Tag:Nevin Shapiro
Posted on: August 18, 2011 1:33 pm
 

NCAA's Roe Lach: Little support for death penalty

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

From the moment the Yahoo! Sports story exposed the mindblowing scope of Miami's Nevin Shapiro scandal, one question about the Hurricanes' potential NCAA punishment has towered above all others: Could Miami receive the death penalty?

There's not a college football fan alive who doesn't know that the NCAA has ordered the temporary shutdown of a program just once, at SMU in the 1980s. But with a broad consensus that the Hurricane scandal appears to be the most serious since the "Pony Excess" days, the death penalty has been touted by more than one observer as ripe for revival. Two former school compliance officials told the Palm Beach Post Wednesday that the allegations "absolutely scream" for a program suspension, and that the 'Canes would be a "likely candidate" for the SMU treatment.

But within the actual enforcement wing of the NCAA, there doesn't seem to be much stomach for it. Vice president of enforcement Julie Roe Lach is prohibited from discussing the Miami investigation specifically (even if her boss Mark Emmert apparently has no such limitations), but in speaking to the New York Times Wednesday she made it clear no one in Indianapolis is chomping at the bit to use the nuclear option:
“I have not heard [conversation] turn much to television bans or the death penalty,” she said. “The majority of the ideas or support I keep hearing relate toward suspensions [of coaches] or postseason bans being the most powerful.”
One former chairman of the NCAA Committee on Infractions, David Swank, also said the NCAA would be reluctant to pull the trigger on sanctions that "destroy a program."

It's a position that makes sense in a vaccum. (And we're all for the continued elimination of television bans, which severely punish the sanctioned team's opponents simply for having the misfortune of being on the schedule.) Given that the Mustangs are just now crawling out of their smoking crater more than 25 years later, no one should want to see the death penalty handed down ever again.

But that doesn't take into account the USC problem. As the New York Times story notes, the Miami scandal appears to be of a magnitude greater than that of the Trojans' Reggie Bush case, which already holds the record for the stiffest penalties since the SMU decision--30 docked scholarships and a two-year bowl ban.

So how far past that standard can the NCAA go while still stopping short of the death penalty? Add another couple of years to the postseason ban, add in another several scholarships lost, add in the difficulty of (inevitably) finding new coaches at an already cash-strapped program and dozens of new players for the roster, and the 'Canes would be entirely crippled. They would face an enormous struggle to remain even marginally competitive in the ACC, or any BCS conference. They'd be, essentially, the walking dead version of what used to be Miami.

And if that's the case, would it be better for the Hurricanes to become the dead dead version for a year? Should they want to push the reset button, and start over after one lost season with fewer limitations and a cleaner slate afterwards?

Probably not. But unless the NCAA wants to undercut the Trojan decision and admit once-and-for-all that those sanctions were overboard and unfair -- not likely -- having the death penalty off the table means the COI will have a very, very fine line to walk when it comes to Miami.

Posted on: August 18, 2011 11:58 am
Edited on: August 18, 2011 12:20 pm
 

Statement from Miami AD Shawn Eichorst

Posted by Chip Patterson

Miami athletic director Shawn Eichorst made an official statement on Thursday regarding the NCAA investigation into the football program.

When I accepted the position of Director of Athletics at Miami in April, I not only embraced a new opportunity, but also a new family; a family of Hurricane students, coaches, staff, alumni, faculty and supporters. I know our family is hurting right now and that is what has made the past few days so difficult, upsetting and disappointing for me, as I am sure it has been for many proud Canes.

But these are not times for pity and reflection. All of my efforts and energy are committed to ensuring the integrity of the NCAA investigation, demanding the full cooperation of our employees and student athletes and providing unwavering support to our more than 400 plus student-athletes and more than 150 coaches and staff. Along with our passionate and devoted supporters, they are the true essence of Miami athletics.

There are tough times ahead, challenges to overcome and serious decisions to be made, but we will be left standing and we will be stronger as a result. I understand there are unanswered questions, concerns and frustration by many but this Athletic Department will be defined now and in the future, by our core values, our integrity and our commitment to excellence, and by nothing else. The University of Miami, as an institution of higher learning, is a leader in exploration, achievement and excellence and we will work hard to do our part to live up to that standard.

In my introductory press conference back in April, I asked the community for their unconditional support in our efforts to achieve the goal of excellence. Now, the community, the coaches, the student-athlets and the University have my unconditional support as we move towards a better day. And there will be a better day.


ACC Commissioner John Swofford also offered a statement on the investigation:

"This is exactly why the NCAA has an investigative office in place. While by policy we don't comment on ongoing NCAA investigations, I do know the University of Miami is taking these allegations very seriously and will continue to work jointly with the NCAA to determine the validity of the allegations."

Click here for more coverage on the NCAA's investigation into Miami football
Posted on: August 18, 2011 10:45 am
Edited on: August 18, 2011 10:51 am
 

Barry Alvarez, son lost $1M in Shapiro scheme

Posted by Chip Patterson

As the dust begins to settle from the initial shock of the Yahoo! investigative report on Miami football, some of the details regarding Nevin Shapiro are beginning to rise to the surface. Among them, who had this well-connected booster involved in his wholesale grocery Ponzi scheme that landed him 20 years behind bars?

One of them is Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez.

Alvarez and his wife, Cynthia, reportedly lost $600,000 by investing in Shapiro's company. Their son, Chad, also claimed he lost $400,000 in the scheme. The Herald reports rumors that the Wisconsin AD may have been introduced to Shapiro by Miami president Donna Shalala, former president at UW.

That rumor was squashed by a Miami attorney who represents the bankruptcy trustee on the case. Court papers instead list one of Shapiro's investors in Naples as the connect between the booster and the Alvarez family.  The athletic director released a statement on Thursday.

“Like dozens of others, I was introduced by a friend several years ago to an investment opportunity with Capital Investments USA, Inc., which was the company being run by Mr. Shapiro," Alvarez said.  "I was introduced to Mr. Shapiro on one occasion over the years, but had no contact with him outside that one introduction. Eventually I became aware that the investment I had made was in jeopardy due to Mr. Shapiro’s legal troubles. At that point, I retained legal counsel in an effort to recoup the money I had invested. That process is still ongoing.”

As Shapiro's status rises with the NCAA investigation, chances are more well-known names will be attached to his $930 million scheme. As someone who spent a lot of money to get to college football's inside circle, he likely had numerous opportunities to run his con on powerful people with money to spend.
Posted on: August 17, 2011 6:42 pm
Edited on: August 17, 2011 6:44 pm
 

Uncle Luke speaks out about Miami & Nevin Shapiro

Posted by Bryan Fischer

One of the tidbits to come out of the explosive investigative report by Yahoo! Sports into Miami was that infamous booster Nevin Shapiro thought of himself as, "Little Luke."

The nickname is a reference to Luther Campbell, a rapper and record label owner known for his connection with the Hurricanes during their infamous run as the bad boys of college football during the late 80's and early 90's. "Uncle Luke" as he is better known as, was notorious for being around the program and offering bounties for hits and touchdowns, just as Shapiro did.

You've heard the pundits, you've read the very good columns (here, here and here for example) but Uncle Luke also decided to weigh in on the allegations as well. Writing on his "Luke's Gospel" blog for the Miami New Times, Campbell says - in a not safe for work manner - that Shapiro can go ahead and kiss his butt.

"That punk could never be me," Campbell wrote. "First of all, I have never been a UM booster. I have never given a dime to the school. I have and always will support the players and the program out of civic pride, but I never violated any NCAA rules when I was the team's biggest fan in the '80s.

Miami report fallout
"You can't be me just by reading a Dan Le Batard article in the Miami Herald from 21 years ago alleging I paid players for hits on the field. The NCAA investigated those accusations and found no wrongdoing on my part. This notion that I was paying players is false. It never happened."

So tell us Uncle Luke, how do you really feel about the man who is calling himself a little version of yourself?

"Shapiro is nothing more than a jilted groupie who ------ over a lot people. He is an opportunistic schemer who now wants to play the role of jailhouse snitch. His word isn't worth squat, especially if Yahoo! paid him for the exclusive. Nevin is angry because he couldn't get former players to invest in his Ponzi scheme or come to his rescue when his criminal enterprise was exposed."

Gotcha, we know how you feel now.

Posted on: August 17, 2011 4:48 pm
 

Donna Shalala issues statement on Shapiro report

Posted by Adam Jacobi 

Miami president Donna Shalala is not having a pleasant couple of days recently. Her school has been besieged by the Yahoo! Sports report of former booster (and convicted embezzler) Nevin Shapiro detailing the litany of NCAA violations committed with the football and basketball teams. Even Shapiro's attorney doesn't think Shalala knew about the violations as they were being committed, but the picture of Shalala grinning at a $50,000 check (of Ponzi-earned money, as it would turn out) presented to her and basketball coach Frank Haith at a fundraiser is now one of the most indelible images of the scandal.

Clearly, Shalala had to say something, and here is the statement her office issued Wednesday, in full.

August 17, 2011

To the University Community:

Since its founding more than 85 years ago, the University of Miami has stood for excellence in higher education in every endeavor, every degree, and every student. Our more than 15,000 students, on three campuses in 11 schools and colleges, and over 150,000 alumni expect our core values to remain steadfast and true in times of extraordinary achievement as well as those rare times when those values are called into question.

As a member of the University family, I am upset, disheartened, and saddened by the recent allegations leveled against some current and past student-athletes and members of our Athletic Department. Make no mistake—I regard these allegations with the utmost of seriousness and understand the concern of so many of you. We will vigorously pursue the truth, wherever that path may lead, and I have insisted upon complete, honest, and transparent cooperation with the NCAA from our staff and students. Our counsel is working jointly with the NCAA Enforcement Division in a thorough and meticulous investigation, which will require our patience.

I am in daily communication with our Board of Trustees, Executive Committee, Director of Athletics, and counsel, and will continue to work closely with the leaders of our University.

To our students, parents, faculty, alumni, and supporters—I encourage you to have patience as the process progresses; to have confidence in knowing that we are doing everything possible to discover the truth; to have faith in the many outstanding student-athletes and coaches who represent the University; and to have pride in what our University has accomplished and aspires to be. 

Posted on: August 17, 2011 2:30 pm
Edited on: August 17, 2011 2:37 pm
 

AP: Kirby Hocutt approved Shapiro's access

Posted by Tom Fornelli

As the news of the latest allegations against the Miami football program and its relationship with booster Nevin Shapiro continues to spread, so does the story's reach. The actions of Shapiro and Miami do not just affect the Miami athletic department, but schools around the country as well.

One of those schools may be Texas Tech. In an AP report on Wednesday afternoon, a source claims that former Miami athletic director and current Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt approved Nevin Shapiro's access to the Miami program.
A person familiar with the situation said much of Shapiro's access to Hurricane programs in recent years was approved by former athletic director Kirby Hocutt, who has since left the school for Texas Tech. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing joint investigation between the university and the NCAA.

Hocutt, the person said, allowed Shapiro on the sideline before football games at times during the 2008 season, plus invited him to select gatherings reserved for the athletic department's biggest donors.

"That's what Kirby did," the person said. "His No. 1 job was to raise money and this Nevin Shapiro guy was one of the few people Kirby could get to write checks."

Shapiro had been on the Miami sideline before games an unknown number of times before Hocutt's arrival as athletic director in 2008.

Hocutt has declined comment on the Miami investigation.
Hocutt resigned as Miami's athletic director to take the job in Lubbock in February.

Obviously, if the allegations are true, this does not reflect well on Hocutt and could affect his job at Texas Tech. Meaning that Texas Tech could join Kansas State as Big 12 schools feeling the ramifications of Miami's misdeeds.
Posted on: August 17, 2011 1:45 pm
 

Mark Emmert on Miami: "fundamental change" needed

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The NCAA has a policy of never commenting publicly on an ongoing investigation, but for the epic maelstrom of malfeasance uncovered at Miami, apparently it's willing to make an exception.

That exception arrived Wednesday in the form of a statement from (suddenly very busy) president Mark Emmert, published at the NCAA website. It reads in full:
If the assertions are true, the alleged conduct at the University of Miami is an illustration of the need for serious and fundamental change in many critical aspects of college sports. This pertains especially to the involvement of boosters and agents with student-athletes. While many are hearing about this case for the first time, the NCAA has been investigating the matter for five months. The serious threats to the integrity of college sports are one of the key reasons why I called together more than 50 presidents and chancellors last week to drive substantive changes to Division I intercollegiate athletics.
We won't argue with Emmert that college football needs some "serious and fundamental change" if it's to continue its status as an amateur sport for "student-athletes," or that the actions of Nevin Shapiro -- or, more specifically, Miami's inaction in response -- are the most powerful argument presented yet in that change's favor.

But we're skeptical Emmert simply reasserting his position while that particular iron in hot really what issuing this statement is about. The key sentence in it is this one:
While many are hearing about this case for the first time, the NCAA has been investigating the matter for five months.
In recent months, the NCAA has taken a heavy dose of criticism for lagging behind as the media -- Yahoo! Sports, as often as not -- do their enforcement work for them. (See the media's unraveling of Jim Tressel's e-mail coverup for one example.) For once, though, the NCAA did not find out about serious allegations when the "many" of the public did--and from the looks of things, Emmert can't help but take the opportunity to crow about it.

We don't blame Emmert for being sensitive to the regular blasts of criticism aimed his organization's way; while much of it is deserved, much of it is entirely unfounded and unfair as well.

But this kind of passive-aggressive response isn't exactly the best way of firing back at those critics. Yes, it's good to hear the NCAA has been on the case. But given the magnitude of Shapiro's misdeeds, it's hardly such an achievement that it's necessary for Emmert to break with years of steadfast policy just to beat his chest about it.
Posted on: August 17, 2011 11:19 am
 

VIDEO: Discussing UM report with Jorge Milian

Posted by Chip Patterson

Miami once again has found themselves in the middle of a massive scandal within the football program. CBSSports.com's Lauren Shehadi discusses the NCAA investigation and the feeling on campus with Jorge Milian of the Palm Beach Post.



Click here for all the latest on the Miami Investigation, and be sure to follow our Miami Rapid Reports
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com