The News & Observer has obtained multiple letters related to the NCAA investigation of UNC football including a letter from Dick Baddour to agent-like creature Chris Hawkins telling him to stay away from UNC and its athletes. The PDFs of the letters can be found here. For the most part the letters to the NCAA reporting violations are heavily redacted and do not tell you much outside of the names of persons providing impermissible benefits. The N&O provides this summary of the names named.
The documents show that agent-related benefits were provided by:
• Chris Hawkins, a former UNC football player who the documents say is considered a “runner” for agents or advisers. A runner is someone who befriends players and helps recruit them for others.
Hawkins is mentioned in three of the violation letters to the NCAA as providing “minimal” benefits, though a separate document describes more extensive involvement.
Separately, the documents include a letter from UNC athletic director Dick Baddour that says UNC is “taking formal action to disassociate” Hawkins from the program, banning him from contact with any athletes for five years.
Hawkins said in an interview that he was only trying to help friends and players who were being bombarded by agents and others, and that he was not paid by anyone to secure players.
• Todd Stewart, who is believed to be from Washington D.C.
Stewart is described in one of the NCAA violation letters as a prospective agent because of “self-identified ties with a financial advising firm.”
The documents say that Stewart booked and paid for hotel rooms. After a lengthy section that is blanked out, the documents say “it has been determined that these costs” were paid by Stewart.
Stewart could not be reached on Friday. Stewart has told ESPN that he was contacted by the NCAA, and he acknowledged that he was at a party with players in South Florida this year.
“There were parties and they were popular,” Stewart told ESPN. “But it wasn’t some conspiracy to get players for sports agents.”
It’s not clear if he was asked whether he provided benefits to players.
• Michael Katz, director of marketing and client services for Rosenhaus Sports, which has the largest number of NFL clients.
Two of the NCAA violation letters say Katz provided wristbands that granted access to a pool party. The documents do not say more about that, including specifically whether that action triggers a violation. Previous reports have shown Austin and Little at a South Florida pool party.
Katz could not immediately be reached. The agency where he works is owned by brothers Drew and Jason Rosenhaus. Jason Rosenhaus, the vice chairman of the agency, took information from a reporter on the situation Friday, but declined to comment.
We already knew about Chris Hawkins and there was also some inkling that Drew Rosenhaus might be involved, in this case it was someone working at his firm. I had not heard Todd Stewart's name before. Since it was concluded that none of the benefits in question came from either John Blake or Gary Wichard(save Marvin Austin's case) and Hawkins name was already out there as part of Kendric Burney's case we sort of knew there would be others involved. Well, here they are. Anyone else surprised none of these guys are actual agents and two of them are in agent-like creature territory?
Since I lack supernatural powers and I am not able to tell you what is in the redacted section the letters honestly do not say much. I am sure some intrepid ABCers will have it all pieced together along with proof these people also faked the moon landing. There is apparently a current implication tied to Baddours disassociation letter to Hawkins. I also saw some traffic on Twitter about Hawkins possible being friends with freshman basketball player Reggie Bullock. Both Hawkins and Bullock are from Kinston which makes them knowing each other likely but does not mean Bullock is guilty of anything. I will let you imagine how that will play in ABC World.
About the only other thing I can really parse from this is noting that Hawkins apparently provided benefits to three different Tar Heels and they were described as minimal(assuming three letters means three different players.) We knew about Burney. Who were the other two? Is Michael McAdoo one of them? Charles Brown was always rumored to be involved with Hawkins but his case appears to be tied to the academic prong. Did Hawkins provide minimal benefits to the other three NCAA violators as a part of their total? Given the benefits described for Quinn and Little I am thinking there must be more out there it either has not been released or is more on the NCAA side of things. These letters all came from UNC to the NCAA which makes them fair game for public release.
Anyway, the fact this got released late on Friday means it will get swallowed up in the games this weekend. Someone in Chapel Hill finally got a clue about how the news cycle works.