North Carolina

NFLPA suspends Wichard for link to UNC football

Posted December 3, 2010

Longtime agent Gary Wichard has been suspended for nine months by the NFL Players Association for his role in a recruiting scandal involving the University of North Carolina.

Wichard, an agent since 1980, was suspended for his involvement with Tar Heels linebacker Marvin Austin,  who was dismissed from the team in October.

The length of the suspension means Wichard will not be able represent potential clients for the 2011 NFL Draft.

UNC Director of Athletics Dick Baddour said an NCAA investigation showed Austin accepted more than $10,000 in "improper benefits" and lied about it when questioned.

Two other UNC players, wide receiver Greg Little and defensive end Robert Quinn, were ruled "permanently ineligible" because of gifts they received from agents. All three were expected to be drafted this spring.

More than a dozen Tar Heels have missed at least one game this season as the NCAA investigates allegations about violations of amateurism rules and academic misconduct.

The union also is revoking the agent certification of Southern Cal undergrad Teague Egan, who gave a ride across campus to tailback Dillon Baxter, a violation of NCAA rules. A union spokesman said a review of Egan's qualifications showed he "is not fit to be a certified contract advisor."

Among his Wichard's NFL clients are Dwight Freeney, Jason Taylor, Antonio Cromartie, Elvis Dumervil and Darren Sproles.

Wichard also has significant, long-term links to former UNC associate football coach John Blake, who resigned Sept. 5, the day after the Tar Heels first game. Blake's phone records showed nearly 150 calls to Wichard between June 2009 and September 2010.

Reports by Yahoo! Sports in late September linked Blake and Wichard financially, through wire transfers and credit cards.

Attorneys for Blake said earlier this year that his client received loans from Wichard, but there was never an arrangement to direct players to Wichard once they left for the NFL.

Wichard's attorney has confirmed that the agent was interviewed by investigators with the North Carolina Secretary of State's office, who are trying to determine whether the state's sports agent laws were broken. 

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  • BattlingBishop 5 Dec 4, 9:43 a.m.

    This is a good thing. As long as college football is going to be basically a farm league for the... View More

    — Posted by TruthBKnown Banned Again02

    Agreed. Unfortunately, it's been more a case of "you scratch my back, I'll scratch... View More

    — Posted by StunGunn

    Agreed jgunn! I also agree with the poster who commented on the Cam Newton issue. The NCAA is a joke. You can't go after Carolina & wave the rule book around while you wink at Auburn and look the other way, IMO.

  • pskunk119 Dec 4, 9:28 a.m.

    from Joe Ovies piece on Elaine Marshall:

    Robinson also notes that there is "a great deal of frustration" from the NFLPA and NCAA on total lack of communication from North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall. Sources told Robinson the office was "M.I.A." from a morning conference call and has been "silent."

    It will be fascinating to see how Marshall reacts to the suspension, if she reacts at all. The university, the NCAA and the NFLPA have all found improper contact between an agent and a player in the the state of North Carolina. Marshall did some saber-rattling over agents not certified in this state contacting player during election season.


    Of course she will NOT act. She has already lost the election. The only reason she was on this quest to "clear" UNC of any wrongdoing was to gain votes for her re-election bid. Poor UMd/Campbell grad (w/a UNC husband) thinks the whole state of NC are UNC fans. She is too stupid to realize that she had awaken the sleeping giant of ABC fans that wanted to see her crushed in the election (which she was). We knew she would botch this investigation, just as she did the Joseph Forte's mom/Octagon investigation.

  • Dubble EE Dec 4, 9:07 a.m.

    See. I told you guys this whole thing is stupid. Now we see the fact that the NCAA....BCS....or whomever don't care about this agent or money changing hands stuff when it comes down to messing up their money. We are dealing with a bunch of old, good ole' boy buddies who only care about their pockets getting lined, and not what's best for the game or the college athlete.

    Don't tell me they did not have enough evidence to suspend Reggie Bush BEFORE USC's NC games. But he was the biggest star at the time playing in the biggest game, so they let it go. Same now with Cam Newton. They will let it go now, and probably "re-visit" it later in a few years after most college football fans attention will have moved on. For them its "get the money first, then go back later to correct any wrongs."

  • tommybrownnc Dec 3, 9:04 p.m.

    Wichard is a scum-bag. Nine months is a joke. S/be about 2-3 years...for his entire business.

  • Mstan83 Dec 3, 8:58 p.m.

    I guess as in Cam Newton's case your father needs to ask for and take the money you get to play and the NCAA gives it their blessing. The NCAA is a crock of s.. opps I mean poo.

  • wallhokievt94 Dec 3, 8:40 p.m.

    I thought is was just that they showed fat cat Austin, and then talked about Wichard in this article. Austin is a showboat. Wichard is a real pro in what he has done for many years now. Blake cashed in with his friendship. See where he is today. Butch knew. Based on politics; UNC may get over like Auburn is right now.

  • StunGunn Dec 3, 8:31 p.m.

    I've been all for the NCAA suspending Austin, Little and the rest for their involvement with the... View More

    — Posted by I am not who you think I am

    The Cam Newton case really shows what a joke the NCAA is. They stated that Newton's father shopping him around was an NCAA violation, even though supposedly Auburn didn't pay to get him and Cam supposedly didn't know his father was basically pimping him. By admitting it is a violation, AND declaring him eligible clearly illustrated the NCAA is inconsistent in the way it hands down its rulings.

  • StunGunn Dec 3, 8:26 p.m.

    This is a good thing. As long as college football is going to be basically a farm league for the... View More

    — Posted by TruthBKnown Banned Again02

    Agreed. Unfortunately, it's been more a case of "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" between players and agents and the NFL. I wish they'd fine Wichard as well. Hit him where his heart is: his pocketbook.

  • twetherby Dec 3, 7:02 p.m.

    Sadly, this will have little affect on Wichard. While HE can't represent clients, it does not mean that his firm cannot. Suspensions of agents in the past have resulted in...nothing. What they need to do is suspend him AND his firm from representing anyone for a period of time. That would cause them to not only lose revenue, but reputation. When you hit these lawyers in the pocketbook, THEN you might get them to stop enticing players. Yeah, I am ed that the players took the stuff, they should not have. But the problem is that agents are given almost free reign to do this and they get slapped on the wrist. Kind of like "censure" in the house of representatives, it is a joke.

  • Big Mike Dec 3, 6:21 p.m.

    It's about time that agents stand accountable..hope this sends a strong message to the other vultures.....

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