Fourth facing charges in UNC football scandal

Nov. 11, 2013 @ 03:42 PM

A fourth person is expected to face criminal charges Wednesday stemming from the football scandal at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Orange County DA Jim Woodall said that the person, who is coming from out of state, is scheduled to appear at the Orange County Courthouse Wednesday at 2 p.m. The indictment, which was handed up by a grand jury six weeks ago, is currently sealed.

Georgia-based sports agent Terry Watson, Georgia real estate agent Patrick Jones and former UNC academic tutor Jennifer Thompson already have been charged with violating the North Carolina Uniform Athlete Agents Act, which prohibits giving money to college athletes. 

Watson was indicted on 13 counts of athlete agent inducement for offering almost $24,000 to three Tar Heel football players. Thompson faces four counts for funneling $3,309 from Watson to then-UNC wide receiver Greg Little, and Jones was charged with one count for providing $725 to then-UNC defensive lineman Robert Quinn.

Athlete agent inducement is a Class I felony, the lowest-level felony in the state. Defendants without a criminal record must receive probation if they are convicted or plead guilty.

The N.C. Secretary of State’s office has been looking into agents’ interactions with Tar Heel football players since 2010, when the NCAA began a probe that found widespread violations within the UNC football program.

Woodall has said that this is the first case nationally in which people have been charged criminally for breaking state laws regarding sports agents.