North Carolina Receives Notice of Allegations from NCAA

by The Associated Press  on Wednesday, Jun. 22, 2011 8:34 am  

This story is from the archives of

North Carolina has received a notice of allegations from the NCAA outlining numerous "potential major violations" in the football program, including unethical conduct by a former assistant coach as well as failure to adequately monitor the conduct of a former and current players.

The notice, released Tuesday evening, accuses former associate head coach John Blake of providing "false and misleading information" to both NCAA investigators and the school regarding his relationship with late NFL agent Gary Wichard. That included a failure to report $31,500 in outside income from Wichard's firm, Pro Tect Management LLC, from May 2007 to October 2009.

The NCAA said Blake worked to steer players to Wichard once they reached the NFL. Blake's attorneys have previously characterized the transactions as loans between friends during tough financial times.

The notice states seven players received more than $27,000 in improper benefits in 2009 and 2010. In addition, the NCAA alleged unethical conduct by former tutor Jennifer Wiley for refusing to cooperate with the investigation and providing about $3,500 worth of extra benefits in travel, parking expenses and free tutoring to players.

The school was also cited for failing to monitor "social media activity" of the team in 2010 as well as the conduct of former player Chris Hawkins. Hawkins was previously connected to trips to Atlanta and Las Vegas made by cornerback Kendric Burney, and also paid $1,000 for the jersey of Georgia's A.J. Green — a transaction that resulted in Green's four-game suspension because the NCAA said Hawkins qualified as an agent. Hawkins had hung around the program and players in recent years, but has since been told to stay away.

The school has 90 days to respond to the notice and is scheduled to appear before the NCAA infractions committee in Indianapolis on Oct. 28.

"I deeply regret that Carolina is in this position," chancellor Holden Thorp said in a statement. "We made mistakes, and we have to face that. ... We will emerge with a stronger athletics program, and we will restore confidence in Carolina football."

William H. Beaver and Wade Smith, attorneys for Blake, declined to comment Tuesday night because they had yet to read the notice of allegations. Joseph B. Cheshire, an attorney for Wiley, also declined to comment.

The NCAA first visited the Chapel Hill campus last summer after former defensive tackle Marvin Austin tweeted about a trip to Miami. The initial focus soon expanded from improper benefits to academic violations involving Wiley, who refused to be interviewed and has since graduated.

Wichard died in March from diabetes and pancreatic cancer. Less than two weeks earlier, investigators with the North Carolina Secretary of State's offices issued a search warrant for financial records connected to Wichard and Pro Tect as part of a separate probe into whether the state's sports agent laws were broken.

Blake resigned in September, the day after the Tar Heels lost to LSU in the season opener.

The notice states that Blake refused to provide investigators with tax records from 2005-10 as well as information about a $45,000 deposit in December 2007 from Wichard's bank.



Please read our comments policy before commenting.