Posted: 10:45 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013
By Brian Barbour
You know I was really trying to hide my exasperation at yet another piece of information with little or no relevance being treated like an earth shattering revelation. How did I do?
The more surprising aspect of this news wasn't that former UNC WR Greg Little was given $20,000 by an agent or that Jennifer Wiley was involved. That sort of thing goes on all the time according to former ECU coach Steve Logan and Wiley's role was well-documented. It was also a reasonable assumption the NCAA didn't find out everything given their lack of subpoena power. I was probably more shocked to learn the NC Secretary of State's office was actually still investigating the matter and outside of an election year.
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.
If the name Terry Watson sounds familiar it's because his name popped up back in March when similar information was revealed by the same investigators about money Marvin Austin received from this same agency. The reason there is now a separate story about Little is the current Cleveland Brown receiver recently sat down with investigators in hopes of closing the book on this sordid mess.
While this information is getting a little "breaking news" treatment in the local media and treated as something "new" the reality is it simply doesn't matter. Back when the NCAA declared Little permanently ineligible the dollar amount for his improper benefits was placed at just under $5000. Obviously this is four times that number but considering $5000 was enough to end his career, a bigger amount is inconsequential. It is also important to note these benefits came in 2010 which has no impact on that season since Little never played. UNC ended up vacating 2008 and 2009 for the use of ineligible players, Little among them.
In other words, this was already baked into the cake. Little was declared ineligible. UNC was given a bowl ban, scholarship reductions, forced to vacate season, fined and put on probation for multiple major violations which included players receiving gifts from agents. We could find out Little or Austin or Robert Quinn accepted a million dollars and it wouldn't change the math. The only potential issue is if the SOS investigation digs up something connected to a player or program previously unaccounted for in the prior NCAA actions. That doesn't seem likely to happen.
Oh and if you are wondering if Jennifer Wiley, who appears to have been the "middle-man" between Little and Watson, has a comment, she doesn't.