How much worse can it get?

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A newly unsealed probable cause affidavit indicates that a former UNC wide receiver, Greg Little, now in the NFL, received more than $20,000 in cash and benefits from an agent while in Chapel Hill. Then head ball coach Butch Davis had put together a remarkable assemblage of talent by 2010, one that scouts at the 2011 combine said was good enough to be in the hunt for a national championship (except for the fact that a dozen or so players on that team ended up being suspended or dismissed for a series of improprieties that unleashed the scandal we’re still dealing with here). LIttle was one of those suspended players – he never played in 2010. He was also, as it happens, the fourth of a remarkable nine UNC players taken in the 2011 NFL draft, the third of three second round picks. Which raises a question – what are the odds that he’s the only one of that group who got paid like that? And that’s at UNC, a generally middling football school. It’s not news that Little received some form of payment from an agent. That story has been reported before. What is new is the amount involved and should raise questions about whether amounts reported previously for other players on that team, including Marvin Austin, are close to accurate.

Separately, Sports Illustrated is about to release a report on significant violations in the Oklahoma State football program, including cash payments to players, no-show jobs and other goodies.

So for those who worry that untoward financial influence would follow if players were allowed to receive money for autographs and such, I ask – as opposed to now?

At some point we can drop the pretense, can’t we?

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