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College Football

Warrant: UNC's Little got $20K payoff

Posted September 5, 2013

— Investigators in North Carolina say a Georgia-based sports agent violated sports agent laws by providing more than $20,000 in cash and benefits to former Tar Heels receiver Greg Little in 2010.

In a search warrant unsealed this week, an agent with the Secretary of State's office said Little told investigators that Terry Watson of the Watson Sports Agency provided him with a monthly cash allowance of $2,200 in addition to travel expenses and other payments.

Little, now with the Cleveland Browns, also reimbursed former tutor Jenifer Wiley for expenses paid on his behalf with money received from Watson or a financial adviser, according to a probable cause affidavit in the June search warrant.

Sims: Little received $20K from sports agent Sims: Little received $20K from sports agent

While the NCAA investigation is closed, authorities are still reviewing whether laws regulating sports agents were broken.

Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall said he is considering criminal charges under the state's Uniform Athletes Agents Act. By law, agents must register with the Secretary of State's office, and the law is designed to shield athletes from sports agents who would offer gifts to entice them to sign representation contracts.

It is a Class I felony to violate the law, meaning a maximum prison sentence of 15 months, and violations also could carry civil penalties of up to $25,000.  

Woodall said he knows of no other state that has used a similar statute to charge an agent with a crime.

The warrant sought Wiley's financial records from January 2009 to December 2010. She was linked to academic misconduct violations involving several UNC football players during an NCAA investigation that began in 2010, as well as providing improper financial benefits to Little.

Her attorney, Joseph B. Cheshire V of Raleigh, defended Wiley as a "sweet, naive and caring person."

"Neither Ms. Wiley nor I have any comment to what is an old story, one repeated ad nauseum that needs to be allowed to die the death it deserves," Cheshire told WRAL News.

Watson didn't immediately return a call from The Associated Press to his Marietta, Ga.-based office Thursday. In search warrants unsealed in March, investigators said Watson also made cash payments to former UNC defensive tackle Marvin Austin.

Little met with investigators in January and said he was "ready for this chapter of his life to be over and to get on with his life on a clean slate," according to the affidavit. During the interview, he said Wiley received several financial payments from Watson and forwarded them to Little.

Little was declared permanently ineligible by the NCAA for receiving improper benefits in October 2010, while Austin was dismissed from the team. Neither played all season and were among 14 Tar Heels that missed at least one game that year amid the NCAA probe.

The NCAA hit the program with a one-year bowl ban in March 2012 — which kept the Tar Heels out of the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game last fall — as well as a reduction of 15 scholarships over a three-year period and probation.

Steve Kirshner, a spokesman for the UNC athletics department, said the university would have no comment on the revelations or the progress of the case.

After her office launched its probe in summer 2010, North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall said the focus was not on athletes or schools but on the agents or anyone that provided athletes with items of value.

195 Comments

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  • Alex25 Sep 10, 6:46 a.m.

    UNC cheats. They always have, and their fans buy into this falsely created brand.

    www.unccheats.com

  • trueblue0100 Sep 9, 1:46 p.m.

    "http://sports.yahoo.com/ncaa/football/news?slug=ycn-7965352"

    And?

    — Posted by UpChuck

    Do I have to interpret it for you? NCState 5 times cited for violations by the NCAA....near the... View More

    — Posted by da_man

    If only UN*C had been cited for all they've been doing for decades......

    — Posted by TruthBKnown Banned Again03

    And you know this how? Where is your proof or fact? Everytime there's even a mention of UNC here you go with your age old BS. I just knew that the speculator clown would show up sooner or later. Why don't you just go back and listen to that radio station that no one hears but you and tell us what's being broadcast. I mean, isn't there a cow or two out there that needs your affection. You have to be the male equivalent of a !

  • packisback69 Sep 7, 7:01 p.m.

    Look a picture with NCSU

  • unc70 Sep 6, 7:33 p.m.

    One of the most NCAA sanctioned schools in the United States is NC State University.

    Don't know... View More

    — Posted by Native NC gal

    Why don't you do some real work instead of spreading those silly talking points? Name the... View More

    — Posted by Miltonroadwarrior

    Do you really believe that State was put on four years probation in all sports because Case gave a player money for a bus trip home?!!! Yes, that was among the list of infractions. State was already on probation for basketball when the second NCAA investigation began, triggered by news accounts surrounding recruiting of the top basketball prospect in the nation. The violations at State were pervasive, institutional, and blatant. Coaches, ADs, and the head of the Wolfpack Club were principal violators. Senior NC State officials tried to coverup and to thwart the NCAA investigation by refusing to cooperate. When you read the NCAA findings regarding State, note what is missing: institutional cooperation. There are two statements regarding maximum cooperation by the ACC.

    https://web1.ncaa.org/LSDBi/exec/miSearch?miSearchSubmit=publicReport&key=29&publicTerms=THIS%20PHRASE%20WILL%20NOT%20BE%20REPEATED

    Many of the recent problems found at UNC had analogs in the 1950s at NC State and most other schools. In those days, academics for athletes was even more of a sham than now. Most colleges admissions required little beyond graduating high school. No SAT. Many "dumb jocks", etc. few rules limiting generous boosters were weak, ineffective, and poorly enforced. Loaner/demo cars, high pay-no work jobs, gifts, clothes, cash for laundry, can fare, or whatever -- all barely out of sight. FB schools were the worst; State less so - typical though those who built Reynolds and hired Case expected results and had deep pockets. State athletics, mainly BB, was out of control when the NCAA sanctions were imposed.

    I agree with you about events involving Thompson.

  • Gunnstigator Sep 6, 2:57 p.m.

    jgunn you are so correct. My daughter work her tail of for 12 years to earn her scholarship. 4.6... View More

    — Posted by Toddler10-21

    My daughter as well, Toddler. She also had a 4.6 GPA coming out of HS, and was actually a... View More

    — Posted by Gunnstigator

    jgunn - your daughter and I may have taken the same chemistry course... albeit mine was likely... View More

    — Posted by Objective Scientist

    And yet you all idolize those athletes. Somehow, I am left mystified with these heart-warming... View More

    — Posted by Miltonroadwarrior

    I think you're suffering from road rage, Mr. Warrior. There is no place in my post I referred to my daughter's labs as "horrible". You missed the entire point of my post, which IS to stand up and congratulate the real students at Carolina, because most are real students. People make statements and judgments that all students at Carolina cheat and take easy classes. My point is that is not an accurate assessment of Carolina, as well as many other fine Universities. I'm proud of what my daughter accomplished and she has a very lucrative career, and she got her education at Carolina. That was my point.

  • Objective Scientist Sep 6, 12:53 p.m.

    jgunn you are so correct. My daughter work her tail of for 12 years to earn her scholarship. 4.6... View More

    — Posted by Toddler10-21

    My daughter as well, Toddler. She also had a 4.6 GPA coming out of HS, and was actually a... View More

    — Posted by Gunnstigator

    jgunn - your daughter and I may have taken the same chemistry course... albeit mine was likely... View More

    — Posted by Objective Scientist

    And yet you all idolize those athletes. Somehow, I am left mystified with these heart-warming... View More

    — Posted by Miltonroadwarrior

    WOW! Miltonroadwarrior - "warrior on - you got on a roll! I appreciate your earlier comments about my forthrightness, etc. - that is "me" and exactly how I feel about the matter. I never overlook 'issues' because of "blind passion" for my team or school - and simply cannot / will NOT defend or attempt to deflect or justify or excuse what has happened at UNC with regard to matters like those involving Greg Little... and now PJ Hairston! This response, however relates to your response to my last posts... your beginning statement being: "And yet you all idolize those athletes." "Idolizing" - I do not do. I readily acknowledge your comments about schools and programs where many/most students take rigorous courses... and don't "sell their souls and integrity". If you were to have a catalog of all of my posts/comments over several years... you would quickly see that I have NO patience with the type of "C*AP" that has been going on at UNC-CH. Carolina is MY school... I have three EARNED degrees from UNC-CH and a long and strong association with the University. I have constantly "stood up" to defend the academic integrity of the institution while simultaneously expressing disgust with what has been "allowed" to happen with athletes - primarily in football and basketball. IMO - NO applicant should be admitted if they are incapable of "handling" University level academic work - no matter how well they run, jump, tackle, throw, catch, dunk, shoot, etc., etc., etc.

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again03 Sep 6, 11:37 a.m.

    "http://sports.yahoo.com/ncaa/football/news?slug=ycn-7965352"

    And?

    — Posted by UpChuck

    Do I have to interpret it for you? NCState 5 times cited for violations by the NCAA....near the... View More

    — Posted by da_man

    If only UN*C had been cited for all they've been doing for decades......

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again03 Sep 6, 11:35 a.m.

    For UNC, this matters closed, for the agents, not so much.

    — Posted by Buck you

    And whoever gets put on the witness stand... people who know things... and are willing to 'fess up to save their own hides........ could be revealing for the Holes (if it ever happens).

  • Miltonroadwarrior Sep 6, 9:22 a.m.

    jgunn you are so correct. My daughter work her tail of for 12 years to earn her scholarship. 4.6... View More

    — Posted by Toddler10-21

    My daughter as well, Toddler. She also had a 4.6 GPA coming out of HS, and was actually a... View More

    — Posted by Gunnstigator

    jgunn - your daughter and I may have taken the same chemistry course... albeit mine was likely... View More

    — Posted by Objective Scientist

    And yet you all idolize those athletes. Somehow, I am left mystified with these heart-warming little anecdotes about your sweet babies and their horrible chemistry labs. I have news for you. Half the students at universities with engineering and physical/life science as their degree programs have to go through many of those kinds of classes. And those GTechs, VTechs, UVAs, NCSUs of the world do not sell their souls and integrity for some banners.

    If your little precious is working her little tail off in that chemistry lab then you should be the first to be standing up and defending the integrity of his or her academic efforts.

  • Miltonroadwarrior Sep 6, 9:09 a.m.

    Greg Little - from all indications I've seen this is a high school athlete who could not have... View More

    — Posted by Objective Scientist

    You must be very lonely. I have seen very few posts that remotely resemble the honesty and integrity that you have displayed. The unfortunate truth that has inspired such a passionate reaction from many is the charade that UNCCH was actually educating and graduating these many athletes. Furthermore, the scorn that UNCCH folks heaped on NCSU and many other universities for not matching their graduation rates is not easily forgiven or forgotten. The bottom line is that UNCCH will never be treated to the same expectations or discipline because of its nepotism of leaders who control the state government, which includes control of the university system.

    UNCCH needs more folks like you who have a moral compass and the courage to stand up to the corrupt leaders who are destroying its image. Sadly, you are a lone voice in a throng of win-at-all-cost moral relativists.

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