NFL player agent Gary Wichard has passed away, Darren Heitner of Sports Agent Blog reports.
A cause of death was not specified, but Mac's Football Blog spoke to several agents at the 2011 Scouting Combine in Indianapolis who were under the impression Wichard was battling a very serious illness.
Wichard founded Pro Tect Management in 1980, and last December, was suspended for nine months by the NFLPA for having "impermissible communication with University of North Carolina player Marvin Austin".
A Yahoo! Sports investigation last year revealed that Wichard's agency had paid for Austin's hotel bills during off-season workouts at ProActive Sports, a facility located a half-mile from Pro Tect's offices in Westlake Village, California.
Some of Wichard's clients at the time of his suspension included Baltimore Ravens defensive end Terrell Suggs, Carolina Panthers quarterback Jimmy Clausen, Denver Broncos defensive end Elvis Dumervil, Indianapolis Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney, and New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie and linebacker Jason Taylor.
My condolences to Wichard's family and loved ones.