For the first time since Browns wide receiver Greg Little entered the NFL in 2011, he publicly lamented the damage he left behind at the University of North Carolina and how it has ultimately led to the Tar Heels formally distancing themselves from him.
The school released letters Tuesday to media outlets in which it outlined its “permanent disassociation” from Little, St. Louis Rams defensive end Robert Quinn and NFL free-agent defensive tackle Marvin Austin because of their NCAA violations that resulted in criminal charges against five people for violating the state’s sports agent law, the Associated Press reported. The letters, which were dated Nov. 15, prohibit the three players from contacting UNC athletes, bar them from campus athletic facilities and ban them from providing recruiting or financial assistance for athletics.
The NCAA declared Little and Quinn permanently ineligible in 2010 and the school dismissed Austin from the team after they accepted improper benefits, including cash and travel accommodations. Sanctions were levied against the football program, and recent charges were filed against five people for violating the state’s Uniform Athlete Agents Act.
“I think there’s been some wrongful accusing,” Little said today before practice. “There’s a lot of people that I’ve hurt, and I think a lot of the blame should be put on me much less than attacking other people. I kind of understand what they’re doing. They’re just trying to protect the athlete. A lot of the times it’s just self-inflicted.”
Little said he has not seen the letter UNC sent to him, but his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told him about it.
“It is what it is,” said Little, a second-round draft pick in 2011. “North Carolina’s a great university and I wish things weren’t the way they were, and I’ll just continue to support them from afar.”
An investigation by the North Carolina Secretary of State's office outlined numerous violations such as Little and Austin arranging to receive packages of cash through the mail or a third party, the Associated Press reported. According to a June search warrant, Little told investigators he received more than $20,000 from Georgia-based agent Terry Watson in 2010, including a $2,200 monthly allowance.
Little insisted he has been assured charges won’t be brought against him.
“I met with the state of North Carolina a little while ago,” Little said. “They said nothing legal will ever be brought up on you.”