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John Blake out as Tar Heels assistant coach

The fallout from the NCAA’s investigations into the North Carolina football program continues today as a member of Butch Davis‘ coaching staff has stepped.  And, somewhere, Steve Spurrier is smiling a satisfied smile.  Or not.

In a press release issued by the school, the Tar Heels announced that John Blake has resigned his post as Davis’ associate head coach.

Last month, reports surfaced that the NCAA was looking into Blake’s relationship with player agent Gary Wichard.  The Yahoo! report, citing three sources close to the investigation, stated that “the NCAA’s inquiry into Blake has focused on his one-time position as vice president of football operations for Pro Tect Management – an agency founded and run by Wichard since 1979.”

Given all the negative attention being focused on him and the program he’s been a part of for four seasons, Blake has decided to “resign” effective immediately.

“While I have enjoyed my tenure at the University of North Carolina, it has become apparent to me over the course of the past few weeks that my presence has become a distraction to my family and to this great University, too,” Blake said in a statement released by the school. “Consequently, I have determined that it is in the best interests of my family, the University community at large, and the Football Program for me to step down from my position as associate head football coach effective today, September 5, 2010.”

“Knowing John as I have over the years, it is clear that this was a difficult decision for him to make,” Davis said in his own statement. “I know how much John loves the players, coaching and the game of football. I am grateful for all of his hard work and effort in helping build this program. As difficult as this situation is, I have accepted his resignation. Throughout his career, I know he has worked hard to help young men become better people and football players. He and his family have made positive contributions to our football program.

“The Tar Heel family has tremendous passion for the University and everything it represents. It’s one of the things that made me want to be a Tar Heel four years ago. All of us who are part of the football program have been both disappointed and embarrassed by recent events. Our student-athletes, coaches and I are committed to working every day, both on and off the field, to build a better football program, one that everyone associated with the University of North Carolina can and will be proud of.”

Athletic director Dick Baddour indicated that Blake had said “in previous conversations that he would step down if he felt his presence with the football program would become a distraction.”

As a parting gift, Blake will receive $75,000, which, the release stated, approximates the salary he would have received had he completed the football season. Blake had a contract that would have expired on June 31, 2011, with a base salary of $240,000.

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10 Responses to “John Blake out as Tar Heels assistant coach”
  1. Hong Kong Phooey says: Sep 5, 2010 7:40 PM

    Black Santa quit ?
    Who will bring shiny gifts to deserving high school athletes??

  2. UNC won’t slap themselves on wrist as probes near completion | CollegeFootballTalk says: Nov 18, 2010 1:26 PM

    [...] as sitting atop a very hot seat given the embarrassment and harsh scrutiny his players — and one of his now-former coaches — has brought upon the [...]

  3. Agents Wichard, Egan punished for improper contact with players | CollegeFootballTalk says: Dec 4, 2010 11:53 AM

    [...] As you probably recall, Wichard was documented to be very, very chummy with former North Carolina assistant John Blake who, as it turned out, was helping hand out improper benefits like Christmas presents from the Salvation Army. Blake resigned from his position on Butch Davis‘ staff in September. [...]

  4. Tar Heels make hiring of LSU assistant official | CollegeFootballTalk says: Feb 26, 2011 7:58 AM

    [...] Baker had replaced one of Steve Spurrier‘s favorite college coaches, John Blake, who “resigned” early last September due to his alleged financial relationship with an NFL agent. [...]

  5. Public records show parking fines, phone records with John Blake at UNC | CollegeFootballTalk says: Jun 16, 2011 7:03 PM

    [...] officially resigned from his position at UNC in September of last year amid mounting pressure and [...]

  6. Phone records show John Blake had contact with UNC players at Pro Tect facility | CollegeFootballTalk says: Jun 17, 2011 1:32 PM

    [...] resigned from UNC last September amidst mounting scrutiny and controversy about his connection to [...]

  7. It’s official: Butch Davis out as UNC’s head coach | CollegeFootballTalk says: Jul 27, 2011 6:18 PM

    [...] year.  Additionally, one of his most trusted assistants and his most gifted recruiter, John Blake, resigned last September under a cloud of controversy for his alleged role in the agent side of the scandals. Permalink 0 [...]

  8. CFT: It’s official: Butch Davis out as UNC’s head coach | Queen City Sports says: Jul 27, 2011 7:43 PM

    [...]  Additionally, one of his most trusted assistants and his most gifted recruiter, John Blake, resigned last September under a cloud of controversy for his alleged role in the agent side of the [...]

  9. Gator DL Floyd’s NCAA hearing Tuesday | CollegeFootballTalk says: Sep 6, 2011 10:55 AM

    [...] would appear to involve John Blake, the Tar Heels DL coach and recruiting coordinator who “stepped down” from those positions last September after being accused of steering players to an NFL agent [...]

  10. Tobacco Road spat: O’Brien rips Withers’ ‘academic’ comments | CollegeFootballTalk says: Nov 3, 2011 12:54 PM

    [...] about them Thursday, bringing up not only the academic fraud angle of the NCAA issues but also the one-time presence of John Blake on the coaching staff — alleged to be on the take from a now-deceased NFL agent [...]

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