Flag on the Play: The Ineffectiveness of Athlete-Agent Laws and Regulations — and How North Carolina Can Take Advantage of a Scandal To Be a Model for Reform

BY Timothy G. Nelson

In January 2010, fans of the University of North Carolina’s (“UNC”) football program received unexpected, fantastic news. Star defensive tackle Marvin Austin announced on his Twitter account that he planned to return to Chapel Hill for his senior season, rather than—as many predicted he would—forego his final year of collegiate eligibility for the fame and fortune of the National Football League (“NFL”): “I will be a Tar Heel for 2010! I could go get paid but in some things it ain’t all about the money,” Austin wrote. “I love Carolina.” Austin’s declaration was followed by similar, though less-spirited, pronouncements from other stellar defensive players and the team’s top offensive star, wide receiver Greg Little, all of whom decided to stay in college for at least one more season. Expectations and excitement soared amongst UNC faithful, and some experts even believed that North Carolina, better known for its basketball prowess than its exploits on the gridiron, had an outside shot of competing for a national football championship in the 2010–2011 season.

DOWNLOAD PDF | 90 N.C. L. Rev.800 (2012)