Our author team was talking amongst ourselves today and everyone was charged with being on high alert for some major news breaking because (1) a little birdie had contacted us earlier in the week with some scoop and (2) Dick Baddour was on the radio today.
If you have learned anything about the current scandal at Carolina then you must know by now that the good folks of the highest integrity in the world – the guardians of the “The Carolina Way” – only speak to the media and go on the radio right before some bad news is about to break. Thanks to Dickie today, we were prepared! Tonight, we learn why old Dickie was on his media tour today.
Prominent NFL agent Gary Wichard and former University of North Carolina assistant football coach John Blake have engaged in multiple financial transactions since May of 2007, a four-month investigation by Yahoo! Sports has found.
Wichard and Blake are now at the center of NCAA and North Carolina Secretary of State probes, which are seeking to determine the nature and scope of alleged agent tampering involving the football program. Those investigations have also focused on Tar Heels defensive tackle Marvin Austin, who has made at least five trips that have come under scrutiny. Two of those trips included training at a California facility less than two miles from Wichard’s agency, Pro Tect Management. Yahoo! Sports has obtained a hotel receipt from one of those trips, which lists Austin’s name above Pro Tect Management, as well as an address and Marriott Rewards number belonging to an NFL marketing agent who represents two current Pro-Tect clients.
But three sources said documents show the relationship between Wichard and Blake also extended into the financial realm several times over the past three years. Those instances included:
• At least six wire transfers from Wichard’s private bank – The First National Bank of Long Island – to Blake.
• A $45,000 personal loan to Blake from The First National Bank of Long Island.
• A Pro Tect Management credit card issued in Blake’s name.
We would also recommend that you take a look at SFN’s Tweets in real time from tonight that can be seen here. Some pretty awesome running commentary there.
If you have spoken to any UNC-CH fan in the last couple of months, then you obviously know by now that “everybody does it”. Of course, most of the national media cannot think of a single instance where an Associate Head Coach of a major college program was actually a runner for an agent…but, what do they know? What would Sports Illustrated, CBS Sports, ESPN and Yahoo know about sports?! They just need to talk to some Carolina people and learn that ‘everybody’ has Associate Head Coaches accepting and potentially funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars to players!
Just for some grounding in this topic, the following are some comments from national and local media hitting the “Twitter universe” tonight. Obviously they don’t have a clue about what they speak!
Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports: @dennisdoddcbs Reggie Bush wasn’t a USC employee. John Blake was asst. head coach on payroll — and allegedly on the take.
Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports: @DanWetzel Asst coach taking money from agent to steer players would be most devastating NCAA case in years. UNC..may be in huge trouble
Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports: @DanWetzel They’d never do it. Plus, UNC not repeat offender. But massive sanctions? Yes RT @Andy_Staples @DanWetzel Can you say Death Penalty?
Andy Staples of Sports Illustrated: @Andy_Staples North Carolina is about to really become a basketball school — because it may not have a football program after this http://is.gd/fBnLf
Andy Staples of Sports Illustrated: @Andy_Staples Can you say Death Penalty?
Pat Forde of ESPN: @espn4d: Yahoo story pounds some very detailed nails into North Carolina’s football coffin: http://tinyurl.com/26k9x2q
Synrgy Sports: @SynrgySports: NEVER been a case..where an Associate Head Coach of a major D1 football prgrm has been proven to be on an agent’s payroll.
It should be pointed out that just today at the Raleigh Sports Club speech, Dick Baddour said “the integrity of UNC is paramount.” (Link) That “integrity” crap has been a running theme from the ”leadership” over there. According to UNC-CH, Blake “resigned” in August because he was a “distraction” and, according to Butch, Marvin Austin is working his way back onto the team. Are they still standing by those ridiculous staetments? That is some super integrity they are showing over there!
Given tonight’s news, you have to wonder if the time hasn’t come that some actual adults will be forced to take over the process in Chapel Hill.
SFN will have more coverage and analysis of these major developments. In the meantime, we turn your attention to another reason why you should be leveraging our message boards – this post from February of this year titled “Black Santa accused of paying recruits in Chapel Hill”. NO!?
Note: Various members of SFN’s author team contributed to this entry.