MIAMI (CBSMiami) – While there’s still no word on when the NCAA will finally take the wraps off its case against the University of Miami; new details about a different case may provide a roadmap for what UM will be facing.
Former University of North Carolina wide receiver Greg Little admitted to investigators that Terry Watson, of the Watson Sports Agency, provided him with a monthly cash allowance of $2,200 in addition to travel expenses and other payments.
Little met with investigators in January to talk about the pay for play issue and to, “get on with his life on a clean slate.”
Previous search warrants said Watson also made cash payments to former Tar Heels defensive tackle Marvin Austin. Austin was dismissed from the team during the NCAA investigation and Little was declared permanently ineligible in October 2010.
Both were among 14 Tar Heels players that missed at least one game that season during the NCAA investigation.
As a result of UNC’s actions, in March 2012, the NCAA hit the Tar Heels’ football program with a one-year bowl ban as well as probation and a total loss of 15 scholarships over a three-year period.
UM’s scandal is similar to the UNC scandal as there were allegations of major payments to players by disgraced former booster and convicted Ponzi schemer Nevin Shapiro. Unlike UNC’s scandal, there have been no corresponding allegations of academic fraud during the same time.
The NCAA closed the case against UNC, despite the academic fraud allegations that have dominated the headlines in newspapers across North Carolina.
Yet still, Miami sits and waits for the NCAA to finally hand down its decision. It’s been more than two months since the Canes appeared before the NCAA Committee on Infractions, much longer than the typical length of time it takes for the COI to issue its findings.
If the NCAA follows a similar track with UM as it did with UNC, the Canes may have self-imposed more severe sanctions than the COI would. However, UNC wasn’t hit with the lack of institutional control charge, which UM was in its case.
That single charge could play a big role in the final punishment handed down by the COI.
Of course it’s all guess work until the NCAA finally decides to hand down its decision on the Shpairo vs. UM case.
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