Sources told SportsBusiness Journal, a sister publication of Sporting News, that one of the things the NCAA is investigating is who paid for Austin’s training at Thousand Oaks, Calif.-based Proactive Sports Performance, a training facility where all of Wichard’s rookie clients have trained for the NFL draft in the last five years. Austin is listed as a client on Proactive Sports’ website. Officials from the training facility did not return phone calls or an e-mail…
Wichard has been quoted as saying that he has not traveled to North Carolina nor recruited Austin. “I’ve never talked to him about representing him. I’ve never gone down there [to North Carolina] and I never will,” Wichard told The Charlotte Observer earlier this month.
He told SBJ last week that he has seen Austin training at Proactive Sports and that he did speak to him on the phone last year. “I spoke to him on the phone when he was thinking about coming out last year,” Wichard said. “Kentwan put him on the phone with me. I told him to go back to college like Ndamukong Suh and get picked as high as you can.”
Kentwan is Wichard client Kentwan Balmer, a defensive end for the San Francisco 49ers who was a 2008 first-round pick out of North Carolina. Suh was the No. 2 pick in this year’s NFL draft after a standout career as a defensive tackle at Nebraska.
Sources said that NCAA investigators have talked to UNC defensive line coach John Blake, who Wichard said has been one of his best friends since 1985.
“John Blake has worked out my players like a number of NFL coaches have,” Wichard said. “I don’t represent him, and he has never been an employee, but he has worked out my players when he was out here [in California] when he was between [coaching] jobs.”
Note that this means that Austin was listed as a client of the strength and conditioning program. I don’t think it is unusual for athletes to participate in these programs, however student-athletes must pay for all expenses incurred due to the participation(flights, living expenses, meals, fees for the program, etc…). His participation by itself doesn’t mean NCAA rules were broken.