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2 football players face criminal charges for inducement

Two North Carolina athletes have recently been arrested for supposedly receiving improper benefits from their program. The two University of North Carolina football players are facing the criminal charges of athlete-agent inducement, meaning they have been accused of accepting money or other improper benefits in exchange for a contract. Both men face several counts of inducement, and they are facing an unspecified amount of jail time, but only if convicted.

According to the report, police suspect that the two athletes collected improper benefits from agreeing to sign with a specific agent if the two took their football careers to the professional league after college. However, our laws state that any contract agreements must go through the Secretary of State's office, and receiving any kind of gifts or benefits is illegal. Police have accused the football players of violating these laws.

The players are accused of funneling money from the specified agent to other players. While the report does not state that the players accepted any money for their own benefit, prosecutors allege that they still broke the inducement rules. However, the players' defense counsel assert that the arrests are ironic because the rules were designed to protect players in instances such as this one.

In the respective cases of these North Carolina football players, a careful review of our athlete-agent laws will be necessary for both the prosecution and the defense. It could prove challenging for prosecutors to prove the charges against both players. If the prosecution cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the players in fact broke the inducement law, then the criminal charges could be vacated and the case dismissed entirely.

Source: ABC 11, Two new indictments in UNC football scandal, No author, Nov. 13, 2013

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Law Office of Christopher A. Connelly
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