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The Daily Tar Heel

Full disclosure: I have never been ticketed by UNC’s Department of Public Safety.

I’m no Dudley Do-Right by any stretch of the imagination. The name of my column is “Not a Role Model.” And I don’t think that I’m holier than thou.

But still, not once since I’ve been in Chapel Hill — whether it be visiting or living — have I been ticketed.

Yet, during the course of 41 months, fewer than 12 UNC football players were able to rack up 395 tickets totaling more than $13,000. At first glance it’s a staggering stat. Then I measure it down to about one ticket per one athlete per month.

Then I realized I have none.

The documents released Thursday that The Daily Tar Heel fought so hard to make public don’t explicitly show a big-time agent buying cars for UNC football players. Oh wait, did you think they were supposed to?

These documents highlight a culture at UNC that extends beyond a dysfunctional ticketing process that allows for a ratio of about one towed or booted car for every 40 tickets. They subtly show the flippancy former and current football players have toward authority outside the Kenan Football Center.

Sure, some of these tickets are trivial — an unpaid meter here, a permit turned the wrong way there. Then you get seven tickets for blocking handicap spots and one player with at least 93 tickets to his name.

Numbers like that prove there were some players who thought they were untouchable.

And they were never given a reason to think otherwise. There are still 30 tickets out of the bunch that remain unpaid. Players included in the records owe at least $1,715 in unpaid fines, meaning the football team might as well throw the next DPS Christmas Party at the Carolina Inn.

And who should be the guest of honor? None other than Greg Little, who is as gifted athletically as he is verbally. The former UNC wide receiver who would be ruled permanently ineligible by the NCAA for violating rules on preferential treatment and ethical conduct was recently drafted in the second round of the NFL draft and will make a lot more money than I do.

That could explain his glib apology at UNC Pro Day when he discussed the regret for his transgressions against the University and his teammates.

“It definitely shaped me and changed my morals and values and really got me soul searching about who I was,” said Little as he played verbal games with the media surrounding him in March. “I did some things that were very wrong and very selfish, so to speak. I know I’ve got to move on from that and show everybody who I really am as a person.”

In the past week, Little has dropped his former sports agency and signed with widely successful and lowly respected agent Drew Rosenhaus (who, by the way, is linked to the ongoing UNC NCAA investigation). He then went to work out with former Ohio State quarterback turned Columbus villain Terrelle Pryor less than a week after Pryor dishonorably left the Buckeyes.

These tickets are more evidence of high-profile athletes’ inflated sense of self. Little will still say “Greg Little, North Carolina” on Monday Night Football because in his mind he didn’t just earn it — he deserves it.

Truth is, Little probably didn’t care about UNC, and you could see right through him as he said all the right things when hundreds of NFL scouts and coaches were in Chapel Hill. But he knew that with a wide smile and a fast 40 time he could get away with it.

After all, he was in Chapel Hill.

Contact Jonathan Jones at jjones9@email.unc.edu.

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