Former Tar Heel football players Marvin Austin, Greg Little and Robert Quinn were sent “permanent disassociation” letters last week for their role in NCAA violations that led to sanctions on the school.
The letters, dated Nov. 15, prohibit the players from contacting current UNC athletes, bar them from the Kenan Football Center and other campus athletic facilities, and prohibit them from providing recruiting or financial assistance for athletics.
The letters to Austin, Little and Quinn state that the permanent disassociation is to prevent them from “further embarrassing” the university and “jeopardizing the University’s commitment to full NCAA rules compliance.”
“The integrity of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s intercollegiate athletics program has been damaged through your actions,” states the letter, signed by UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham. “We will take every step necessary to protect our intercollegiate athletics program from future NCAA rules violations.”
After an investigation by the NC Secretary of State, it was found that Austin, Little, and Quinn violated several rules, one of which was receiving improper benefits from agents.
Five people, including agent Terry Watson, Watson associate Patrick Jones, Watson employee Willie Barley, Little’s longtime friend Michael Johnson, and former UNC tutor Jennifer Wiley, all received letters from the school and face criminal charges for violating North Carolina’s sports agent law.
I think that it’s good that the athletes won’t be the only scapegoats, and the agents and their runners who facilitate these type of transactions will be held accountable as well. But what about the coaches and the athletic department that turned a blind eye to what was happening? Are we really supposed to believe they didn’t know?
This is part of the culture of college athletics. It is a business that generates billions of dollars annually. Can you blame athletes for wanting a piece of that pie? Do you expect agents to not pay players in hopes of eating off of them for years to come if they go pro and sign a lucrative contract? Do you really think disassociating these players from the school will prevent this from happening in the future?
I personally don’t blame the players for taking the money. With so many people eating off of them, why shouldn’t they have a seat at the table?
I’m sure they could care less about receiving those letters.