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Charges Dropped Against Former UNC Tutor

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Lance King

Posting this because it brings back such wonderful memories. Plus it's a Thursday and there was a time when Doc and I lived in perpetual fear of Thursday since it usually included some form of feces flying into a fan somewhere.

As you might recall, Jennifer Wiley Thompson is the former UNC tutor implicated in the NCAA's final report for giving improper academic assistance to three UNC football players and illicit benefits to former Tar Heel WR Greg Little. Last year, Thompson was charged with violating the North Carolina Uniform Athlete Agents Act along with four others for their role in providing money and gifts to UNC football players. Today, Orange County DA Jim Woodall announced that all charges against Thompson would be dropped.

Via WRAL:

Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall said Thursday that his office was dropping charges against Jennifer Wiley Thompson, one of the five people accused of violating the state's agent-athlete inducement law in providing gifts and money to football players at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

It is the latest turn in the four-year investigation by the North Carolina Secretary of State's office, which launched its probe shortly after the NCAA began investigating improper benefits and academic misconduct within the Tar Heels' football program in summer 2010.

Thompson, who faced four felony charges, has been cooperating with the investigation, Woodall said.

This is, more or less, another of the last gasps of breath in the long running saga of UNC scandals. In fact the indictments for the agent-athlete inducement law have been a rehashing of issues covered by the original NCAA investigation into UNC football. Thompson and four others were indicted last year for their roles in the improper benefits that led to a bowl ban, three years probation and the loss of 15 scholarships for the football program. In some cases the details of the indictments found more extensive improper benefits than the NCAA discovered but involving the same players the NCAA penalized.

As Woodall indicates in the WRAL story, Thompson has been cooperating which may have been the goal in charging her in the first place. It also was a weak case not to mention convicting Thompson didn't seem to serve any real purpose other than further ruin Thompson's life over something rather trivial. Thompson wasn't some sleazy runner working for an agent. She was someone who had a relationship with UNC football players. Other people exploited that relationship for their own purposes. At the same time, Thompson herself made some bad decisions within the context of those relationships. In short, she's probably suffered enough, especially given the damage to her reputation.

Of course this news won't be greeted with smiles by everyone. The lunatic fringe ABCers will no doubt scream conspiracy at the top of their collective lungs. There were high hopes in this case and in the case against former AFAM department head Julius Nyang'oro that a trial would pull back the curtain on more of UNC's foul and wretched deeds. After all Thompson was Butch Davis' nanny at one point so I'm sure she has all sorts of sordid tales about Davis hosting keggers and handing out Rolexes to players while Thompson supervised a team of tutors to do the players' class work for them. Or did they even have class work because they were in those fraudulent classes?

I honestly can't keep up at this point.