NCAA: Blake, athletes, tutor violated bylaws

UNC Investigation

June 22, 2011 4:27:38 AM PDT
UNC athletic officials now know the violations the NCAA says the football program committed.

The school announced receipt of a letter Tuesday detailing what the NCAA believes the football program did wrong and what rules were violated.

The notice of allegations reflects a 12-month investigation by the NCAA and UNC. UNC maintains it has cooperated fully with the NCAA. Several individuals are named in the document, including John Blake -- a former assistant football coach.

According to allegations that surfaced last year, members of the football team had inappropriate contact with a known NFL agent. Blake resigned shortly after the allegations became public and some players were suspended from playing football.

Click here to read the notice of allegations (.pdf)

Blake is accused of "unethical conduct for providing false and misleading information to the NCAA enforcement staff and to the institution and for failure to cooperate with the investigation." The NCAA says the former coach "marketed athletic abilities of student-athletes to agent Gary Wichard and received outside income that he did not report to the institution.

Wichard died from cancer in March.

Also named is alumna and tutor Jennifer Wiley. She is accused of "unethical conduct for refusing to provide information to the NCAA enforcement staff and to the institution." The document alleges she "provided extra benefits to student-athletes in the form of travel and parking expenses, and tutoring."

The NCAA says various student-athletes, whose names were not released, committed academic fraud. The athletes are accused of receiving "preferential treatment" and accepting "impermissible benefits."

There are allegations against a former student-athlete, who is beleived to have ties to NFL agents, for unethical conduct.

The NCAA alleges UNC did not adequately monitor the conduct of Chris Hawkins, a former UNC football player. Hawkins is accused of providing "possible extra benefits to a student-athlete triggered by agent legislation."

UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp says the university will emerge from the situation with a stronger athletic program.

"I deeply regret that Carolina is in this position," he said. We made mistakes, and we have to face that. When the investigation started a year ago, we pledged to cooperate fully with the NCAA, to go where the facts took us, and to face the issues head on. Our level of cooperation is evident in the allegations, some of which arise from facts that we self-reported to the NCAA. We will emerge with a stronger athletics program, and we will restore confidence in Carolina football."

Similar statements were released by Director of Athletics Dick Baddour and football head coach Butch Davis.

"We are disappointed to be in this position because it goes against everything we believe in, but we are thankful to get to the next step in the process," Baddour said. These are the issues that we have been dealing with since last summer. We will gather the information the NCAA has requested and prepare to address the notice with the NCAA in the fall. We have a strong staff that will help get us through this and put us in a position where we will be a better athletic department as a result. Our fans have been through a lot this past year, and we appreciate their continued patience and support as we work through these next steps with the NCAA."

Davis said, "I feel terrible that these allegations occurred under my watch. I especially regret that the university has had to endure this scrutiny because of the football program. The responsibility for correcting any problems that put us in this position is mine, and I take that responsibility very seriously. I want to thank our fans for the tremendous support we have received. Their loyalty and support has been especially appreciated by our student-athletes. The opportunity I have to serve the University of North Carolina is one that I cherish, and I will continue to focus on improving every aspect of our football program."

The NCAA asks that UNC limit its comments to the public regarding the notice of allegations and investigation details.

The NCAA tells ABC11 Eyewitness News individuals named in the notice have up to 90 days to respond in writing in order to ask for an extension before the issues goes before a committee. Filed responses will go to the Committee of Infraction for a determination of final infractions. The committee will then levy sanctions.

UNC says the time to address the issues at hand will be at a private Oct 28 hearing in Indianapolis.

Various university personel, officails and students may have to appear before the committee, including Chancellor Thorp, Baddour, Davis, compliance officers and accused players.

Following the hearing, the committee will take eight to 12 weeks to announce its decision. The NCAA says it will notify the school of sanctions 24 to 48 hours prior to a public announcement.

For more information about how the NCAA processes investigation and enforces infractions, click here.

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