Greg Little admits to being paid by agent while at North Carolina

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Cleveland Browns starting wide receiver Greg Little has told investigators that he received payments from an agent while he was playing at North Carolina in 2010, The Associated Press reported Thursday.

In a search warrant unsealed this week, an agent with the North Carolina secretary of state's office said Little told 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.

The NCAA already has ruled on the case, but North Carolina authorities still are investigating to see if any state laws were broken. North Carolina is one of 42 states that has laws regulating sports agents.

Little reportedly met with investigators in January and said he was "ready for this chapter of his life to be over and to get on with his life on a clean slate,'' according to the affidavit. During the interview, Little told investigators that academic tutor Jennifer Wiley received money from Watson and gave it to Little.

The NCAA declared Little ineligible permanently for receiving improper benefits in October 2010. The association also imposed a one-year postseason ban on North Carolina, which kept the Tar Heels out of the ACC championship game and a bowl last season, and a reduction of 15 scholarships over a three-year period. The scandal cost coach Butch Davis his job after the 2010 season; he currently is an adviser with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The AP story also said investigators believe Watson provided money to another former Tar Heel, defensive tackle Marvin Austin. Austin was drafted in the second round by the New York Giants in 2011 but was cut earlier this week.

Wiley also was linked to academic misconduct while in her role as a tutor. Her attorney didn't immediately return an email from the AP for comment Thursday. In addition, Watson didn't immediately return a call from the AP to his Atlanta-area office.

The report says it is a Class I felony to violate North Carolina's agent law, meaning a maximum prison sentence of 15 months; violations also could carry civil penalties of up to $25,000. The AP said prosecution of the law is left to district attorneys in the locations where violations are alleged to have occurred.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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