Former North Carolina associate head coach John Blake will appear in front of the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions on Friday in an attempt to clear his name, his lawyer, Wade Smith, said in a telephone interview today.
Blake is named in three of the nine major allegations against UNC in the Notice of Allegations sent by the NCAA to UNC in June. He stands accused of recruiting players for his friend, the late sports agent Gary Wichard.
Although Blake no longer is employed by UNC, 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.
Since last fall, Blake’s lawyers, Smith and William Beaver, have said Blake did not try to convince players to sign with Wichard. Blake’s first public comments on the matter appear in a story posted today on Sports Illustrated’s web site.
“It's important to me that they know [I'm] an honest and good man," Blake said in the story. "We all make mistakes in life. But my character, my integrity means a lot to me."
Former North Carolina head coach Butch Davis, who was a coach at Sand Springs High School in Oklahoma when Blake played there in the 1970s, said last fall that he was sorry he trusted Blake.
The Sports Illustrated story portrays Blake as being devastated when Davis said that. Davis and Blake also coached together with the Dallas Cowboys.
“I know that John was heartbroken,” Smith said today, “because he absolutely admired and loved – and I think still does admire and love – Butch Davis. And it was very painful for him.”
Smith declined to comment further on the evidence Blake will present to the Committee of Infractions.