CHAPEL HILL – If former Tar Heels wide receiver Greg Little could tell younger players anything, he said today, it would be this: “It’s gonna be there. Whatever you’re putting yourself into …it’s going to be there. You’re going to have time to do anything you want to do when the season is over, anything you want to do when the time is right. Just wait.”
Little and defensive end Robert Quinn – who were ruled permanently ineligible in October for violations of NCAA agent benefits, preferential treatment and ethical conduct rules – as well as defensive tackle Marvin Austin, who was dismissed from the program at the same time – returned to the UNC practice field for the team’s annual pro timing day.
Little, whose roughly $4,952 of extra benefits included a pair of diamond earrings and trips to the Bahamas, Washington, D.C., and Miami, said he still felt guilty about how his actions affected his team.
Ultimately, 14 players missed at least one game in 2010 and seven Tar Heels missed the entire season as a result of the NCAA's investigation into impermissible benefits and academic misconduct in the school's football program.
“Who would not feel guilty about destroying a national championship, so to speak,’’ Little said. “Destroying an ACC title. Destroying a legacy that was going to be built here forever.”
Little did not go into detail about his specific actions, but admitted he should have known better.
“I just put myself in the wrong position, surrounded myself to where those things can happen, and those were some of the things I was naïve about,’’ he said. “ And thinking back on it, it just was not the right thing to do. You know when something’s wrong – you’ve got the feeling, ‘I shouldn’t be doing this, I shouldn’t be a part of this.”
He said he’s told UNC coach Butch Davis that he would be willing to come back and talk to future teams about consequences, “and just putting yourself in that situation that you really don’t want to be in … I’ll talk to the NCAA, I’ll talk to anybody, about taking the correct steps, and taking your time. It’s just something you don’t want to be a part of. … Just do the right thing. It’s not hard to say no.”