Associated Press

Ex-Agent Pleads Guilty in Multi-Year UNC Sports Agent Probe

A former NFL agent has pleaded guilty to violating North Carolina’s sports agent law by providing thousands of dollars in improper benefits to three former Tar Heels football players to entice them into signing contracts with him. Terry Watson entered his plea Monday afternoon in a deal to resolve 3 ½-year-old felony charges. Watson received 30 months of probation and a $5,000 fine, while Judge Graham Shirley issued a suspended jail sentence of six to eight months. Watson pleaded guilty to the 13 counts of athlete-agent inducement for providing roughly $24,000 in cash and travel accommodations to eventual NFL...

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Man Charged in UNC Agents Probe Agrees to Testify in Case

A Georgia man charged with violating North Carolina’s sports agent law has agreed to testify against an NFL agent also charged in the case. Patrick Mitchell Jones, 43, was charged in 2013 with athlete-agent inducement for providing $725 to former Tar Heels football player Robert Quinn. An indictment stated he provided the money through Quinn’s former girlfriend to entice Quinn to sign with agent Terry Watson. Jones appeared in court Monday in a deferred prosecution deal requiring him acknowledge is involvement and “testify truthfully” against Watson, according to a court document. That could lead to his charge’s dismissal if...

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Justice Department Drops North Carolina LGBT Rights Lawsuit

The Trump administration is dropping a lawsuit against North Carolina after the state moved to undo its “bathroom bill.” Justice Department lawyers filed a motion Friday to dismiss their federal lawsuit. The move doesn’t directly affect separate pending litigation by LGBT rights advocates who say the new North Carolina law doesn’t go far enough to ensure rights for all. North Carolina’s compromise deal last month got rid of the most well-known provision of House Bill 2 that required transgender people to use restrooms corresponding to the sex on their birth certificates in many public buildings. But the replacement law...

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Attorney Wants SEC’s Sankey Off NCAA Panel Hearing UNC Case

An attorney in North Carolina’s ongoing academic scandal wants Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey removed as head of the NCAA infractions panel hearing the case because of a conflict of interest. Raleigh attorney Elliot Abrams wrote the NCAA this month saying Sankey “has a personal, professional and institutional interest in the outcome” of the case involving his client, Deborah Crowder, a retired UNC office administrator. In a second letter Tuesday, Abrams stated the third Notice of Allegations outlining charges against Crowder and UNC should be tossed out. He says they are the result of “inappropriate pressure from a conflicted...

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NC GOP Leader Promises No Action on Anti-Gay Marriage Bill

One of North Carolina’s leading Republican politicians says there will never be a hearing for proposed legislation aimed at countering the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage. House Speaker Tim Moore of Kings Mountain said in a statement Wednesday that the bill introduced this week won’t be considered because the nation’s highest court “has firmly ruled on the issue.” A bill introduced Tuesday claims that the nation’s highest court overstepped its authority with its 2015 gay-marriage ruling. Republican Reps. Larry Pittman of Concord, Michael Speciale of New Bern and Carl Ford of China Grove say the decision effectively...

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Bill Would Force Schools to Leave Leagues That Boycott State

Some lawmakers want to make North Carolina’s public colleges leave their athletic conferences if those leagues boycott the state. A House bill filed this week and sponsored by four Republicans would require schools in the University of North Carolina system to begin the withdrawal process from their conferences if the organizations enact a future boycott. Both North Carolina and N.C. State are charter members of the Atlantic Coast Conference. That league pulled 10 neutral-site championships from the state for the 2016-17 academic year in response to a law that limited protections for LGBT people. After that law was rolled...

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NBA: Charlotte Eligible to Host 2019 All-Star Game

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver says Charlotte will be eligible to host the 2019 All-Star Game after a recent change to a North Carolina law that limited anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay and transgender people. Silver says Friday the league’s Board of Governors discussed it during their meetings this week and made what was “not an easy decision.” He says it’s “not a done deal” that Charlotte will get the game, because the league would need assurances of anti-discriminatory policies for venues that would host its events and hotels they would use. But Silver says it is his “expectation” that...

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NCAA: NC Back in Running to Host Events After Law Change

The NCAA says it will consider North Carolina as a host for championship events again after the state rolled back a law that limited protections for LGBT people. In a statement Tuesday, the governing body said its Board of Governors had reviewed moves to repeal the so-called “bathroom bill” and replace it with a compromise law. The NCAA said the new law “meets the minimal NCAA requirements” while expressing some concerns about provisions within it. The statement says a majority of the board “reluctantly voted” to allow for consideration of bids from North Carolina during current deliberations for sites...

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Emmert: NCAA Will Decide Next Week Whether to Return to NC

NCAA leaders need a few days to digest the new law that will replace North Carolina’s so-called “bathroom bill” before deciding whether to bring March Madness and other championship sporting events back to the Tar Heel state. As for other potential political hot spots, such as Texas where lawmakers are considering a similar bill and where the Final Four will be next year, the NCAA is in no rush to weigh in. A few hours before NCAA President Mark Emmert gave his annual pre-Final Four news conference Thursday, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper signed a bill that rolled back...

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UNC Amasses $5.6M in Costs for Academic Scandal from 2015-17

North Carolina estimates it has amassed more than $5.6 million in attorneys’ fees and other costs between mid-2015 and January tied to its multi-year academic scandal. The school released updated figures Friday as it responds to public records requests. The total included an array of related issues, from the ongoing NCAA case that has led to five serious charges against the school to lawsuits filed by former athletes and the cost of dealing with more records requests. UNC has now amassed at least $16.3 million in costs tied to the academic scandal dating to 2012, including $3.1 million for...

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