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09-30-2010, 11:00 AM
Money trail ties agent, ex-UNC coach (http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/football/news?slug=cr-uncagents092910)

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 (http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/football/news?slug=ys-uncdocs092910) 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.

http://l.yimg.com/a/p/sp/tools/med/2010/09/ipt/1285740367.jpg North Carolina’s Marvin Austin.
(Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Since the NCAA and state of North Carolina probes began in July, UNC also began its own investigation into potential academic fraud involving a tutor. Multiple Tar Heels football players have been suspended from games and practices this season, and Blake resigned on Sept. 5, less than one month after a Yahoo! Sports report revealed his former position as an employee of Pro Tect. In a statement, Blake stated that he decided to step down because his presence was becoming a distraction to the football team.
In an interview with Yahoo! Sports in August, Wichard denied any impropriety between himself and Blake. He also denied that Blake was ever previously employed by Pro Tect Management, despite a brochure obtained by Yahoo! Sports which listed Blake as the vice president of football operations for the agency and described his duties. But Wichard insisted that while the two have shared a 25-year friendship, there has been no financial relationship between the two.
“I don’t get involved with him bringing me players or anything like that,” Wichard said. “It has not happened. … Would John Blake say something positive to a kid about me if he was asked? I would think so. He has seen my work over the years, just like I would say something positive about him in terms of what he can do as a coach.”
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.

A source familiar with the secretary of state’s probe told Yahoo! Sports that Blake has discussed the existence of the transactions with investigators.Documentation of Balmer's and Austin's hotel receipts in California (http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/football/news?slug=ys-uncdocs092910)

That distant sound I'm hearing from 30ish miles away? The Carolina football program imploding. May not be the death penalty, but complete and total lack of institutional control comes with heavy penalties. This will make USC's transgressions seem minor. And then there's the academic scandal as well.

Couldn't happen to a finer team, I say. The sheer arrogance with which Carolina fans walk around, puffing their chests out and declaring "The Carolina Way," and up to this day still denying everything and brushing off the charges with "everybody does it" (as if that makes it ok all of a sudden) is downright disgusting. I've lived in several different states, and I have to say that I have yet to ever meet as delusional a fanbase. And all for a middle-of-the-pack team, too.