Lawyers for former North Carolina associate head coach John Blake said this afternoon that agent Gary Wichard provided “gifts” to Blake to pay for Blake’s son’s private school tuition while Blake was coaching at North Carolina.
William Beaver, Blake’s Orlando-based lawyer, said in a teleconference call with reporters today that Wichard gave Blake money for the tuition on one occasion in 2008 and twice more in 2009. Beaver said Wichard is the godfather of Blake’s son.
On Thursday, Beaver had said the last of the monies provided to Blake by Wichard was exchanged “if not over three years ago, right around three years ago.” This afternoon, Beaver said he was hurried last week and didn’t have a chance to adequately review the records before a Thursday teleconference call with reporters.
North Carolina announced Blake’s hiring in December of 2006, three years and nine months ago.
Blake’s lawyers confirmed that Blake has spoken to Alabama defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, but did not confirm reports that Blake encouraged Dareus to sign with Wichard. Dareus was suspended for the first two games of the season for receiving impermissible benefits.
According to Blake’s lawyers, Blake and Dareus discussed Dareus’ mother, who was ill, and that Dareus was being besieged by agents.
Beaver said Blake “has testified that he has not functioned in a manner that in his mind has attempted to funnel, push, direct any athlete toward Gary Wichard.”