Armstrong: UNC agent scandal 'all for nothing'

North Carolina Defensive tackle Marvin Austin answers questions during North Carolina football media day in Chapel Hill, N.C., Friday, Aug. 7, 2009. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

I remember my exchange with Marvin Austin like it was yesterday. The 2010 UNC Spring Game - I was down on the sidelines and went over to chat a bit with Big Marv, who was about the friendliest guy you could ever meet. My parting words to him as we shook hands, a perfunctory 'Stay out of trouble.' His response: 'Always'. He did not as it turns out.

Three months later everything started to unravel with the initial Inside Carolina report that the NCAA was poking around the Heels program. By September, we were head counting players getting on the bus before the LSU matchup in Atlanta, trying to glean who was suspended for being caught up in the mess.

7 YEARS later, here we are, UNC still dealing with the fallout from subsequent investigations into its academic trainwreckery and the hapless agents who tried to woo Marvin and Greg Little and Robert Quinn.

Terry Watson was sentenced to probation and a suspended 6-8 month jail sentence today. And all for nothing. Watson and his colleagues ham-handed efforts to gain new clients ended up being all for naught. Austin and Little were relatively quickly out of the league. Only Quinn is a star and none of the three signed with Watson to begin with.

I had to read up on the case again because I'd forgotten many of the names it's been so long. Chris Hawkins, former NCCU QB Michael Johnson, Jennifer Wiley. It honestly feels like it was a generation ago. I wasn't even a father when it started and now I've got two near 7-year-old twins.

While the agent stuff was largely put to bed today, we still of course await the grinding wheel of NCAA justice as it pertains to the academic 'junk' to borrow a Roy Williams colloquialism. Someday it will be over, resolved, punishment delivered and punishment handled. Someday.
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