Browns' Little sorry for role in Carolina mess
BEREA, Ohio (AP)
Little was one of three former Tar Heels football players who were sent letters of "permanent disassociation" by the school. Little, Marvin Austin and Robert Quinn accepted improper benefits, including cash and travel accommodations, leading to sanctions against the program and recent criminal charges against five people for violating the state's Uniform Athlete Agents Act.
Little said he has not seen the letter, and was told about it by his agent, Drew Rosenhaus.
However, the third-year pro conveyed remorse for his involvement and accepted some responsibility.
"I think there's been some wrongful accusing," Little said Wednesday before practice. "There's a lot of people that I've hurt, and I think a lot of the blame should be put on me much less than attacking other people."
The letters, which were dated Nov. 15, prohibit Little and the others from contacting UNC athletes, bars them from campus athletic facilities and bans them from providing recruiting or financial assistance for athletics.
Little was declared permanently ineligible by the NCAA, which levied sanctions against UNC's football program. In the past, Little has said he didn't want to be a distraction to the school and always came short of saying he was accountable for any of the problems he may have caused.
Little, drafted by the Browns in the second round in 2011, is proud to be a Tar Heel. He often wears Carolina's colors inside the Browns' facility and loves to talk about his days at the school.
And despite North Carolina's ban, Little vowed to support his alma mater.
"North Carolina's a great university and I wish things weren't the way they were, and I'll just continue to support them from afar," said Little, who has 29 catches for 344 yards this season.
The disassociation letters came after documents from the investigation by the North Carolina Secretary of State's office outlined numerous violations such as Little and Austin arranging to receive packages of cash through the mail or a third party. In Little's case, he told investigators he received more than $20,000 in 2010 — including a $2,200 monthly allowance — according to a June search warrant.
Little said he has spoken to officials and was told he won't be charged with any criminal wrongdoing.
"I met with the state of North Carolina a little while ago," he said. "They said nothing legal will ever be brought up on you."