Judge Rules Davis' Business Calls Are Public

A state Superior Court judge has ruled that former football coach Butch Davis must make public the records of business calls made on his personal cell phone.

Judge Howard Manning Jr. ’65, who previously had said only lawyers representing a media consortium could review the records, said Tuesday that Davis has 30 days to produce the records for the media that filed suit for access to them.

“University officials and coaches may not use their personal cell phones to ‘dodge’ or evade the North Carolina Public Records law and may not avoid public scrutiny of their cell phone records by using their personal cell phones to conduct public business,” Manning wrote.

He added that Davis was entitled to protection from having to make his personal calls public.

The ruling was in response to a suit brought by The News & Observer of Raleigh and other media outlets to obtain records related to the NCAA investigation of the UNC football program. Davis was fired last summer amid the probe, and he and the University have maintained that his phone records were not open to the public.

Manning previously ruled that other records relevant to the football investigation are public record and subject to release, but he excluded records related to academics.

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