Chris Hawkins, former Carolina player, purchaser of A.J. Green's jersey, and man seriously disliked by the NCAA's investigative arm, is speaking to the media. More specifically, a sports radio show in Atlanta cringe-inducingly called "Mayhem in the AM." The ten minute interview is online and downloadable, and having listened to it, here's the best indication he's not at the center of vast web of eligibility-damaging bribery: he doesn't seem all that bright.
He seems most offended at the NCAA's claim that he refused to return their phone calls. That is most definitely not the case, he claims, as he tried repeatedly to return their phone calls, but had been given the wrong extension. He also went as far as to call Amy at the UNC compliance office – and I'm sure folks in Chapel Hill are thrilled he's on a first-name basis with the folks there – in an effort to get in touch with the lawyer investigating A.J. Green. So Hawkins is very diligent in his phone etiquette. As for his not-buying-football-jersey-etiquette? When asked whether he considered that dropping a thousand dollars on University of Georgia property might not be completely kosher, he responded:
"I couldn't say I would've thought that was illegal, it was more that, I really wasn't thinking it was that big of a deal... I didn't think about it enough that it would get him in trouble. If I would have actually thought about enough, I would have like 'Hold up. Well maybe, maybe it's probably a problem," but like I said I was only thinking about it as me just having a jersey, you know I didn't think it would blow up."
So, there's that. Also, his theory on how he got on the NCAA's radar is pretty interesting. They were investigating whether Green was at the party down in Miami – he apparently wasn't – and Hawkins happens to have a phone number in that area code. And since the party was originally uncovered by folks misinterpreting a Marvin Austin tweet that was in actuality a Rick Ross lyric, this would mean both branches of an ever-widening NCAA probe were launched practically accidentally. Bt I'm sure the NCAA is on top of anything going on anywhere else.
Hwakins would also like to emphasize that his relationship with A.J. Green is nothing like his contact with UNC players, who know him as a former player and someone familiar with the pro scene who freely dispenses advice. Which sounds so much better than a one-time thousand dollar transaction. I bet you can hear the champagne corks popping in Chapel Hill even as we speak.