UNC bans tutor, outs former players who gave aid

November 12, 2010 4:52:09 AM PST
On Thursday, UNC Chapel Hill officials released more information in the football program investigation that sheds new light on who was providing benefits -- cash, jewelry, travel, lodging and entertainment -- to Tar Heel players.The NCAA has been looking into allegations since this past summer about the relationship between former UNC assistant coach John Blake and a pro agent, the relationship between some players and agents, and charges of academic misconduct involving players and a tutor accused of helping them write papers.

The scandal led to the resignation of Blake and defensive tackle Marvin Austin and wide receiver Greg Little were kicked off the team after the NCAA found they had accepted thousands of dollars in trips and gifts from agents.

According to the UNC release Thursday, former Tar Heel and current NFL star Hakeem Nicks provided benefits valued around $3,300. Nicks is also one of three former players who felt they were just helping out friends and fellow Tar Heels.

Click here to read the release

The others allegedly involved is former defensive back Omar Brown, who hosted both Deunta Williams and Kendric Burney at his home in California. UNC put the value of his benefits at just under $1,900. Another former defensive back, Mahlon Carey, is on the hook for $140.

Former defensive back Chris Hawkins previously told ABC11 Eyewitness News that he and Burney roomed with Carey while on a trip to Atlanta.

Also on Thurday, the university released a letter of disassociation that was sent last week to former football tutor Jennifer Wiley.

Click here to read the letter

The letter involves the second prong of the school's investigation, alleging Wiley wrote term-papers for some team members --violating the honor code.

UNC Athletic Director Dick Badour wrote, "as a result of your actions, the eligibility status of several of our student-athletes has been adversely affected."

The letter defines the four components of Wiley's disassociation from the university and wants her to stay away from players for at least the next five years.

ABC11 has also learned that Wiley helped players financially, in the amount of about $2,000.

On Thursday evening, Wiley's attorney released a statement in reference to the letter from UNC.

    "Jennifer Wiley acknowledges her role in the investigation into the UNC football program," her attorney, Joseph B. Cheshire, V wrote. "She gave several years of her life trying to uplift, educate and enhance the lives of student-athletes that she worked with and befriended. All of these young men were of the highest caliber. She did not intend for her work to 'provide impermissible academic assistance' and to the extent it did, she is deeply saddened, particularly as it has affected the young men she cared so much about. The providing of monies mentioned in the letter she received from UNC relates to allowing one individual to use her credit card when the use of a credit card was required. As a bank deposit would show she was immediately repaid for the cost applied to her card. Ms. Wiley never knew this type of transaction was impermissible. "

Due to the duo investigations, 13 players sat out the opener against LSU due to the investigation, with six players sitting out the entire season. Three of those were either dismissed from the team or declared "permanently ineligible" by the NCAA.

Five players have returned to game action, while a sixth -- tailback Ryan Houston -- was cleared to return after missing the first five games and had planned to redshirt.

Defensive lineman Michael McAdoo is the only player from the LSU group whose status is still in question. He hasn't played this season. Fullback Devon Ramsay played four games before the school decided to hold him out. He hasn't played since.

The probe into the football program continues and it's unclear what sanctions UNC might face from the NCAA.

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