North Carolina

Indictment: Tutor served as liaison between agent, UNC football player

Posted October 3, 2013
Updated October 4, 2013

— A former University of North Carolina tutor became the first person to appear in court Thursday on charges she violated state laws that regulate how agents may interact with student athletes.

Jennifer Lauren Wiley Thompson is one of five people indicted earlier this week on charges related to the North Carolina Uniform Athlete Agents Act. She is one of 10 people found by the NCAA to have provided impermissible benefits – both academic and financial – to members of the UNC football team.

"This is a new law that that has questionable applicability to these facts and no one should judge the truth based on this or any grand jury indictment," Wiley's attorney Joe Chesire said in a statement Thursday. "She has been pursued and harassed for years and paid a great price for being a good hearted naive young person who tried to help people. We shall see the truth, but people should keep an open mind about her case."

Wiley's indictment, which was unsealed Thursday, shows investigators found she purchased a round-trip airline ticket for then-UNC football player Greg Little in May 2010. Later that year, Wiley delivered packages to Little containing $2,000 and $150 cash. Investigators allege Wiley gave gifts to Little in attempts to persuade him to contract with sports agent Terry Watson of the Georgia-based Watson Sports Agency.

Former UNC tutor appears in court Former UNC tutor appears in court  

District Attorney Jim Woodall said Thursday that nobody, in North Carolina or nationwide, has ever been charged under the athlete-agent act, that he knows of. Wiley, who faces four felony charges that each carry a maximum of 15 months in jail, has an authorized released upon payment of a $15,000 secured bond. She is due in court again Oct. 15.

"I am very concerned about the legal and/or factual basis for this indictment against Jennifer," Chesire said. "We will be reviewing the discovery carefully for statements that give any credence to the allegations. As well we have serious doubts as to the applicability of this law to this situation."

The university was sanctioned by the NCAA in March 2012 after an almost two-year long investigation that showed that seven players had received $27,097.38 in gifts, cash and trips.

North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall followed up the NCAA investigation with one of her own, under the auspices of a law that requires sports agents to register with the Secretary of State, and prohibits them from providing “anything of value” to a student-athlete not under contract or initiating contact with a student-athlete.
Those who violate the law can be charged with a felony and may also be subject to civil penalties, including a fine of up to $25,000 and paying damages to a school that loses eligible student-athletes.

In the course of the criminal investigation, agents with the Secretary of State’s office searched Wiley’s phone records – finding “extensive contact between Wiley and UNC-CH student athletes” and “direct contact between Wiley’s number and (sports agent) Peter Schaffer.”

In a search warrant application for her bank records, Secretary of State Special Agent A.H. Jones wrote, “Since Wiley is not a student athlete there does not appear to be a reasonable explanation for her to be in direct contact with agents and financial advisors.”

UNC told the NCAA that Wiley provided too much help with players’ school work and paid about $3,500 worth of parking and plane tickets for the players she worked with.

As a result, the university banned Wiley, a UNC graduate, from further helping student athletes, having contact with them or entering any campus athletic facilities.

Wiley’s lawyer, Joseph B. Cheshire V, has said she didn’t know what she was doing was wrong, saying, "She has suffered a lot for having a big heart.”

Nyang’oro investigation still pending

Wiley is also connected to a second, on-going investigation at UNC by the Secretary of State.

She helped player Michael McAdoo with portions of a paper he turned in for what was revealed to be a no-show class in the Department of African and Afro-American Studies, a paper later found to be largely lifted from other sources. McAdoo’s work, which he used as evidence when he sued to be reinstated to the football team, shone a light on that department and especially then-Chairman Julius Nyang’oro and his administrator, Deborah Crowder.

A university review of courses in the department found independent study classes with minimal professor-student interaction and 59 instances between 2007-09 where grades were submitted with forged signatures of professors.

Woodall and the SBI have yet to determine whether Nyang’oro and Crowder, both of whom have left the university, defrauded UNC by collecting pay for classes that instructors didn't teach.

Others indictments will yield more detail

An Orange County grand jury on Monday issued multiple indictments, but they remain under seal. Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall has said he believes North Carolina is the first state to bring criminal charges related to athlete-agent contact.

In December 2010, UNC released a list of names, including Wiley’s, of people known to have provided benefits to football players.

They are:
• Former UNC football players Omar Brown, Mahlon Carey and Hakeem Nicks
• Former Maryland football player Vernon Davis
• Sports agent Christopher Hawkins
• Michael Katz, director of marketing and client services for Rosenhaus Sports
• Florida-based jeweler A.J. Machado
• Todd Stewart, who has been tied to Pro Sports Financial

UNC Vice Chancellor and General Counsel Leslie Strohm also noted other organizations and people who may have provided benefits. They are: Rosenhaus Sports, Pro Sports Financial, Vernon Davis’ brother Vontae Davis, Chris Hawkins' business partner Martin Blazer, former UNC player Kentwan Balmer and agent Gary Wichard, since deceased.

249 Comments

Please to add a comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • unc70 Oct 4, 5:14 p.m.

    When are the players going to be indicted for taking the money!?

    — Posted by solarcableguy

    It is not criminal for the athletes to simply receive the benefits. They and the agents are liable for damages caused to The University. The players could sued in a civil action.

    A player could be indicted for things like giving a teammate something from an agent.

  • mojaintsmall Oct 4, 4:59 p.m.

    Flag ship is more like a flag sponge it is taking on so much water and sinking by the day. mojaintsmall

  • 678devilish Oct 4, 4:53 p.m.

    She was wrong and should absolutely face her dire consequences.

  • unc70 Oct 4, 4:25 p.m.

    TBK has been spot on the whole time.
    Where does this go from here?
    There are more indictments,... View More

    — Posted by DA unwashed Mob

    Wiley is not suffering now because she listened to Cheshire. She is in trouble because she took actions on her own knowing that she would be helping break NCAA rules. She had not realized until later that those actions also were against the law. That was when she hired Cheshire. She needed a good lawyer and got one.

  • FE_ORA Oct 4, 3:28 p.m.

    All I know is, that if we get Butch-slapped by VT & Miami & drop to 1-5, I'm gonna start cheating my *** off too. Payments to players, fake classes, tutors doing homework for players and ....... doing players ....... will be back on the table. I want the old Carolina Way back. This thing that Dean Smith wrote about is a fairy tale.

    And don't get me started about Teflon Roy.

  • heelsforever Oct 4, 3:21 p.m.

    UNC has a rich history in cheating going back to at least the Choo Choo Justice days. But what... View More

    — Posted by rayraynral

    Then why has UNC only been hit twice while another local school has been hit, what, four, five times? Does the other school just really suck at keeping it quiet?

  • solarcableguy Oct 4, 3:21 p.m.

    When are the players going to be indicted for taking the money!?

  • heelsforever Oct 4, 3:17 p.m.

    If the real truth ever comes out - quote Si. IT WILL BLOW YOUR MIND!!! it goes deeper than... View More

    — Posted by JACKSON THIS IS OUR STATE SAWYER

    Afraid someone will whack you for spilling the beans on an anonymous message board???

  • The Hans Oct 4, 2:26 p.m.

    Thats called being a fan and hating your rival. They have them at other schools also. Michigan/... View More

    — Posted by packfan07

    OK, maybe I was wrong. It looks like you fooled this dude.

    PF07, don't respond to these types of... View More

    — Posted by TruthBKnown Banned Again03

    He or she might be a Pack fan, he or she might not - but I feel the exact same way regarding the... View More

    — Posted by The Hans

    Speaking of obsession, have you noticed all the threads started in the NCSU forum regarding our... View More

    — Posted by TruthBKnown Banned Again03

    Oh, please. It doesn't even come close to comparing, and most of those posts are likely payback for the way you and the rest of the fringe have been flooding their forum with every kind of nonsense imaginable. You, by your own admission, even emailed their AD, for Pete's sake! You want to call me a joke and talk about obsession? SMH.

  • packisback69 Oct 4, 12:39 p.m.

    Wow, State fans hating other State fans......I'm guessing ever one on here is young

More...

 

 

  • ACC: Clemson at NC State

    Wednesday at 9:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: NC State at Georgia Tech

    Saturday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Arkansas at Florida

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: Waste Management Phoenix Open

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • HSBB: Broughton at Leesville Road

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on 620am

  • NHL: Hurricanes vs. Tampa Bay

    Tomorrow at 7:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • ACC: Duke at Notre Dame

    Wednesday at 7:30 pm on 620am

  • ACC: NC State vs. Clemson

    Wednesday at 9:00 pm on WRAL-FM

Scoreboard
Local
Final
STJ 68
DUKE 77
Final
NCSU 78
ND 81
7:00pm Tonight
NCCU
DELST
 
7:00pm Tonight
UNC
SYR
 
Final
CHI 84
MIA 96
Final
CLE 108
OKC 98
Final
NOP 109
DAL 106
Final
ORL 99
IND 106
Final
PHO 100
LAC 120
Final
ATL 112
MIN 100
Final
TOR 114
DET 110
Final
SAN 101
MIL 95
Final
GSW 114
BOS 111
Final
DEN 115
WAS 117
Final
LAL 87
HOU 99
7:30pm Tonight
BRK
POR
 
7:30pm Tonight
NYK
SAC
 
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
MIN
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
ORL
 
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
PHI
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTA
BOS
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAC
DEN
 
Final
UCONN 66
SFLA 53
Final
GT 62
BC 64
Final
VT 47
UVA 50
Final
OSU 82
IND 70
Final
UCF 46
CIN 56
Final
WICHS 74
DRAK 40
Final
STJ 68
DUKE 77
Final
MAR 73
FAIR 67
 
Final
HART 61
MAINE 70
 
Final
MAN 71
MON 64
 
Final
PRIN 96
ROWAN 48
 
Final
SIENA 55
PETE 69
 
Final
RIU 53
BONA 48
Final
BING 54
USB 61
 
Final
MLOWELL 50
VERM 61
 
Final
BUT 77
SHU 57
Final
SALA 55
YALE 72
 
Final
PITT 68
LOU 80
Final
ILLST 53
NIOWA 54
Final
GTDNS 69
UMBC 55
 
Final
IONA 87
NIAG 64
 
Final
TENST 55
BEL 63
 
Final
NCSU 78
ND 81
Final
VILL 71
CREI 50
Final
MD 68
NW 67
Final
UTAH 77
WASH 56
7:00pm Tonight
AMER
ARMY
 
7:00pm Tonight
OU
CLST
 
7:00pm Tonight
NCCU
DELST
 
7:00pm Tonight
PBY
HIGH
 
7:00pm Tonight
UNC
SYR
 
7:00pm Tonight
DET
WRST
 
7:30pm Tonight
NCAT
COPST
 
7:30pm Tonight
SCST
HAMP
 
7:30pm Tonight
COOK
HOW
 
7:30pm Tonight
NWST
NICST
 
8:00pm Tonight
NO
CARK
 
8:00pm Tonight
CAMP
GWEBB
 
8:00pm Tonight
FAM
MDES
 
8:00pm Tonight
INCWORD
MCNST
 
8:00pm Tonight
SAV
NORST
 
8:00pm Tonight
ABCHRIST
SHSU
 
8:00pm Tonight
LAM
STEPH
 
8:00pm Tonight
SELA
TAMCC
 
8:05pm Tonight
VALPO
UWMIL
 
8:30pm Tonight
ALAAM
ALCOR
 
8:30pm Tonight
ALAST
SOUTH
 
9:00pm Tonight
ARKPB
PVU
 
9:00pm Tonight
ISU
TEX
 
9:00pm Tonight
MVSU
TXSOU
 
Final
TEAMFOLI 12
TEAMTOEWS 17
Final
CARTER 28
IRVIN 32