Judge extends seal on documents related to agent, UNC investigations
Posted January 24, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — A North Carolina superior court judge on Thursday extended a seal on documents relating to Secretary of State Elaine Marshall's investigation of athletic agent activity, citing possible damage to what the state called an "ongoing investigation."
Originally requested by Marshall's office in July 2011, the documents and records would illuminate any relationships between professional agents and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill athletes.
The documents will become public in late March regardless of the state of the investigation, Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens ruled Thursday.
The ongoing investigation by Marshall's office, which began in July 2010 in response to the NCAA's investigation involving UNC's football program, does not focus on any particular school, but rather the conduct of agents in the state as a whole.
Agents are required to register with the Secretary of State's office under the Uniform Agent Act, which prohibits them from providing benefits to athletes before they sign a contract and from falsely representing either athletes or their families.
Specific documents requested are an uncensored copy of the notice of allegations against UNC; a record of all statements and interviews conducted during the investigation made by UNC employees, coaches, student-athletes and former student-athletes; interviews conducted with Todd Stewart, who was tied to the agency Pro Sports Financial, former UNC defensive assistant John Blake and Marvin Sanders, who was an assistant with Blake at the University of Nebraska; as well as a copy of Blake's credit report which was referenced in the notice of allegations.
The NCAA formally punished UNC for nine major violations committed by its football program in March 2012, including student-athlete improprieties, agent dealings and the acceptance of improper benefits.