Origin of jewelry given to UNC football players made public
Posted October 28, 2010
Updated October 29, 2010
More information regarding the origin of jewelry provided to two UNC football players has come to light.
In a letter written to Anthony Machado that was released to the media Thursday evening, North Carolina athletics director Dick Baddour confirmed that Machado, a Florida based jeweler, provided at least one Tar Heel student-athlete impermissible benefits.
On behalf of the North Carolina athletics department, Baddour directed Machado to "have no further contact with any of our student-athletes or with anyone associated with our intercollegiate athletics program" for "at least a five year period."
Baddour recently sent a similar letter to former UNC and Marshall player Chris Hawkins, who was deemed a "runner" and a "prospective agent" by the school's athletic department.
Machado has built a reputation around providing NFL players and draft picks with expensive jewelry. A story that appeared in the Sun Sentinel on July 17 of this year quoted Machado as saying 14 2009 first-round draft picks wore his jewelry on draft night.
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.