A search warrant filed by the North Carolina Secretary of State’s office alleges that sports agent Gary Wichard paid for former North Carolina football player Marvin Austin to travel to California, in apparent violation of North Carolina’s Uniform Athlete Agents Act.
The warrant, filed by Sam Cabrera, a special agent with the Department of the Secretary of State of North Carolina, seeks Bank of America records for an account belonging to Wichard. It alleges that Todd Amis, Austin’s former high school assistant coach, paid for Austin to travel to California in March 2009 and July 2009.
According to the warrant, Amis said Wichard then reimbursed him $1,000 for Austin’s March 2009 flight to California, where he trained at a facility called Pro Active Sports with former teammate Kentwan Balmer.
Amis provided N.C. Secretary of State investigators a canceled check from Pro Tect Management – Wichard’s company – dated March 3, 2009 in the amount of $1,000, according to the warrant. The check was signed by Wichard.
North Carolina’s Uniform Athlete Agents Act prohibits agents from furnishing anything of value to a student-athlete before the student-athlete enters into an agency contract.
In December, the NFL Players Association suspended Wichard’s contract adviser status for nine months for having impermissible communications with Austin.
North Carolina dismissed Austin from the team for the 2010 season for accepting impermissible benefits.
David Scott has been with the Observer for 28 years and has written about ACC, SEC and other college sports in the Charlotte region. He covers Wake Forest, South Carolina and college soccer for the Observer and (Raleigh) News & Observer.
J.P. Giglio covers the ACC for the News & Observer, where he has worked since 1997, and the Observer.
Andrew Carter covers the North Carolina Tar Heels for the Observer and News & Observer.
Laura Keeley covers the Duke Blue Devils for the Observer and News & Observer. Follow her on Twitter.
Chip Alexander covers the Carolina Hurricanes and college football for the News & Observer, where he has worked since 1979, and the Observer.
Luke DeCock has worked for The News & Observer since 2000. He covered the Carolina Hurricanes and the NHL before becoming a sports columnist for the Observer and News & Observer in August 2008.