As the college sports corruption trial shifts from basketball to football, there is a new and vital cooperating witness in the mix. Louis Martin Blazer, a 49-year-old former self made financial advisor is now a crucial witness of the federal government, which could ultimately bring light to this trial.
Blazer pleaded guilty to federal charges after he was accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission, along with the U.S Attorney’s Office for misappropriating NFL player funds while he managed their accounts. These unethical occurrences allegedly took place between the years 2010-13.
Blazer ultimately got into advising NFL players as a result of the payments he made over the course of several years to top college football athletes. His motive for doing so was for them to hire him as their financial advisor once they reached the pros, which as Blazer stated, “most of them did.”
Blazer would also testify that he made payments to the New York Giants’ 2009 first round draft pick from North Carolina. Although he did not mention the player by name, it is more than obvious to be none other than former star wide receiver Hakeem Nicks.
As a result of paying Nicks and obtaining his services, this would lead to the recruitment of additional UNC football players.
“I was later to find out I wasn’t the only one paying these guys,” said Blazer, while he was under oath on Tuesday. This statement was in reference to the North Carolina players that were found to have been paid by him.
After the NCAA uncovered and investigated the majority of what Blazer claimed to have done at UNC, they would punish the university by placing the entire football program on a probationary period. This penalty would ban the Tar Heels from a 2012 bowl game, ripped away 15 scholarships from the school, and wiped out every win from the 2008 and 2009 seasons.
During his time at UNC, Nicks set 14 receiving records at the university. A few of these notable milestones included receptions (181), receiving yards (2,580), and touchdowns (21). Four years after attending the university, Nicks was busted for academic fraud, which caused UNC to place an asterisk next to his name in their record books.
Nicks recently announced that he is attempting an NFL comeback. The 31-year-old receiver hasn’t played in the NFL since the 2015 season, where he only appeared in six games in his second stint with the New York Giants.
Despite being slowed by injuries at the end of his career, Nicks helped the Giants win the 2011 super bowl and was a top receiver in the league from 2009-2013. Over the course of this span, Nicks had 311 receptions for 4,622 yards and 27 touchdowns in 70 games.
Nicks is currently attempting to make an NFL comeback.