Letters from UNC ID those who helped athletes
Posted October 22, 2010
Updated October 23, 2010
In correspondence from the University of North Carolina athletic department to the NCAA released Friday, athletic director Dick Baddour wrote to the NCAA compliance department Oct. 4 to detail what he called "minimal benefits" to student athletes.
In the letters, Baddour identified Christopher Hawkins as the person who acted as "a prospective agent" and as "a financial adviser " to student-athletes.
Baddour wrote to Hawkins on the same day to ask him to disassociate himself from the athletics program for at least five years.
Hawkins, who was a student-athlete at North Carolina earlier this decade, transferred from the university prior to his senior season and now lives in Durham.
In his letter to the NCAA, Baddour said Hawkins would befriend student-athletes, gain their trust, and socialize with them.
One athlete, Baddour wrote, viewed Hawkins as "a friend who has knowledge about the business and is helpful in giving him an assessment about various agencies."
Other athletes, Baddour said, acknowledged that Hawkins provided information about various agencies and was present at meetings the student-athletes had with financial advisers.
One athlete said Hawkins asked him to "keep him in the loop with regard to his agent search."
Baddour also identified relationships between UNC football players and Michael Katz, the director of marketing and client services for Rosenhaus Sports, and Todd Stewart, who has ties to a financial advising firm.
Katz provided a wristband to a pool party, while Stewart paid for hotel rooms used by players.
Robert Quinn and Greg Little were declared permanently ineligible by the NCAA earlier this season for accepting improper benefits from agents.
The NCAA said Quinn and Little received travel accommodations and jewelry, then lied about it to investigators in three separate interviews.
Quinn, a defensive end widely regarded as a high first-round NFL draft pick, accepted two black diamond watches, a pair of matching earrings and travel accommodations to Miami for benefits worth $5,642. Little, a receiver who returned for his senior season, accepted diamond earrings, as well as travel accommodations for the Bahamas, Washington, D.C., and a pair of trips to Miami for benefits worth $4,952.
Marvin Austin was dismissed from the program by North Carolina for a violation of team rules that included accepting improper benefits from agents before the school even submitted his case to the NCAA.
Baddour said the decision to dismiss Austin — who has been suspended for violating team rules since Sept. 1 — came after the NCAA recently determined he had received between $10,000 and $13,000 in improper benefits.
Throughout the correspondence, Baddour refers to the benefits received by the UNC athletes as "minimal." None of the jewelry was accounted for in the documents released Friday.
Deunta Williams and Kendric Burney were given a four and six-game suspension, respectively, by the NCAA for accepting improper benefits. Both players have already served their suspensions, though Burney has not returned to the field.