- Beretta leaves Maryland over gun laws, heads for Tennessee
- Neal Boortz defends Hillary Clinton for representing child rapist
- House task force to recommend National Guard on border, faster deportations
- Top federal judge uses pizza to explain complex Obamacare situation
- Obama, Biden overhaul job training programs
- Drought-plagued Californians turn to paint to keep lawns green
- ISIL now forcing Iraqi shopkeepers to veil mannequins in Mosul
- 11 parents of Nigeria’s abducted girls die
- Genetic mapping triggers new hope on schizophrenia
- Turkish P.M. Erdogan won’t speak to Obama, but he’ll take calls from Biden
Attorneys say money to ex-UNC coach were loans
Question of the Day
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) - Attorneys for former North Carolina assistant coach John Blake say there was nothing seedy about loans their client received from longtime friend and sports agent Gary Wichard, and there was never an arrangement to direct players to Wichard once they left for the NFL.
Beaver wouldn’t specify how much money and said no funds were provided in the past three years or so, roughly around the same time that Blake was preparing for his first season with Butch Davis and the Tar Heels.
“Regardless of the loans or the amounts, there was nothing wrong with one good friend assisting another,” Beaver said Thursday.
Howard Silber, an attorney representing Wichard, didn’t immediately return a call for comment.
The school learned of the financial transactions _ first reported by Yahoo! Sports _ when Blake met Aug. 31 with NCAA investigators looking into agent-related benefits and possible academic violations in the football program.
The reports of the loans overshadowed news Thursday that safety Da’Norris Searcy had been cleared to play in Saturday’s game against East Carolina, leaving the Tar Heels (1-2) with nine players whose status remains in question due to the ongoing probe.
In a statement, athletic director Dick Baddour said that the financial transactions weren’t a violation or cause for the school to fire Blake in and of themselves.
“Nevertheless, we weren’t comfortable with what we learned,” said Baddour, and Blake resigned less than a week later while saying he had become a distraction.
“Every time I look at the entire landscape here, it seems to me that … there’s an enormous amount of smoke,” Smith said. “And the university could be excused for looking at that smoke and being concerned about it. But when you get beyond the smoke, there’s not any fire.”
“Certainly, I’m disappointed that a lot of these things have happened,” Davis said. “You clearly wish that they hadn’t happened, and we’re going to do everything that we can in the future to ensure that they don’t happen again.”
The NCAA is also looking into a pair of trips defensive tackle Marvin Austin took to California in 2009 as well as three trips to Miami earlier this year. Beaver said that Blake didn’t know Austin had traveled to California to train with former Tar Heel teammate _ and Wichard client _ Kentwan Balmer at a facility a short drive from Wichard’s office.
Christopher Lyons, Austin’s attorney, said Austin has had contact with Wichard, but he wouldn’t specify how much and added that Blake never tried to steer the NFL prospect toward Wichard or any other agent. Lyons said one of Austin’s former high school coaches paid for him to fly to California, and Austin believed Balmer _ then with the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers _ was paying for accommodations while there.
The president could pay the full price for ignoring Congress
- IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 computer hard drives
- David Perdue defeats Jack Kingston in Georgia Republican Senate primary runoff
- D.C. appeals panel deals big blow to Obamacare subsidies
- 'Straight White Guy Festival' supposedly set for Ohio park
- BERMAN & MADYOON: An Iranian-Turkish reset
- Beretta moving to Tennessee over Maryland gun laws
- Pentagon team dispatched to Ukraine amid crisis with Russia
- Ron Paul: U.S. partly to blame for Malaysia Airlines disaster
- CARSON: Costco and the perils of mixing politics and business
- Gen. James Amos, Marine Corps commandant, slams Obama's handling of Iraq
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq