Friday, October 28, 2011

Blake hopeful leaving NCAA hearing

INDIANAPOLIS – Surrounded by scrambling reporters and cameramen, former University of North Carolina associate head football coach John Blake left the NCAA Committee on Infractions hearing at 4:50 p.m. today hoping that his defense on three major violations was successful.

Blake was asked if his reputation was restored.

“All I can do is hope and pray,” Blake responded.

The NCAA has the power to impose a “show cause order” with restrictions that would make it difficult for Blake to coach again at an NCAA school. He was charged with working to help recruit athletes for the late agent Gary Wichard while employed by UNC.

Wade Smith of Raleigh, one of two lawyers working to help clear Blake’s name, said he thought Blake got a fair hearing.

“It was an excellent hearing,” Smith said. “We’re finished for now. We’re going to go back to North Carolina. . . .and we will await a decision from the committee. I wish I could say more, but it would be inappropriate for me to do so.

The Committee on Infractions is expected to issue its decision on UNC’s case in eight to 12 weeks.

As of 5 p.m. today, UNC officials remained in the hearing room. UNC is charged with nine major violations – three of which were attributed to Blake.

Ken Tysiac