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Davis coached Blake in high school, and the two men worked together with the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys under Jimmy Johnson. Blake was fired after three seasons as head coach at Oklahoma in 1998, when his attorneys said was when his financial troubles escalated.

North Carolina (2-2) started the year ranked among the Top 25 with hopes of contending for the Atlantic Coast Conference title, but its roster is seemingly in flux every week.

Starting safety Da’Norris Searcy was cleared to return last week after missing the first three games, returning an interception for a touchdown in the win against East Carolina. Fellow safety Deunta Williams returns this week against Clemson after serving a four-game suspension for improper benefits connected to trips, while cornerback Kendric Burney is serving a six-game suspension.

The status of Austin and eight other players still being held out remains in question.

“It’s been going on for so long, I think everybody’s kind of used to it,” quarterback T.J. Yates said. “We can kind of block it out now because nobody pays attention to all the speculation.”