Miami's motion to dismiss the Nevin Shapiro case deflects attention from "the significant allegations" against the school, according to a response filed by the NCAA enforcement department.
Portions of the contents of the enforcement department's 42-page response to the NCAA infractions committee were relayed to CBSSports.com. That response followed Miami's motion to the infractions committee to drop the case on March 29. Enforcement's response is signed by interim director Jon Duncan.
The first sentence of the enforcement response reads: "From the enforcement's staff perspective the motion to dismiss by the institution and involved individuals are attempts to deflect attention from the significant allegations that remain in the case."
Four former Miami assistant coaches have also filed motions to dismiss. Miami is asking the infractions committee to use its "broad discretion" and "immediately conclude" the controversial case. This latest news means the enforcement department has now had its chance to weigh in to the infractions committee which ultimately decides penalties in cases.
Among the several claims made by Miami in its motion is that NCAA investigators lied and misled witnesses in investigating the Shapiro case. Also, the NCAA is alleged to have used the heretofore unknown concept of "self-corroboration" involving Shapiro. The motion mentions that 20 allegations against the school in the NCAA's notice of allegations were made solely by Shapiro without corroboration.
"The enforcement staff has contended that if Shapiro described a given allegation on more than one occasion, they considered the consistency of his statements to be 'self-corroboration' and included the allegation in the Notice [of allegations] without it being substantiated by any other evidence," the motion stated. "This theory of 'self-corroboration' is not supported by any established legal principle and is nothing more than the enforcement staff's belief that if someone lies twice it somehow becomes the truth."
The motion also described Shapiro as "delusional and mentally unstable."
In its motion, Miami reiterated it should not be penalized further after self-imposing a two-year bowl ban and suspending players when the violations were first reported two years ago. The institution has been charged with lack of institutional control by the NCAA.
Miami could appear before the infractions committee as soon as June. Penalties, if any additional, would follow a few weeks or months later.
Although dismissing a case of this length and scope is believed to be unprecedented, Miami in its motion cited a case against Pittsburgh that was dropped in the 1970s because "evidence had been fabricated by a member of the NCAA staff." Miami goes on to state there is a "lack of a specific record" of the Pittsburgh case, although it did say enforcement officials who were around at that time recalled details.
Shapiro, a former Miami booster, is alleged to have provided lavish extra benefits to Miami recruits and players. He is currently serving a 20-year sentence for his role in a $900 million Ponzi scheme.