Friendships, football led UNC players to violations
Posted October 26, 2012
Updated October 27, 2012
Chapel Hill, N.C. — UNC football players traveled to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta and Washington, D.C., with friends and former players, trips they thought nothing of and trips that earned the University of North Carolina sanctions from the NCAA.
In documents released Friday, five players detailed the trips they took, expenses they shared and freebies they gained. The documents are part of a settlement between UNC and a coalition of media organizations investigating the actions that led to a postseason ban, loss of scholarships and probation for the Tar Heel football program.
In September 2010, as the football season began and NCAA scrutiny focused on UNC, then-Director of Athletics Dick Baddour wrote to the NCAA on behalf of Robert Quinn. Quinn had been declared ineligible to play, and Baddour sought a reinstatement. Quinn, Baddour explained, had accepted meals, party passes, $5,000 worth of jewelry, and had initially lied to NCAA investigators, but should only get a minimum penalty for his conduct.
Along with Baddour's letter, UNC submitted written reasoning from Quinn for why he accepted the impermissible benefits.
About the hotel and car charges, he wrote,"If I had to do it again, I would have been more responsible and took care of things on my own. I would say my actions were not the smartest, but I am truly sorry."
Quinn's biggest benefit by far was two black diamond watches and a pair of matching earrings, valued at $5,000 from a Miami jeweler, named A.J. Moschato. Quinn was introduced to Moschato in spring of 2010 by teammate Marvin Austin.
He wrote, "When I met this jeweler, me being a Southern kid, just took him as a new friend. A couple of watches and pair of earrings were given. I know he was being nice. He said he did not work for an agent so I didn't think nothing was wrong."
Quinn also excused meals with financial advisers, valued at a total $120. "While Quinn knew it was impermissible to accept benefits from agents, he did not know this regulation also applied to financial advisers," Baddour wrote.
Documents show McAdoo followed friends
Defensive end Michael McAdoo, who has been one of the most visible casualties of the UNC/NCAA investigation for his alleged plagiarism, also detailed improper benefits he got from a teammate and former players.
In trip to Washington, D.C., in April 2010, McAdoo and Austin stayed in a hotel room. When McAdoo asked to pay his share, Austin told him, "I got you," according to McAdoo's statement to the NCAA. Austin checked in to the hotel and gave keys to McAdoo and teammate Greg Little.
In reality, the hotel room was paid for by Todd Stewart, a financial adviser, who was asked to do so by NFL player Vernon Davis.
In his statement, McAdoo said Austin paid for his meals on the trip as well. The group also went to two clubs, accompanied by Stewart.
McAdoo made a second trip with Austin to D.C. in June 2010.
He never played again for the Tar Heels. The NCAA ruled him permanently ineligible after the UNC Honor Court found that a tutor had provided him with too much help.
McAdoo is suing UNC, alleging the university improperly handled his case before the NCAA, costing him his senior season and valuable status in the NFL Draft. He is currently on the Baltimore Ravens roster, making the NFL minimum.
Brown, Williams and Burney also traveled
Statements by Charles Brown, Deunta Williams and Kendric Burney also detail trips taken to Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Atlanta during 2012 and all paint former player Chris Hawkins as the common thread.
According to Brown, he, Hawkins and Burney all met in Atlanta in May 2010 and met with a financial advisor before Hawkins was arrested after getting pulled over. Burney and Brown were then forced to stay at former player Mahlon Carey's house.
Carey was found to have purchased drinks for both Brown and Burney at a club.
Brown and Burney also stated that Hawkins had attempted to arrange a meeting with NFLPA certified agent Peter Schaffer but denied that Hawkins had been "managing" them.
Williams indicated that Hawkins had approached him saying that prominent agent Drew Rosenhaus was "a snake" and that some agents were "tied to the mob."
Williams stated that his relationship with Hawkins was one of a "little brother" nature and that some payements went from Williams to Hawkins as well.
Documents newly public, not new to NCAA
In a statement released Friday, Baddour's replacement, Bubba Cunningham, said:
"In 2010, Carolina worked with the NCAA enforcement staff to submit statements of facts and subsequent reinstatement requests on behalf of a number of football student-athletes. The records released today (and those that will be released on Nov. 5) were provided to the NCAA staff prior to UNC's appearance at the Committee on Infractions hearing on Oct. 28, 2011. The NCAA issued its ruling in March 2012 with full knowledge of these issues and facts."
The documents released Friday are a portion of the documents required to be released by UNC as part of a lawsuit settlement reached by the university and the a media coalition, which includes WRAL News.
Further documents, including the university's response to the NCAA Notice of Allegations, will be released on Nov. 5. Also pending release by the university are bills incurred by the university for outside legal counsel which will be released when they become available.
Both the media coalition and the university have also agreed not to appeal and UNC will pay $45,000 in attorney fees to the media group pursuing the public records.