The Daily Tar Heel

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Thursday June 17th

Former Georgia sports agent pleads guilty to charges in UNC case

He accepted a plea deal which says he must undergo a 30-month probation, as well as complete community service and pay a $5,000 fine.

The first 12 months consist of supervised probation, but if Watson avoids probation violations, the following 18 months will be unsupervised probation.

Watson was convicted of 13 counts of athlete agent inducement — a felony for which the most severe possible punishment is probation.

“He was the only true agent who was charged,” said Jeff Nieman, assistant district attorney for Orange County.

His case was one of five filed under North Carolina’s Uniform Athlete Agents Act.

Patrick Jones, who was also charged, agreed to testify against Watson. Nieman said Jones took money from Watson and gave it to a friend of a player.

Nieman said the other people involved were conduits for agents — acting more like middlemen.

Michael Johnson was convicted of attempted athlete-agent inducement, and two other cases still need to be heard. Nieman said Johnson was the friend of a student-athlete who received money for them.

Watson’s attorney Russell Babb, of the Raleigh firm Tharrington Smith, said Watson is ready to move on with his life.

“I think what it boils down to is, obviously these are offenses that occurred all the way back in 2010,” he said.

“Terry Watson was indicted the end of 2013. The case has been pending since that time, so it’s been pending for a while. It’s been pending for years, and (Monday’s) events sort of got Terry to a place where he was confronted with the decision of: continuing on for some uncertain amount of additional time toward a trial date or going ahead and accepting the state’s plea offer and achieving the closure to the matter that turns out he so desperately wanted.”


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