Sports agent, associates banned from UNC facilities

Terry Watson
November 19, 2013 3:35:14 PM PST
A sports agent and three associates tied to the UNC football scandal have now been essentially banned from campus.

Georgia-based sports agent Terry Watson, Patrick Jones, Willie Barley, and former N.C. Central quarterback Michael Johnson have been banned from having any contact with UNC student athletes.

They are also banned from all athletic facilities.

All four have already been indicted on criminal charges.

Last week, an indictment was unsealed against Johnson, charging him with athlete-agent inducement.

A second indictment charged WBarley Jr., of Chesterfield, Va., with athlete-agent inducement.

Investigators allege the men gave improper benefits to former UNC players to encourage them to sign with Watson when they later turned pro.

North Carolina law requires agents to register with the Secretary of State's office and prohibits offering gifts to entice athletes to sign representation contracts.

Watson is also charged with 13 counts of athlete-agent inducement and one count of obstruction of justice.

The indictment alleges Johnson helped funnel a total of $5,200 to former UNC player Greg Little from Watson. Johnson was the starting quarterback at NCCU at the time. He's a Hillside High School graduate.

Johnson's attorney called his client's arrest under the athlete-agent inducement law ironic.

"Michael is the picture of the person that this statute was designed to protect, not to prosecute," said Johnson's attorney Bill Young."

"It's to protect the person being induced," said Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall. "We're not alleging that this defendant is being induced to sign a contract, and therefore I don't think they're protected under the statute."

According to an arrest warrant, former UNC player Marvin Austin told investigators Barley helped him get a payment of $2,000 in cash from Watson. The money was delivered in a FedEx package to Austin's Chapel Hill apartment under a bogus name.

Also charged in the case is Patrick Mitchell Jones of Cartersville, Ga. He is accused of trying to get UNC defensive end Robert Quinn to sign with Watson.

The first person indicted in the case is former UNC tutor Jennifer Lauren Thompson (now married and the former Jennifer Wiley). She was also charged with athlete-agent inducement. The indictment against Thompson says in May 2010, she attempted to get former player Greg Little to sign with Watson.

Austin, Little, and Quinn were kicked off the UNC football team after an NCAA investigation found they had accepted thousands of dollars in trips and gifts from agents. The same investigation said Thompson helped them write papers - violating the honor code.

Due to football program investigations, 13 players sat out the 2010 season opener against LSU, with six players sitting out the entire season. Three of those were either dismissed from the team or declared "permanently ineligible" by the NCAA.

In September 2010, Associate Head Coach John Blake resigned because of questions about receiving money from an agent in California. In July 2011, UNC fired Head Coach Butch Davis. Davis has denied knowing anything about any wrongdoing.

In March 2012, the NCAA issued formal sanctions against the Carolina football program. In May 2012, UNC released a faculty investigation revealing problems in more than 50 African-American studies' classes - classes 'popular' with athletes.

In August 2012, UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp announced that the university would study the athletic and academic programs on campus. At the same time UNC appointed former Gov. Jim Martin to investigate the African-American studies classes.

In December 2012, Martin concluded there were 200 "no show classes," and more than 500 "unusual" grade changes going back to 1994.

In September 2012, Chancellor Holden Thorp announced his resignation. He's now the provost at Washington University in St. Louis.

Woodall indicated that that this would likely be the end of the arrests, although the investigation is still going on.

All five suspects are due in court on Dec. 17.

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