Former NCCU QB linked agent, UNC football players
Posted November 13, 2013
Updated November 14, 2013
Durham, N.C. — The North Carolina Secretary of State investigation of sport agents and college athletes drew in a second school Wednesday, with the charge of agent-athlete inducement filed against former North Carolina Central University quarterback Michael Wayne Johnson Jr.
Johnson, the third leading passer in NCCU history, allegedly arranged a May 2010 meeting between Georgia sports agent Terry Watson and then-University of North Carolina receiver Greg Little in which approximately $5,000 changed hands, according to a state indictment. Johnson is also charged with providing a mailing address to accept packages of cash from Watson for Little. Sims: Two more charged in state agent-athlete investigation
"In 2010, we were made aware of a possible violation regarding Michael Johnson that was specific to NCAA policies guiding student-athletes," NCCU Associate Athletics Director for Media Relations Kyle Serba said in a statement Wednesday. "In accordance with NCAA rules and regulations, the university complied fully. A request for Mr. Johnson's reinstatement was granted by the NCAA."
Johnson made his first court appearance Wednesday and said that he and Little have been friends since elementary school. His next court date has not been set.
On Friday, Willie Barley, who connected former UNC football player Marvin Austin with Watson and the man known as A.J. "The Jeweler" Machado was charged with one count of athlete-agent inducement, made a court appearance in Orange County and was released on $30,000 bond.
The state alleges Barley, of North Chesterfield, Va., provided cash, airline tickets, a rental car and hotel room to UNC defensive end Robert Quinn.
Austin told NCAA investigators in 2010 that he met Watson through Barley, and that Barley was in attendance at the Tar Heels' 2010 spring game along with Machado. Austin told investigators that "Willie" was "a recruiter for [Terry] Watson."
Austin, a defensive tackle, along with teammates Little and Quinn, lost his senior season of eligibility after allegations surfaced that he accepted cash, gifts and trips from agents and others.
As the NCAA investigated the UNC football program, the Secretary of State's Office began an investigation of agent activity in the state which has so far resulted in criminal charges against five people:
- Jennifer Lauren Wiley Thompson, who was an academic tutor working with football players at UNC;
- Watson, who faces 13 felony counts of athlete-agent inducement related to gifts provided to Austin, Little and Quinn;
- Georgia real estate agent Patrick Jones, charged with providing money to be relayed to Quinn;
- Barley and Johnson.
George Jeter, spokesman for the Secretary of State’s Office, stressed that the probe focused only on sports agents, "not any schools or players."
The investigation found that Watson contacted UNC football players no fewer than 731 times, and warrants indicate players Jordan Nix, Michael McAdoo and Deunta Williams also got packages from Watson.