John Blake Focus of Investigation [Updated @ 7pm]

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In a 92-minute telephone interview, Wichard repeatedly questioned why the NCAA would be looking into his relationship with Blake. Asked if Blake had ever been a Pro Tect employee, Wichard repeatedly stated that he hadn’t.

“No, no, no, no,” Wichard said. “John lived [in California] after he was the head coach at Oklahoma. He lived out in [Los Angeles]. We’ve socialized. We’ve been friends. His son is my godson. It has nothing to do with that. He hasn’t worked for me at all. I don’t get where that is coming from.”

After being fired from his head coaching job at Oklahoma, Blake directed a part-time “Chance to Advance” football camp from 1999-2002. However, Wichard’s statements about Blake never having been employed by his agency appear to contradict a Pro Tect Management brochure obtained by Yahoo! Sports.

Prepared for prospective clients, the brochure contains multiple pictures of players, including a handful who were selected as recently as the 2001 draft. The inner cover features large photos of both Wichard and Blake. Under Blake’s picture, his title is listed as “Vice President/Football Operations.”

Click here for the inside cover of Pro Tect Management’s brochure obtained by Yahoo Sports.

Did UNC’s Kentwan Balmer pay for Austin to attend workouts in California in the summer of 2009? I know that “Curry Math” in Chapel Hill has found a way to suspend all reality; but the generally accepted calendar that the rest of the world uses would indicate that the ‘summer of 2009′ comes before the ‘football season of 2009.’ Uh-oh.

Maybe the Tarheels’ nightmare loss in the Meineke Car Care Bowl never actually happened? At the end of the day, perhaps Carolina didn’t win a single game in 2009 while using an ineligible player?

“I spoke to him once,” Wichard said. “I told him to go back to school when Kentwan Balmer put him on the phone in January. I said go back to school and be [like] Ndamukong Suh and make some money. … I’m not even recruiting the kid. I’ve never said one word to him about the business other than football – go back to school. Now, if I wanted to represent him in January, I could have said ‘Come on out, guy. Let’s roll. Let’s make some money.’ That’s not who I am.”

“I never even talked to Marvin,” Wichard said. “Kentwan met me [at Proactive Sports] and I gave him shoes and I saw these two guys with him. They were out on the field. A couple of guys who played with him. That’s all. How did [Marvin Austin] get out here? Kentwan Balmer paid for him. They were hanging together. I can’t tell you exactly what went on from that standpoint, but they were all together.”

Asked if he spoke to Balmer on other occasions while both Balmer and Austin were in California, Wichard said he had not.

“No. Heck no,” Wichard said. “Heck no. [Kentwan] knows that I’m not interested in that.”

Big Four Rivals College Football UNC Scandal

60 Responses to John Blake Focus of Investigation [Updated @ 7pm]

  1. newt 08/09/2010 at 5:04 PM #

    Be sure to notice that you can even download the pamphlet by clicking the link at the top of the article.

    Those two reporters put it on the line.

  2. Daily Update 08/09/2010 at 5:10 PM #

    Regardless of the story being mostly about Blake, the most newsworthy information are the comments about Balmer paying for Austin’s trip to California. That is a violation of NCAA rules. Between the jaunt to California and the trip to Miami, then I would guess that MA would get at least a few game suspension.

  3. wufpup76 08/09/2010 at 5:13 PM #

    Yahoo! is on them now … hehehehehehehehe

  4. Daily Update 08/09/2010 at 5:14 PM #

    It will be interesting to see if Blake’s phone records have been requested. If there was contact between he and Wichard around the time of these trips, then it could get very interesting. But they do have a pre-existing friendship, so it may not be a big deal.

  5. Daily Update 08/09/2010 at 5:17 PM #

    Also, note that Wichard mentions two guys with Balmer that Balmer played with. So I wonder if another player besides MA was in California. MA working out at the Protech camp has already been documented by the companies website.

  6. TAEdisonHokie 08/09/2010 at 5:18 PM #

    That is a very well-researched article that ties together a lot of the loose ends in the UNC investigation. Nicely done!

    It’s just a matter of time before the NCAA investigators start looking at UNC recruiting violations, if they haven’t already.

  7. Daily Update 08/09/2010 at 5:33 PM #

    I totally missed that Wichard said this trip took place in 2009.

    Wow. So they played 2009 with a potentially ineligible player.

  8. otisthetowndrunk 08/09/2010 at 6:04 PM #

    Yahoo has been for sometime the only one to really do any digging up of dirt. They have nothing to lose by protecting schools and everything to gain. They are the ones that started the whole UConn hubub. I am not surprised they are the only ones no sticking their head in the sand.

  9. bradleyb123 08/09/2010 at 6:04 PM #

    If only the News & Disturber would do as much investigative reporting. They’ve just been sitting on their hands. Thanks, Yahoo! And thanks, SFN, for doing the N&O’s jobs for them. Someone has to do it. If this was State, we’d be plastered all over their front page every day until this was over.

  10. tjfoose1 08/09/2010 at 6:10 PM #

    How can this be? Ovies said nobody was talking, so there was nothing to report!?! I’m confused by this irreconcilable paradox.

    I’d imagine even Dave Glenn said something similar (I stopped listening to him sometime ago, so I can’t confirm). Maybe someone could confirm this?

    You people are crazy. Investigative journalism?… Never heard of it. Local news media?… What’s that?

    All you lunatic fringe, black helicopter conspiracists need to get a life. Everyone knows that if there was a real story here, those crack journalists over at the N&O would have been on top of it months ago.

    Yahoo!? Seriously folks? C’mon, get real. What does a wackjob, tabloid, junk media news outlet know anyway? They don’t even live here. Their offices are probably off in BFE somewhere. I mean, seriously, their name is “Yahoo!” Who can take them seriously with a name like that?

    humbug.

    Go ‘Heels!

  11. tjfoose1 08/09/2010 at 6:11 PM #

    But seriously…

    “So they played 2009 with a potentially ineligible player.”

    Yep, that was mentioned sometime ago. But of course, the local media dismissed it.

  12. tvp1 08/09/2010 at 6:56 PM #

    Gee…what does this sound like…could it be….

    LACK OF INSTITUTIONAL CONTROL????????

  13. Pack78 08/09/2010 at 7:00 PM #

    Two other players with Kentwan?… #8 and #9? Whichard runs a camp staffed by his client Balmer and doesn`t know who Balmer is working out?

  14. StateFans 08/09/2010 at 7:07 PM #

    As I’ve been saying from the beginning — How can it NOT be lack of institutional control when EMPLOYEES of the institution are so closely related to what is going on while simultaneously turning a blind eye to all sorts of behaviors and ‘curious’ situations.

  15. tjfoose1 08/09/2010 at 7:15 PM #

    “How can it NOT be lack of institutional control…”?

    Because it is not unless/until the N&O, and other ‘controlling’ entities, says it is… At least that was the case until recently, when finally, finally, more national media began digging in and actually playing the role of investigative journalist as apposed to UNX publicist.

  16. highstick 08/09/2010 at 7:26 PM #

    There’s been “no control” over there in years and anyone who denies it must have their head stuck in the sand!! It’s just a matter of whether or not the NCAA has the nads to go after them..

    Granted, they aren’t the only one, but their fans are just idiots by proclaiming such excellence without the dirt that sometimes goes with it.

  17. hoop 08/09/2010 at 7:56 PM #

    Exactly. Does the NCAA have the balls to nail UNZ? (fortuitous typo.)

    That is the question.

    Too many specific questions being asked for which people were where and at what time.

    Too much smoke for there not to be a fire.

    I’m glad “State Fans” (the blogger, not the blog, which is confusing btw) points this out. The other StateFansNation blogger (Alpha?) the other days was saying that we don’t know anything other than the NCAA is asking questions. Which almost made me think he was trying to soften the blow of news he already knew.

    But anyway… if these type of major violations did indeed occur, I hope the NCAA nails them hard.

    And then maybe Obama won’t be talking about how great UNC is.

  18. tuckerdorm1983 08/09/2010 at 8:11 PM #

    the fish stinks from the head all the way to its tail. After Reggie Bush the NCAA decided that enough is enough. Hopefully all this mess lands on the head of ole Butchy.

  19. tjfoose1 08/09/2010 at 8:19 PM #

    Hoop –

    Should UNC’s worst case scenario play out, they have a compelling and intricate defense strategy ready to go…

    “It’s George Bush’s fault”.

    I don’t know if its quite as good as the ‘Chewbacca defense’, but its one that’s sure to keep Obama in the fold.

  20. El Scrotcho 08/09/2010 at 8:21 PM #

    I sure hope there’s more dirt that sticks than this. Is two unpaid trips by one player all they are going to be able to prove? I mean hell, if there’s not enough to destabilize the program, what’s the point. We’re practically sure that houses (Ellington) and jobs (Forte) have been provided in the past – if unpaid trips are the best we end up getting, well…..I just don’t know what to say.

  21. newt 08/09/2010 at 8:32 PM #

    Butch isn’t good enough for me to want this to land on him. I’d much prefer it land on Blake and Butch just continue sucking.

    The next line of Tarheel defense is that they “don’t care that much about football” and are in fact upset that the football program is in the news, because they are so proud that they have won at basketball the right way and now even though they are soooo good, this Butch character is threatening to tarnish the university’s reputation. Heck, BobLee has been talking this nonsense for years.

    Anyway, the only responses to that line of thinking are “Octagon jobs program” and “Ellington Mansion @ 4901 Stockton Way,” and reminding them that Roy oversaw NCAA violations at Kansas The smallest hope lies in that the NCAA knows who Roy Williams because he thought the players deserved a little cash as a reward for their time playing on his team, I mean “graduation presents.”

  22. section2chuck 08/09/2010 at 8:37 PM #

    Once again, thank SFN. You guys were on top of this from the start. It took the media how long to finally connect the dots from the players to “Black Santa”…I agree if this was us, we would be all over the N&O and WRAL….I also quit listening to David Glenn a long time ago, and that rag, he calls the ACC Sports Journal. I hear his voice and I get pissed off…This does sound like “Lack of Institutional Control” to me. But of coarse this is UNC so the great local media will begin the news spin….

  23. bTHEredterror 08/09/2010 at 8:41 PM #

    “….sure hope there’s more dirt that sticks than this. Is two unpaid trips by one player all they are going to be able to prove?”

    Don’t lose sight of the Kentwan Balmer angle, perhaps he is just returning a favor to Blake by being a go-between. Maybe Blake ferried him around to start this ball rolling? He could be the link that represents a true lack of institutional control, and pervasive abuse, He was a player not that long ago for the Hated.

  24. El Scrotcho 08/09/2010 at 8:49 PM #

    ^I sure hope so. I want carnage, not wrist slaps!

  25. Pack78 08/09/2010 at 9:12 PM #

    ^Guys-remember that these relative scraps of information are leaking out of the ‘review’ (article starts out with three sources close to the…), and the NCAA has a much fuller picture. I think that the investigators pretty much have the information that they need, and they are filling in details and looking for more misrepresentations out of Santa and the players; clearly Wichard has been caught in lies as an example. El-I am also looking for carnage; players gone,coaches fired, and wins vacated!

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