Friday, March 4, 2011

More on North Carolina UNC/NFL Investigation

Marvin Austin

Investigators have issued a search warrant for the financial records of NFL agent Gary Wichard as they continue looking into whether North Carolina’s sports agent laws have been broken.

The warrant issued Tuesday to Bank of America was for documents connected to Wichard and his California-based firm, Pro Tect Management LLC, since January 2009.

Investigators say that Pro Tect paid $1,000 to reimburse a high school assistant coach, who had paid for former Tar Heels defensive lineman Marvin Austin’s flights to and from California in March 2009, according to a probable cause affidavit filed with the search warrant.

In addition, Pro Tect paid $915.40 to a travel agency to cover changes to Austin’s flight itinerary, according to the affidavit.

The affidavit also alleges Wichard failed to register with the state as a sports agent despite having “several phone conversations” with Austin starting in January 2009.

North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall’s office launched an investigation after the NCAA began looking into possible agent-related benefits in North Carolina’s football program.

The NFL Players Association suspended Wichard in December for nine months for his role in the UNC probe. Howard Silber, an attorney for Wichard, didn’t immediately return a call and e-mail seeking comment on the search warrant.

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