Sports agent Gary Wichard is a household name in the Carolinas these days. We’ve seen Wichard’s name has come up more than a few times in the NCAA’s investigation into the North Carolina football program. It has been alleged that former Tar Heel assistant John Blake received cash and a credit card from Wichard. It has been a pretty ugly situation and it potentially could get worse before it gets better.
In case you didn’t already know, Wichard is also former Clemson star running back C.J. Spiller’s agent. Naturally that has led some of us to wonder out loud if, in light of the recent allegations, Wichard had ever offered Spiller any extra benefits to sign with him last year. If Wichard was willing to bend the rules to sign other players, wouldn’t logic indicate he would do the same to get soon to be first rounder Spiller?
Prior to his jersey retirement ceremony at Clemson Saturday Spiller defended his agent.
“I don’t really have any concerns about his name being brought up,” Spiller said. “I’m not worried about it. When the smoke clears, he’ll be fine. If somebody asks me about my agent, of course I’m going to tell them he’s the best.”
For the record there has been no suggestion that Wichard did anything illegal in his pursuit and ultimate signing of Spiller as a client. However, there are some people out there taking a hard look at all of Wichard’s clients and even some of those he didn’t end up signing to see if anything doesn’t pass the smell test.
A smell test fail popped up a few weeks ago when it was reported that Nebraska defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh was getting phone calls from the aforementioned John Blake last year. Sure it is is strange that a UNC assistant would call a player on another team, but Suh and Blake did have a prior relationship so maybe it is okay. Until we learn that shortly after Blake talked with Suh he hung up the phone and called, you guessed it, Gary Wichard.
Is there a logical explanation for all of this? Maybe? Does it look shady? Undeniably so.
This is the same John Blake that also was allegedly calling on current Alabama defensive lineman Marcell Dareus. Again, maybe you can chalk it up to a prior relationship, but it sure is shady.
I’m not suggesting anything will emerge in regards to Spiller and Wichard, but as more people dig you can expect more information to trickle out.
Spiller made it clear Saturday, he’s not worried. He said it’s up to the players to do the right thing.
“My agent’s been linked to a lot of it,” Spiller said. “I don’t want to get into the depths of how to handle it. I mean, I can tell a guy how to handle it, but at the end of the day he’s his own man. He has to make the decision himself. You have to be smart, of course you don’t’ want to take anything from an agent and jeopardize your career.”