UNC Cuts Ties With Those Arrested in Football Probe

The University has sent letters of disassociation to three former football players and four people who face indictments for their involvement in trying to induce players to sign with professional sports agents.

According to The Associated Press, former players Marvin Austin ’12, Greg Little ’12 and Robert Quinn ’12 have been notified they are prohibited from contacting current UNC athletes and no longer are allowed inside Carolina athletics facilities. The same goes for sports agent Terry Shawn Watson; Patrick Mitchell Jones, a Georgia-based real estate agent and friend of Watson’s; Michael Wayne Johnson Jr., a former quarterback at N.C. Central University; and Willie James Barley Jr., who is listed on the arrest order as Watson’s employee.

Jennifer Wiley Thompson ’09, a former tutor to athletes at UNC who also faces charges in the case, received a disassociation letter in November 2010.

Indictments of the five are related to what authorities say was a scheme to induce UNC football players into signing potentially lucrative sports contracts. The investigation was led by the state secretary of state’s office under a relatively new state law that bars agents from providing cash and other benefits to athletes.

The AP said that the University wrote in the letters to the three players that its intent was to keep them from “further embarrassing” UNC.

Watson was arrested in October on 13 counts of athlete-agent inducement and one count of obstruction of justice, the most charges leveled against any of the five suspects.

Jones was charged with wrongdoing in trying to get Quinn to sign.

Johnson is charged with three counts of athlete-agent inducement. The indictments allege he provided Watson with a location to meet Little and give him $5,000 in May 2010.

Barley is charged with four counts of athlete-agent inducement, including giving Quinn $1,525.74 in May 2010 for a hotel room in Miami and two round-trip airline tickets to Florida. He also gave Quinn the use of a car for two days, according to the indictments.

Thompson is accused of giving Little two round-trip plane tickets to Florida, in part to enter a sports contract, and acting as a go-between for cash payments from Watson to Little.

The three players, all now playing in the NFL, are not included in the indictments.

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