9:30AM: The Browns have published a statement from Butch Davis about his resignation. The team's web site is being swamped and is slow to respond, so here is the critical part of the statement from my perspective:
"The criticism and frustration with lack of success on Sundays has made it
necessary for the Cleveland Browns ownership, management, and myself to move in
different directions. Instead of the focus each week being specifically on my
job, this will allow the team to focus on the games and the management to focus
and create a new beginning in Personnel as well as Coaching.
"I accept responsibility for the mistakes that we have made, but it was my and my staff's intention to do everything we could to lay the foundation and build a team that could win a Super Bowl. I hope that some of the decisions we have made will be a part of a brighter future for the Browns organization.
8:58AM: The Browns have confirmed Davis' resignation to BerniesInsiders.com via a phone call.
8:52AM: We have just received the following from the Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns head coach Butch Davis has resigned, the club announced today. Browns President/CEO John Collins will address the media today at a 2 p.m. press conference at the team's training facility in Berea, Ohio.
Davis became the 10th full-time head coach of the Cleveland Browns on Jan. 30, 2001. In four seasons with the Browns (2001-04), Davis totaled a 24-35 (.407) regular season record and qualified for the playoffs in 2002.
8:48AM: John Collins reportedly has told WTAM that Butch Davis resigned last night, saying that it was too much on himself and his family. The Browns will have a press conference at 2PM today, and Davis will slam a statement up on the team's official spin-o-matic web site inside the hour.
8:45AM: WTAM's Casey Coleman is reporting second-hand word from another sideline reporter that Butch Davis has not been fired by the team. This does not cancel out the Glazer story below if Davis, in fact, resigned. There is not yet any confirmation or denial by the team itself. We advise everyone to keep in mind that the Browns have been insistent over the past week that Davis would remain head coach. We are taking this report quite seriously, despite the lack of word from the team and the inconsistent reports from ESPN and Fox.
8:35AM: Fox Sports which, like ESPN, screwed up the story last week by jumping the gun, reports that Butch Davis was not fired, but actually resigned. Fox Sports' Jay Glazer mis-spells Randy Lerner's name throughout the story, but offers that the "Browns are adamant that they have not fired Davis but this is completely his decision". There has been no official word from the team.
8:30AM: ESPN has slammed up a quick story on their website. The story, unlike last week's stories from ESPN, WKYC, Fox Sports, and WOIO, is being taken seriously here at Bernie's Insiders and elsewhere. Lane Adkins told me yesterday that "something was up involving Butch", but we couldn't lock down the story, so we have reason to suspect that there was some sort of activity.
8:00AM: According to a story broadcast moments ago on ESPN, the Cleveland Browns fired head coach Butch Davis late last night. The story comes from ESPN's Chris Mortenson, who screwed up similar news last week, but this report is being taken seriously by all news outlets.
Browns players, supposedly, are being called into Berea to get the news from owner Randy Lerner.
Stay tuned to BerniesInsiders.com for news as the story develops all day.