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Florida state senator on NCAA probe: Revamp the whole system

Reacting to the NCAA's investigation of Miami, Florida state senator Joseph Abruzzo told CBSSports.com this weekend "the whole system needs to be revamped."

Abruzzo already has asked the Florida attorney general to investigate the NCAA in the Miami case. His letter to Pam Bondi dated Feb. 20 said the NCAA may have violated Florida's Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices law in gaining information by the hiring of outside attorney Maria Elena Perez.

Following an external review of that act, the NCAA charged Miami with lack of institutional control last month. An NCAA infractions committee hearing is expected in mid-June. Penalties, if any, would follow at some point later in the year. Miami president Donna Shalala already is on record saying her school deserves no additional penalties.

Abruzzo, a Democrat, said he has received "overwhelming support" from colleagues in the state house in his call for an investigation. The Associated Press reported this week that a former NCAA investigator wrote a letter to a federal judge seeking to reduce Nevin Shapiro's sentence.

Shapiro, serving time in federal prison, is the central figure who has cooperated with the NCAA in detailing extra benefits he gave to Miami athletes and recruits over a period of years.

"I've never gotten as many emails and phone calls regarding this one issue," Abruzzo said of the Miami case. "There are a lot of important things but this one, the traffic is definitely heavy. I would say it's about 20-1 in terms of support over no support."

The senator also told CBSSports.com that he and Bondi will take the weekend to read the NCAA's external review of the Miami case before meeting again next week or the week after.

"She (Bondi) didn't blow it off my any means," Abruzzo said. "She just wanted some information before we got into our talks. She did take time to hear my case, where I was coming from, where I thought law was violated."


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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