Thursday, October 27, 2011

Former UNC Coach To Appear In Front Of Suits From Indianapolis (Formerly Kansas)

(Robert Willett/Raleigh News & Observer)
Former North Carolina associate head coach John Blake will appear in front of the NCAA (Suits From Indianapolis, Formerly Kansas) Committee on Infractions on Friday in Indianapolis in an attempt to clear his name.

Blake is named in three of the nine major violations charged in the Notice of Allegations sent by the NCAA to North Carolina in June. He stands accused of recruiting players for his friend, the late sports agent Gary Wichard.

Although Blake no longer is employed by the Heels, the Committee on Infractions can impose a "show cause order" that could prevent him from recruiting or coaching and make him difficult for an NCAA school to employ.

The NCAA's Notice of Allegations accuses Blake of receiving a total of $31,500 in athletically related income from Wichard's company, Pro Tect Management, in seven payments from 2007 to 2009. Blake also is accused of refusing to provide information relevant to the NCAA's investigation and furnishing the NCAA and North Carolina with false and misleading information.

He is charged with failing to provide his tax records and information regarding a $45,000 bank deposit he received. Blake also was listed as a Pro Tect employee on a brochure distributed by the company. (Do-oh!)

Blake’s lawyers have said since September of 2010 the payments from Wichard were gifts or loans to help Blake pay for private school tuition for his son.

Blake's lawyers have said he was not employed by Pro Tect, and that a Pro Tect credit card in his name was used to pay for items such as T-shirts for the "Chance to Advance" football camp he conducted when he was out of college coaching.

North Carolina officials also will appear at the Committee on Infractions (which has the power to levy additional penalties) hearing Friday as the school faces charges of nine major violations. The committee will hear the NCAA enforcement representatives' evidence and the arguments of the defendants, and typically issues its findings a few months after a hearing.

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