Senior Writer

Miami's ex-AD new poster child for college football hypocrisy


You will want to be there when the NCAA phones up Paul Dee.

You won't, of course, because it will be a secret when the former Miami AD will be questioned about his culpability in one of the worst scandals in amateur athletics history. Dee will be asked to explain why and how Nevin Shapiro was able to gain unprecedented access to a program and lavish on players what one source told Yahoo! Sports was "sex, money, meals, some jewelry, whatever they needed ..."

Dee is the former chair of the NCAA infractions committee, and served as Miami's AD until 2008.  
Dee is the former chair of the NCAA infractions committee, and served as Miami's AD until 2008.    
What do investigators say to one of their own? Dee is a former NCAA infractions committee chairman, the sheriff in charge of sentencing NCAA wrongdoers. He's the guy who sat in judgment of USC when the program was burned to the ground, then scolded the school for letting it happen.

"High profile players demand high-profile compliance," Dee said 14 months ago in reference to Reggie Bush.

There have been few more hypocritical words spoken in the history of NCAA enforcement.

Now it's Dee's former football program that resembles a five-alarm blaze. It looks for all the world like Miami's former AD fiddled while Coral Gables burned. Shapiro, a booster, detailed to Yahoo! an eight-year run of lavish payoffs that would make SMU, circa 1987, blush.

If the infractions committee chairman's school is committing some of most heinous crimes in NCAA history, the system is not only broken, it is beyond repair. found that, counting Dee, three of the last six infractions committee chairpersons have been allowed to operate within the system despite having their records stained by wrongdoing or embarrassing court dealings.

A fourth, attorney Gene Marsh, a veteran of more than 100 infractions hearings, now represents NCAA miscreants. That was him with Jim Tressel rushing out of the hearing room issuing no comments with his client.

Using this Miami case as a foundation for the current state of affairs, it seems like you're either stained by the cult of wrongdoing or profiting from it.

Dee himself, AD from 1993-2008, was in charge when Miami football was at the center of a Pell Grant fraud scandal in 1995. The program was stripped of 24 scholarships, given a one-year bowl ban and three years probation. Despite that, he was allowed to be on the infractions committee for the max nine years from 2001-2010.

Shapiro's run of lawlessness came at roughly the same time that Dee was on the committee, the last three years as chairman (2008-2010). That committee is the nine-person board that hears testimony at hearings and ultimately decides penalties for schools and individuals.

Miami report fallout

It was responsible for sending USC to the brink of the death penalty last year. At almost the exact same time Shapiro was running wild. In essence, Dee sat in judgment of others while a known rule-breaking booster was running his program into the ground.

Miami had a student lounge named after Shapiro. (His name has since been removed.)

According to Yahoo!, Shapiro tried to punch out Miami's compliance director during an embarrassing loss to Virginia. Amazingly, the school did nothing to disassociate itself from Shapiro after that confrontation.

Shapiro was so ingrained that he led the Hurricanes onto the field. Twice.

School president Donna Shalala is pictured in a Yahoo! story holding a $50,000 donation while standing next to Shapiro.

All that isn't as jaw-dropping as what Dee told the Palm Beach Post on Tuesday.

"We didn't have any suspicion that he was doing anything like this," he said. "He didn't do anything to cause concern."

Scores of coaches and administrators have said the same thing to Dee and his committee. They have been ignored and sent to NCAA jail. But look at the statement above. Substitute the names Pete Carroll for Paul Dee in relation to Lloyd Lake in the USC case and you could have used the same quote.

It's one thing to ignore Shapiro. It's an insult to our intelligence for any high-ranking Miami administrator to say they had no idea what he was all about.

"Karma," said one individual affected by that USC decision, "is a bitch."

Miami football was so rife with corruption in '95 that Sports Illustrated famously stated on one of its covers, "Why the University of Miami should drop football"

After the NCAA gets through this latest scandal, school officials may have no option but to self-impose a death penalty. Yahoo! stated that 72 players and seven coaches who at least had knowledge of the situation were involved.

High-profile compliance? Please.

You have to wonder how the NCAA vets its committee members.

Current chairman Dennis Thomas has been commissioner of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference for the last 10 years. Under his watch, two of his schools were slapped with major penalties within three months of each other in 2006 (Savannah State, Florida A&M).

Previously, Thomas spent 12 years as AD at Hampton University. In 1991, the football program he inherited was put on probation following a grade-changing scandal.

Let's say it again: Couldn't the NCAA find someone clean, or cleaner?

In doesn't end there. Former chairman Jack Friedenthal is being sued by former Buffalo coach Tim Cohane in a case that stretches back 10 years. Cohane was given a two-year show cause order as part of a recruiting violations case. Friedenthal, the faculty athletics rep at George Washington, currently sits on NCAA appeals committee.

He is believed to be the first infractions committee member to be sued personally.

These are the people judging NCAA wrongdoers. Suddenly, a guy like Shapiro looks like some sort of savior. Not only is he singing to the NCAA like Christina Aguilera on Red Bull, he is lifting a veil on a hidden process.

If you're worried about the source, ratting out is what guys do when they're wronged. The NCAA is more than happy to listen. USC's case likely never would have come to light if only Bush had paid convicted felon Lloyd Lake the $300,000 he owed him.

Laying low is what guys like Dee should do when they've been caught in a sickening web of hypocrisy. Paul Dee does not lay low. For years he was the bombastic, contentious AD at the U. After one Labor Day night loss at home to Florida State, he flew into a rage and kicked the media out of the Miami locker room basically because his team had lost. He was later rebuked in a letter sent by the Football Writers Association of America.

It's going to get real bad for Miami real soon. Coach Al Golden must be wondering a) why he took the job and b) well, there really isn't a b). If half of this stuff is true, Miami is going to be hit with big-time NCAA penalties. Golden might see his career stalled like a dinghy out of gas in Biscayne Bay.

At least he is young enough to have a future. Dee has only a sordid and hypocritical legacy with Miami and the NCAA.

Anyone in need of a credential from all the BCS title games? Dennis Dodd has them. In three decades in the business, he's covered everything from the Olympics to Stanley Cup to conference realignment. Just get him on campus in a press box in the fall. His heart lies with college football.

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