One of the last remaining vestiges of the Mack Brown era for the Texas Longhorns has apparently been removed, as the Austin American-Statesman is reporting that head football academic advisor Brian Davis will not be back for the fall semester.
The Longhorns posted a perfect APR of 1,000 in football for the 2012-13 academic year, one of only two schools in the country to achieve that feat along with Louisville, but three football players were ineligible for the Alamo Bowl against Oregon due to problems in the classroom. The loss of running back Jalen Overstreet was not particularly significant, but it was a major blow to lose wide receiver Daje Johnson and offensive tackle Kennedy Estelle, the latter the starter at right tackle for most of the season.
The transcript issues faced by offensive tackle Desmond Harrison last year and linebacker Tevin Jackson in 2010 after his signing were two more significant failures by Davis.
Davis was a perfect example of the organizational malaise and misplaced loyalty that afflicted the end of the Mack Brown era. It was former strength and conditioning coach Jeff Madden who took most of the heat from fans, but the knowledgeable segment of the fan base knew that Davis was equally dismal at his job.
Back when he was also in charge of the basketball program, the academic issues of PJ Tucker prompted the former administration to elevate Randa Ryan into the role of executive senior athletics director for student service, a fancy way of saying that she has been responsible for overseeing the academic support staff and student services for all sports with the exception of football.
In other words, she was essentially elevated over Davis, who was left his own little fiefdom as someone who had followed Brown from North Carolina. Under Brown, such relationships seemingly made people nearly untouchable, with only gross incompetence like the 2010 season from Greg Davis and the sexual harassment suit brought against Cleve Bryant capable of breaking those ties.
And apparently the elevation of Ryan over Davis didn't play particularly well with Davis, as the Statesman reports that the two feuded after new athletic director Steve Patterson put her in charge of all sports after his hiring, which must have reduced the role Davis played in overseeing the academic support of the football program.
Of course, the reputation of Ryan has also took a recent hit with the ongoing investigation concerning purchase orders made over a number of years from the store that she co-owns with her husband, though the fact that she has not been placed on administrative leave probably bodes well for her continued employment at Texas.
In any case, the removal of Davis and the increased attention by the new coaching staff should result in fewer academic issues for Texas moving forward, especially in the area of making sure that prospective student-athletes have their transcripts in order so there are no delays in starting their careers.
The Charlie Strong era is truly getting under way.