Warrant: Agent sent UNC player package of cash

March 11, 2013 3:10:23 PM PDT
A search warrant made public Monday shows the North Carolina Secretary of State's office continues to look into allegations of improper conduct by professional agents with members of the UNC Chapel Hill football team. The warrant includes the bombshell allegation that a man in Georgia sent one player a package of cash in order to gain his favor.

Click here to read the warrant (.pdf)

The Secretary of State's office is investigating possible violations of North Carolina's Uniform Athlete Agents Act - specifically, if agents - or anyone acting for them - gave UNC players impermissible benefits.

The warrant alleges investigators have uncovered probable cause to suspect that Georgia-based agent Terry Shawn Watson, of the Watson Sports Agency, gave players cash and gifts with the intent of encouraging them to sign with him when they turned pro.

The warrant alleges Watson contacted players Marvin Austin and Michael McAdoo before he was officially registered as an agent in North Carolina - a violation of the Uniform Athlete Agents Act.

The warrant also quotes an interview conducted by investigators with Austin in which he alleges Watson sent him money.

The warrant also says a friend of Watson confessed to sending packages of money for the agent to students he was trying to recruit.

In the warrant, Austin is quoted as saying he got a package with $2,000 in cash in it that was sent to his Chapel Hill address.

The warrant says Watson has refused to cooperate with investigators. He now faces possible felony charges.

The Secretary of State's office opened the investigation in 2010 after UNC announced it was looking into allegations of plagiarism, tutors who violated rules, faculty who failed to provide oversight, alleged unethical conduct by an assistant coach, and allegations that players got perks from professional sports agents.

During the 2010 season, more than a dozen players were suspended for all - or part of - the season while the school and the NCAA investigated.

The NCAA said the school was "responsible for multiple violations, including academic fraud, impermissible agent benefits, ineligible participation, and a failure to monitor its football program."

Penalties imposed by the association included a one-year postseason ban, reduction of 15 football scholarships, vacation of records, and three years probation.

The weight of multiple campus scandals led to Chancellor Holden Thorp stepping down. UNC fired former head football coach Butch Davis and former athletics director Dick Baddour resigned. Both Davis and Baddour said they had no knowledge of improper behavior.

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