austin and receiver Greg Little for possible improper contact with sports agents.
Blake said in a statement released by the school that he felt he had become a distraction and it was in the best interest of all involved to resign. Blake was in his fourth season as a member of the Tar Heels' coaching staff.
"While I have enjoyed my tenure at the University of North Carolina, it has become apparent to me over the course of the past few weeks that my presence has become a distraction to my family and to this great university, too," Blake said in a statement.
"Consequently, I have determined that it is in the best interests of my family, the university community at large, and the football program for me to step down from my position as associate head football coach effective today, September 5, 2010.'
Blake had previously worked alongside Davis while serving as the defensive line coach with the Dallas Cowboys.
"Knowing John as I have over the years, it is clear that this was a difficult decision for him to make," Davis said in a statement.
"I know how much John loves the players, coaching and the game of football. I am grateful for all of his hard work and effort in helping build this program. As difficult as this situation is, I have accepted his resignation. Throughout his career, I know he has worked hard to help young men become better people and football players. He and his family have made positive contributions to our football program."
UNC director of athletics Dick Baddour said Blake previously indicated he would step down if he felt his presence with the football program would become a distraction.
"I appreciate and respect his decision to do what is best for the university and our football program," Baddour said in a statement. ""I know the young men he coached are tremendously disappointed, but coach Davis and his staff will help and support them as the season moves forward."
UNC fell to LSU 30-24 in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta. The Tar Heels rallied from a 20-point deficit and drove to the 6-yard line in the closing minute, missing on two passes in the end zone.
UNC will host Georgia Tech in its next game on Sept. 18.