The university declared both student-athletes ineligible for violations of NCAA agent benefits, preferential treatment and ethical conduct rules. According to the facts submitted by the university, the total value of the benefits is approximately $4,952 for Little and $5,642 for Quinn.
Little accepted diamond earrings, as well as travel accommodations for the Bahamas, Washington DC and two trips to Miami, among other benefits. Quinn accepted two black diamond watches, a pair of matching earrings and travel accommodations for a trip to Miami, among other benefits.
Based upon information gathered by the institution and the NCAA Agent, Gambling and Amateurism staff during its joint investigation, unethical conduct charges were found against both student-athletes for providing false and misleading information. According to the facts submitted by the university, each student-athlete was not truthful during three separate interviews with university and NCAA enforcement staff members. Further, Little and Quinn only provided more accurate information when presented with evidence that was contrary to their assertions.
When reaching permanent ineligibility for each of the student-athletes, the staff noted the cases included multiple occasions where the student-athletes accepted benefits that were clearly against NCAA rules. The staff also noted that the student-athletes provided false information despite multiple opportunities to correct their assertions.
During the reinstatement process, NCAA staff reviews each case on its own merits and the specific facts. Staff decisions consider a number of factors including guidelines established by the Division I NCAA Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement for the type of violations and value of benefits, the student-athlete’s responsibility for the violation, as well as any mitigating factors presented by the university.
When a school discovers a student-athlete has been involved in an NCAA rules violation, it must declare the student-athlete ineligible and may request the student-athlete’s eligibility be reinstated to the NCAA national office staff for consideration. Reinstatement decisions are made independently of any NCAA enforcement process.
The university can appeal the decision to the Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement, an independent panel comprised of representatives from NCAA member colleges, universities and athletic conferences. This committee can reduce or remove the condition, but it cannot increase the staff-imposed conditions. If appealed, the student-athlete remains ineligible until the conclusion of the appeals process.
Quinn, a junior from Ladson, S.C., was named to the 2010 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List in the preseason. He had 11 sacks and led the ACC with 19 tackles for loss in 2009. He was a first-team All-ACC selection and was named second-team All-America by CBSsports.com.
Little, a senior from Durham, N.C., was North Carolina's leading receiver in 2009, recording 62 catches for 724 yards and five touchdowns.
Greg Little Statement:
“One of my greatest accomplishments was receiving a scholarship to the University of North Carolina. Representing the University was a true honor and I am so appreciative of Coach Davis and his staff for giving me the opportunity to achieve my dream of playing for North Carolina. I want to apologize first to my teammates, coaches, and the support staff for letting them down. To the community of Chapel Hill, students, alumni, and supporters of the University, I am terribly remorseful.
"The recent decision from the NCAA regarding my eligibility as a collegiate athlete is extremely painful, and has been a distraction from the team throughout the past five months. My situation should not take away from any of the team’s current accomplishments or future accomplishments. Now that I am no longer a part of the program, I hope my actions will not distract the team any longer.
"For the remainder of this semester, I will continue to pursue my education at North Carolina. I understand the negative connotations associated with my punishment, but I would like to continue to be active in the community and participate in various outreach programs that I have always enjoyed.
"There are defining moments in everyone’s life. I will use this as one of mine to shape and mold my morals and values as person. My time at UNC came to an abrupt conclusion, but I will forever be a proud supporter of the Tar Heels and the University of North Carolina.”
Statement from Robert Quinn:
I first would like to say how thankful I am to God for being able to attend the University of North Carolina. I want to thank the coaching staff for recruiting me and giving me the opportunity to come to such a prestigious university despite the fact that I was suffering from a brain tumor. I want to thank my teammates for making the time I had on the football field some of the best times in my life. I also want to thank them for their friendship and willingness to stand by me through my growth as a person. It is with that in mind that I want to convey my sincere apologies to both my teammates and my coaches for bringing this burden upon them."
"Even though this unfortunate situation is a tough time in my life, it is something I will be able to overcome. Having a brain tumor has truly been the most difficult thing I have had to deal with in my life. I was told at one point that I would be brain dead and unable to play sports ever again. Having to deal with something of that magnitude has allowed me to put this situation in its proper perspective, accept it and learn from it."
"I’m very thankful to all my supporters who have encouraged and prayed for me throughout this entire process. I appreciate the University of North Carolina for keeping the door open for me to receive a college education. It has made dealing with these circumstances easier knowing that there are people who can see past my mistakes and still view me as a good person. While I have this time away from football I will do my best to continue to give back to the community in a positive manner."
"I wish my team good luck for the rest of this season and I want them to know that I am and always will be a Tar Heel at heart."