Current Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2014 18:33:02 -0400
Update: Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall commented on the ongoing investigation. The story has been changed to reflect the new information.
A newly unsealed search warrant affidavit revealed that former North Carolina receiver Greg Little was given more than $20,000 by Terry Watson of Watson Sports Agency in Marietta, Ga. — violating the North Carolina Uniform Athlete Agents Act.
The search warrant, unsealed this week at the Orange County Courthouse in Hillsborough, stated Watson provided Little, now a receiver with the Cleveland Browns, with a monthly allowance of $2,200, in addition to airline tickets, hotels and cellphone bills.
Jennifer Wiley, a former tutor for the football team, also received money from Watson reimbursing her for paying Little’s UNC parking tickets totaling $1,789. Wiley was also reimbursed for booking Little and his friend Michael Johnson airline tickets on Memorial Day weekend in 2010.
Wiley’s attorney, Raleigh-based Joseph B. Cheshire V, did not respond for a comment.
The June 5 search warrant called for the seizure of Wiley’s financial and bank statements for evidence of violating the North Carolina Uniform Athlete Agents Act.
Watson could face criminal charges for the violation, and as a Class I felony, it carries a maximum prison sentence of 15 months. He could also face a civil penalty of $25,000.
“We are considering potential criminal charges in the case,” Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall said. “I’ll be meeting again with attorneys and potentially some of the investigators from the Secretary of State’s office in about two weeks to discuss that in some more detail.
“We hope that we have a decision by the end of the month, maybe the first week or two in October. I can’t discuss any specifics about it but I can say that we are considering charges but no decision has been made at this time.”
According to the NCAA’s website, the act mandates “an athlete agent to register with a state authority … in order to act as an athlete agent in that state.” By requiring the agents to register, the state hopes to cut down on agents giving student athletes gifts to entice them to sign with the agent.
According to the affidavit, Watson had contacted former UNC football player Marvin Austin as early as December 2009, but he did not register with the state of North Carolina until April 27, 2010.
Austin previously admitted to receiving a FedEx package with $2,000 in cash from Watson.
Watson also delivered money to Little in the same manner, as well as through U.S. Postal overnight service and Western Union wires. According to the affidavit Little told investigators that he began contact with Watson sometime before the spring football game in 2010.
Little told investigators he used Wiley to help him select an agent, and the pair arranged for the first meeting between Little and Watson to take place at Wiley’s house.
The affidavit also said Little accepted a lump sum of approximately $5,000 from Watson after he accepted Watson as his agent.
On Oct. 8, 2010, a FedEx package containing $2,000 in cash was delivered to Wiley’s house from Watson, and the affidavit states that because Wiley “was not a student athlete, there is no reasonable excuse” for Watson to be sending a package to her.
That package was delivered three days prior to Little being deemed ineligible by the NCAA.
By the end of the NCAA investigation, three UNC football players were deemed ineligible and many more were suspended, and the program was levied with a postseason ban, loss of scholarships and other sanctions.