As it becomes more evident that the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s athletics department is in a huge pile of stink, more and more agents are being blamed and scapegoated by UNC-CH partisans who truly believe that God created the sky after he created the color ‘Carolina Blue’.Â
In today’sÂ News and Observer,Â North Carolina Secretary of State, Elaine Marshall is touted her office’s “expertise” and abilityÂ to investigate agents. Â Boy, we hope she is right.Â
Just this morning, USA Today had a short piece withÂ a quote from agent Ralph CindrichÂ responding to Nick Saban’s recent comments comparing agents to “pimps.”
â€œIn terms of him throwing that out there, most agents know what goes on in college programs and what programs are clean or not. You want to find out who has the dirty programs, give immunity and go off the record with agents, and it would be like a cockfight, the last one standing wins. There are ways to determine the truth of allegations out there.â€
That is a super idea!! Can Marshall and the State of North Carolina give this immunity and go off the record with agents as part of her investigation?
One would think that this idea would serve to benefit a process that is committed to finding the truth…if finding the whole truth was genuinely the goal of the investigation. Unfortunately, Elaine Marshall’s own words indicate that she is not interested in allowing the evidence to guide her to the truth; unfortunately, she has already tainted the sanctity of this investigation before it has gotten started.
In the last two days, Marshall commented
â€œWeâ€™ll be investigating the agents,â€ Marshall said said. â€œWe will not be investigating the school.â€
Gee. How re-assuring is that! Marshall has pre-ordained where the investigation will go, regardless of where the evidence may or may not lead. That has got to make you feel good!
How can any investigation be designed to genuinely seek the comprehensive truth about an issue if potential parties to the investigation are deemed off limits before the first piece of evidence is collected? How can Marshall or her investigation have one ounce of credibility if it is rigged before it begins that potential parties to the problem won’t be investigated? And we thought the US Congress was bad? At least they are actually going to try Charlie Rangel.
The Greensboro News and Record recently explained that the ongoingÂ NCAA investigation into UNC-CH’s football program was “focused on improper contact between sports agents and members of the Tar Heels’ football team, according to a report from ESPN.com.”Â Later in that article the News and RecordÂ touched onÂ the relationship between Kentwan Balmer, Marvin Austin, and sports agent Gary Wichard:
ESPN.com reported that Austin was asked about having been seen driving the car of former Tar Heels defensive tackle Kentwan Balmer, a first-round pick in the 2008 NFL draft. Balmer was a senior at North Carolina when Austin was a freshman.
Balmerâ€™s agent, Gary Wichard of California-based Pro Tect Management, told The Charlotte Observer by phone Friday that he has never met with Austin.
â€œIâ€™ve never talked to him about representing him,â€ Wichard said. â€œI’ve never gone down there, and I never will.”
It is interesting thatÂ Gary Wichard and UNC-CHÂ coach John BlakeÂ reportedly haveÂ (or have had)Â some kind ofÂ relationship.Â In talking about the Austin/BalmerÂ car episode, theÂ National Football Post explains: Â
“Balmer is represented by Gary Wichard, a longtime friend of Carolina defensive line coach John Blake.”
In what looks like a repost of this sameÂ article, Yahoo SportsÂ hadÂ this line slightly different:
“Balmer is represented by Gary Wichard, who also represents North Carolina defensive line coach John Blake.”
What does that mean?Â Is any of that even true?Â WeÂ don’t know! Â What is the actualÂ relationship between Wichard and Blake, if there is one?Â Â We have no idea!Â But theseÂ might be excellent things for Marshall to look into given everything that is out there.Â
Others across the country have commented on what appears to be a long standing relationship between Wichard and Blake and how it may fit in the context of the currentÂ UNC-CH scandal. This article from earlier in the week is must read, and isn’t complimentary to either party.
Wichard is with “Pro Tect Management.”Â His website is hereÂ if you want to check it out.Â Check out the name — nothingbutfreaks.com.Â How cool!Â