Posted on: August 17, 2011 10:51 am
Edited on: August 17, 2011 1:36 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
Tuesday's investigative report into Miami football named 72 former and current football players, coaches, and staff members who either participated in or knew of NCAA violations. One man with no connection to former Miami booster and convicted Ponzi schemer Nevin Shapiro is current head coach Al Golden.
The Miami team has not been made available to the media, but Golden spoke with reporters before practice on Tuesday and Wednesday morning. The comments, according to CBSSports.com's Brian London, were clearly much different in light of the recent allegations.
"Certainly if [our players] were exposed to Mr. Shapiro, we have to prevent that from happening again moving forward," Golden said. "We have to get the facts. If this guy was around our players, how did it get to that?"
When Golden spoke on Tuesday he confirmed that NCAA investigators were on campus this week looking into alleged claims made by Shapiro. At the time the extent of the allegations was not known, but Golden did say that he was not informed of any possible violations at the time of his hiring - which was done by current Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt. If there was knowledge of the situation, Golden feels that information should have been shared in both the head coach and athletic director transition.
"If they knew this was percolating, I believe they had a responsibility to tell me and to tell [athletic director] Shawn [Eichorst]," said Golden.
Making matters difficult for former athletic director Kirby Hocutt is the official release from the university on Tuesday stating that the University notified the NCAA of Shapiro's allegations "nearly a year ago." Miami asked Shapiro and his lawyers for facts, but Shapiro instead took his claims to Yahoo! Sports and the NCAA.
The challenge now will be to figure out exactly how much of Shapiro's claims were known to the administration that hired Golden. If it can be proven that Hocutt or university president Donna Shalala knew anything remotely close to the details in the Yahoo! report, things could get awkward and potentially legal in Coral Gables.
But for now Golden insists he's happy at Miami, and even suggested that he might have taken the job regardless of possible allegations. That could change should a NCAA investigation result in heavy sanctions against the Miami football program, but we are a long way away from knowing anything certain. Golden admits he's disappointed, but he has all 12 current players named in the report still on the field - preparing for the Hurricanes' season opener against Maryland on Labor Day.
CBSSports.com's Brian London contributed to this report
Tags: ACC, Adewale Ojomo, Al Golden, Aldarius Johnson, Chip Patterson, Dyron Dye, Jacory Harris, JoJo Nicolas, Marcus Forston, Marcus Robinson, Miami, Miami Investigation, Miami NCAA Investigation, NCAA Investigation, Nevin Shapiro, Oliver Vernon, Ray-Ray Armstrong, Sean Spence, Travis Benjamin, Vaughn Telemaque
Posted on: August 16, 2011 11:39 pm
Edited on: August 16, 2011 11:53 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
While most of the attention from the exhausting Yahoo! Sports report detailing impermissible benefits from Miami booster Nevin Shapiro was focused on the 72 athletes named, there were seven current or former Hurricanes staff members named as having knowledge or direct participation of violations. Because several are no longer at the school, the potential impact of the NCAA investigation is not limited to Coral Gables.
Previous position at Miami: The Hurricanes' defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator for three years.
Current position: Defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator at Louisville.
Statement: According to WAVE3, Louisville put out a statement saying they would not be responding to any accusations.
Previous position at Miami: Was offensive line coach for the Hurricanes for four years. He was also the interim head coach following the departure of Randy Shannon.
Current position: Became the offensive line coach and assistant head coach at Alabama in January.
Statement: Alabama released a statement saying they were aware of the story but would not comment, according to The Birmingham News.
Previous position at Miami: Wide receivers coach for three years.
Current position: Wide receivers coach for Florida.
Statement: Florida issued a statement saying that while Hill declined comment to Yahoo!, he was comfortable and confident with how he conducted himself at Miami, according to The Orlando Sentinel.
Previous position at Miami: Tight ends and special teams coach for five years.
Current position: Director of Football Operations at Alabama.
Statement: Alabama released a statement saying they were aware of the story but would not comment.
Previous position at Miami: Student manager from 2001-2005.
Current position: Returned to the school as an assistant equipment manager in 2009.
Statement: Miami provided a statement early Tuesday saying they were fully cooperating with the NCAA investigation. As an employee, Allen is required to cooperate or face a possible show-cause penalty.
Position at Miami: assistant equipment manager
Statement: The school provided a statement early Tuesday saying they were fully cooperating with the NCAA investigation.
Posted on: August 16, 2011 10:04 pm
Edited on: August 16, 2011 11:51 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
The college football world was rocked on Tuesday with Yahoo! report regarding former Miami booster Nevin Shapiro providing "thousands of impermissible benefits to at least 72 athletes" between 2002 and 2010. While the long-term damage of this report will likely not be settled anytime soon, there are some potential eligibility issues facing the 2011 Hurricanes.
Twelve current Miami players were listed in the report with varying levels of involvement with Shapiro. Among them include quarterback Jacory Harris and three members of the CBSSports.com Preseason All-ACC Team. The school has no comment, and the NCAA is already on campus in Coral Gables, so all we can do is look at the players involved and their alleged associations with NCAA violations.
S Ray-Ray Armstrong, Jr., Sanford, Fla.
Projected 2011 Role: Armstrong finished 2010 as a 2nd Team All-ACC defensive back, and is expected to start at safety along with Vaugh Telamaque. He was named to the CBSSports.com Preseason All-ACC Team and should be a vital piece of the Hurricanes defense.
Allegations: Armstrong, Andre Debose, and Dyron Dye were brought to Shaprio's $6 million mansion on a Friday night for a recruiting pitch that included a tour of the home and a ride in Shapiro's Mercedes. The booster then gave an equipment manager "approximately $2,000 to $3,000 in cash" to show the trio a good time. Booster said he paid for food, drinks, and entertainment for the group on a Sunday, and gave Armstrong one of Sean Taylor's game-worn Miami jerseys.
WR Travis Benjamin, Sr., Belle Glade, Fla.
Projected 2011 Role: As the leading returning receiver, Benjamin is just one of the players looking to step up into Leonard Hankerson's role (1156 yards, 13 TDs) as the go-to Hurricanes receiver. Benjamin pulled in 43 catches for 743 yards and 3 touchdowns in 2010.
Allegations: Shapiro told federal agents on the record that he provided "benefits to an array of Miami players from 2002 to 2010." Benjamin was one of the players named, with Shapiro claiming that the wide receiver visited his home "25 times or more" and received cash "more than one time."
DE/LB Dyron Dye, rSoph., Sanford, Fla.
Projected 2011 Role: Backup defensive end. Saw six games of action as a redshirt freshman in 2010. Al Golden had recently asked Dye to switch to tight end because of depth concerns.
Allegations: Dye was a part of the recruiting pitch with Armstrong and Debose. Shapiro said he came to the house several times, but never received cash or saw the yacht. Only that he received drinks and VIP access at nightclubs with Shapiro.
DT Marcus Forston, Jr., Miami, Fla.
Projected 2011 Role: The anchor of the defensive line. Forston has received praise from teammates and coaches for his effective and speedy recovery after a spring knee injury threatened the start of his 2011 season. When healthy Forston is a force to be reckoned with in the trenches, and was named to the CBSSports.com Preseason All-ACC team.
Allegations: Shapiro alleges Forston and several other Miami players received a dinner at Japanese steakhouse Benihana in 2008, which was followed by drinks, VIP access, and entertainment at The Cheetah strip club.
QB Jacory Harris, Sr., Miami, Fla.
Projected 2011 Role: Where to begin here? Considered a potential Heisman candidate earlier in his career, Harris could have been the face of this rejuvenated Miami team. There was no guarantee he would, in fact he still has to beat out Stephen Morris for the starting quarterback job. Harris' main criticism on the field is his decision making (15 INTs in 2010), and it might end up being his biggest off-field criticism as well.
Allegations: Harris was also named in Shapiro's interviews with federal agents. He alleges Harris came by the house "a number of times" and played in pool tournaments for cash. He also claims Harris benefited from drinks and VIP access at nightclubs on a handful of occasions.
WR Aldarius Johnson, Sr., Miami, Fla.
Projected 2011 Role: Johnson's best season at Miami was his freshman year in 2008, pulling in 31 catches for 332 yards and 3 touchdowns. Johnson has been outspoken about using his senior year to recapture that kind of performance. Johnson was limited during spring practice by injury and passed over on the depth chart by LaRon Byrd, but was still hoping to reclaim his spot as a primary member of the Hurricanes receiving corps.
Allegations: Johnson was one of the players involved in the aforementioned evening at Benihana's and The Cheetah strip club, as well as the pool tournaments for cash. Shapiro claims he gifted Johnson money "at least 10 times" ranging from $50 to $300-$400. "I'd say he took a couple grand from me over the course of time," Shapiro told Yahoo! Sports.
CB JoJo Nicolas, Sr., Homestead, Fla.
Projected 2011 Role: After 10 starts and 36 tackles in 2010, Nicolas has changed positions and is expected to be the starting cornerback heading into the season. Miami has several talented youngsters in the secondary, but Nicolas has received praise for adapting to the team's needs in the offseason.
Allegations: Nicolas does not play a big role in Shapiro's allegations, with the booster claiming the defensive back benefited from drinks and VIP access at nightclubs on multiple occasions and was in the booster's mansion "anywhere from 15, 20, 25 times."
DE Adewale Ojomo, rJr., Homestead, Fla.
Projected 2011 Role: Expected to be a reserve defensive lineman this season. Recorded 38 tackles and finished third on the team in sacks (5) in 2010.
Allegations: Shapiro lists Ojomo as another player that benefited from food, drinks, and VIP treatment at clubs as well as a visitor at the booster's home. He also recounted one specific time when Ojomo and a female companion met Shapiro a dinner at Smith & Wollensky, which was provided.
DE/LB Marcus Robinson, Sr., Homestead, Fla.
Projected 2011 Role: Robinson suffered an injury during spring practice, and was also asked to move positions this fall. Robinson was moved from the defensive line (19 tackles, 2.5 sacks in 2010) to linebacker.
Allegations: According to Shapiro, Robinson was also present for the evening at Benihana and The Cheetah strip club. Not considered as close to the booster as others, but Shapiro did say he was in the mansion "once or twice"
LB Sean Spence, Sr., Miami, Fla.
Projected 2011 Role: Spence was 1st Team All-ACC in 2010, and was also named to the CBSSports.com Preseason All-ACC team this week. Head coach Al Golden has frequently complimented the leadership of the seniors, and nearly every time he makes a point to mention Sean's name. Of all the players listed in the report, Spence is arguably one of the most valuable to the 2011 roster.
Allegations: Spence was also listed as a player for the Benihana-to-The Cheetah evening. However, Shapiro listed Spence as "one of the regular guys at my house." He also says the all-conference linebacker took part in bowling outings, where Shaprio "gave him some money."
S Vaughn Telemaque, rJr., Long Beach, Calif.
Projected 2011 Role: Telemaque started 13 games for the Hurricanes in 2010, and is the third leading tackler returning for 2011. Expected to start and play a major role in the Miami defense this season.
Allegations: Shapiro called the one out-of-state product in this group a "laid back" and "chill dude." Telemaque allegedly came by the house and to the clubs "a number of times" and took part in pool games for money.
DE Oliver Vernon, Jr., Miami, Fla.
Projected 2011 Role: The 2010 sack leader among returnees was expected to start on the defensive line. Vernon started 11 games last season, totaling 39 tackles and 6 sacks.
Allegations: In addition to many of the same food, drinks, and entertainment allegations, Shaprio alleges he played a significant role in Vernon's recruitment. The booster claims he hosted Vernon and his parents in his luxury suite for the Miami-FSU game in 2008. Shapiro also made a $1,000 donation to the booster club of Vernon's high school at the solicitation of Vernon's father.
Details of the allegations levied against all current and former Miami student-athletes and staff can be found here, courtesy of Yahoo! Sports
Tags: ACC, Adewale Ojomo, Al Golden, Aldarius Johnson, Charles Robinson, Chip Patterson, Dyron Dye, Jacory Harris, JoJo Nicolas, Marcus Forston, Marcus Robinson, Miami, Miami Investigation, Miami NCAA, Miami Violations, NCAA Investigation, Nevin Shapiro, Oliver Vernon, Randy Shannon, Ray-Ray Armstrong, Sean Spence, Travis Benjamin, Vaughn Telemaque, Yahoo Miami Report
Posted on: August 16, 2011 9:18 pm
Edited on: August 16, 2011 11:46 pm
The college football world is rightly reeling from the Yahoo! Sports report in which disgraced former Miami booster Nevin Shapiro detailed a litany of impermissible benefits he provided to dozens of Miami Hurricanes, both past and present. One more time through, for good old times' sake:
Now, there appear to be a few main areas of objection to Shapiro's actions here.
1) The massive violations of NCAA rules.
2) The bounties on other quarterbacks' heads.
3) The prostitutes.
4) The money all being derived from a Ponzi scheme.
The last three objections are abhorrent and indefensible. Plain and simple. The second has no place in sport, the third has no place in society, and the fourth is landing Shapiro in federal prison until he's an old man. They are all stains on Miami's legacy.
The NCAA violations, however, appear to be "illegal generosity" on a scale the likes of which the NCAA has seen maybe once before. Obviously, that kind of flagrant disregard for NCAA rules and Miami's subsequent standing is also a major problem and something Shapiro had no business doing. But that said, what's wrong about his violations of NCAA rules other than the fact they were violations?
Put it another way: if the NCAA's amateurism rules were such that student-athletes were permitted to receive gifts without condition (i.e. no contracts, no game-fixing, no other quid pro quo legal or otherwise, only charity), then what would be untoward about Shapiro's actions? He gave $1,000 to Tyrone Moss (pictured above) when Moss was struggling with money and had a baby to keep fed. He took players to expensive restaurants and nightclubs. He gave potential recruits money, including some young men who either transferred or never went to Miami in the first place. Presumably, Shapiro did not ask for this money back.
What, other than the impermissible nature of those interactions, is so upsetting about any of that? It's certainly not criminal activity -- or at least it wouldn't be if Shapiro's money was clean. It's showing some athletes -- including 12 current 'Canes -- a good time. It's giving them a taste (or two) (or 20) of the kind of life professional athletes enjoy on a routine basis. And yes, the money to potential recruits might have influenced some college choices, but if Shapiro had just given that money to the school's athletic department, it would have likely gone to facilities or other upgrades... that would have been helpful in recruiting.
And best of all for Miami (or any other potential athletic department), it wasn't costing the school one red cent.
I would like to see a world of college athletics where people wouldn't be aghast at student-athletes receiving gifts from boosters, but at a by-the-book exploitative relationship between athletic department and student-athlete where only the department is allowed to reap the fruits of the student-athletes' labor. That day's probably a long, long way off, though. And that's too bad for anyone who sees a team full of broke young men and has the ways and means to do just a little something about it.
Posted on: August 16, 2011 8:51 pm
Edited on: August 16, 2011 11:40 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
If you're anything like me, you're still trying to wrap your brain around the latest Yahoo! Sports bomb to be detonated, this time at Miami. Unfortunately for plenty of schools around the country, the allegations made against the Miami football program aren't confined to Coral Gables. They even stretch as far as Manhattan, Kansas and the Kansas State football program.
Current Kansas State linebacker and former Miami linebacker Arthur Brown is one of the many players that former Miami booster Nevin Shapiro claims he provided with a variety of benefits while they attended the school. To make matters worse for Kansas State, Brown's brother Bryce Brown -- Kansas State's running back -- was present when his brother received some of these benefits.
Here's a list of the benefits allegedly received by Arthur Brown.
- A dinner at Benihana and a trip to a strip club called The Cheetah in which Shapiro paid for all of Brown's food, drinks and private entertainment at the club.
- Lunch for Brown at Smith and Wollensky's with Brown, his parents, brother Bryce Brown and adviser Brian Butler which totaled $532. A bill paid for by Shapiro.
- Two rooms at the Continental Oceanfront Hotel for Brown, his family and adviser totaling $1,110.19. Paid for by Shapiro.
- Food, drinks and entertainment at Lucky Strike Lanes on at least one occasion.
- Food, drinks and entertainment during pool tournaments at Shapiro's mansion.
- Transportation from Miami staffer Sean Allen at the direction of Shapiro.
At the time of Bryce Brown's visits he was being recruited by Miami.
“[Arthur] also wanted me to meet his brother," Shapiro told Yahoo."Who was going to be the No. 1 recruited player coming out of high school that following year named Bryce Brown. I set up a trip for his mom, dad and spiritual adviser – which is another name for an agent – Brian Butler. They all came in from Kansas. I put them up at a hotel on Miami Beach.”
This is not good news at all for Kansas State, as the team was counting on both the Brown brothers to be major contributors to the team this season. At this point, if Bill Snyder and the Kansas State staff chooses to let them play they run the risk of playing ineligible players which could lead to vacated wins and violations at Kansas State.
So, as you can see, this story is not just Miami's problem.
Posted on: August 16, 2011 6:26 pm
Edited on: August 17, 2011 2:33 am
Former Miami booster and indicted Ponzi schemer Nevin Shapiro provided thousands of dollars in impermissible benefits to "at least 72 student-athletes" between 2002 and 2010, according to a Yahoo! Sports report.
The investigation included over 100 hours of jailhouse interviews with Shapiro, along with financial records and corroboration from several sources - including former Miami players - to support the claims. Among the most alarming details to the program include seven former coaches and three athletic support staff who either witnessed, had knowledge of, or even participated in Shapiro committing all kinds of NCAA violations. The report details the life of a rampant rule-breaker who was never told to stop.
"At a cost that Shapiro estimates in the millions of dollars, he said his benefits to athletes included but were not limited to: cash, prostitutes, entertainment in his multimillion-dollar homes and yacht, paid trips to high-end restaurants and nightclubs, jewelry, bounties for on-field play (including bounties for injuring opposing players), travel and on one occasion, an abortion," Robinson writes.
One former Miami player, running back Tyrone Moss, told Yahoo! Sports he accepted $1,000 from Shapiro around the time he was entering college. "Hell yeah, I recruited a lot of kids for Miami," Shapiro told Yahoo! Sports. "With access to the clubs, access to the strip joints. My house. My boat. We're talking about high school football players. Not anybody can just get into the clubs or strip joints. Who is going to pay for it and make it happen? That was me."
The University of Miami has not commented specifically on the allegations made by Shapiro, as is generally the policy of schools under NCAA investigation, except to say that Shapiro was not as forthcoming to the school and to the NCAA as he was to Yahoo! Sports.
“When Shapiro made his allegations nearly a year ago, he and his attorneys refused to provide any facts to the university,” Miami associate for communications Chris Freet said. “We notified the NCAA enforcement officials of these allegations. We are fully cooperating with the NCAA and are conducting a joint investigation. We take these matters very seriously.”
Shapiro was once one of Miami's most prominent boosters, donating hundreds of thousands of dollars (and committing $250,000 more) to the football program, and presenting head basketball coach Frank Haith (now of Missouri) and current Miami president Donna Shalala with a check for $50,000 -- earmarked for the basketball program -- at one fundraiser. Shapiro alleges that his donations were was enough for Miami's brass to look the other way on the litany of violations he was perpetrating because they were so desperate for donations.
In fact, not only did Miami officials cast a blind eye to Shapiro, they embraced him as a booster, naming a student lounge after him and letting him lead the team onto its home field before games -- twice. In fact, former Miami athletic director Paul Dee maintained as of Tuesday that Miami "didn't have any suspicion that he was doing anything like this. He didn't do anything to cause concern." Dee is the former chair of the NCAA Committee on Infractions, having served the maximum allowable nine-year term as chair.
Shapiro said he gave money, cars, yacht trips, jewelry, televisions and other gifts to a long list of notable former Hurricanes including Vince Wilfork, Jon Beason, Antrel Rolle, Devin Hester, Willis McGahee and the late Sean Taylor.
The potential fall-out from this report could be devastating to the Miami athletic department. Miami's football program was hit with serious sanctions in 1995. Many thought that the program would be protected by any allegations because of the NCAA's four-year statute of limitations. However, under NCAA bylaw 36.2.3 an investigation can expand beyond the statute if information reveals that in individual tied to a university has engaged in "a pattern of willful violations" over a sustained period beyond the previous four years.
One of the most damning aspects of the report was that while Shapiro was a booster for the Hurricanes, he was also acting as a runner for a sports agency -- Axcess Sports & Entertainment -- that he also owned a minority share of. Shapiro's partner in that agency, former NFL agent and current UFL commissioner Michael Huyghue, vehemently denied Shapiro's charges to the Associated Press.
"It's just fantasy," Huyghue said. "He never had any role in my company. He didn't have the acumen to represent players."
Yahoo! Sports reported that Axcess signee Vince Wilfork received $50,000 and a pair of Cadillac Escalades from Shapiro on behalf of the agency, however, and that Hester recognized Shapiro as a runner (though Hester did not name which agent).
Among the litany of gifts and incentives that Shapiro lavished on the Hurricanes included a $5,000 bounty on rival quarterbacks Chris Rix of Florida State and Tim Tebow of Florida. Neither quarterback was knocked out of a game against Miami, but Shapiro said Rix was targeted several time by Miami defenders.
“We pounded the (expletive) out of [Rix],” Shapiro said. “Watch the tape of those games. You’ll see so many big hits on him. Guys were all going after that $5,000 in cash. [Jon Vilma] tried to kill him – just crushed him – a couple of times trying to get that $5,000. And he almost got it, too.”
Vilma, a current member of the New Orleans Saints, did not comment to Yahoo! Sports.
Now, Shapiro's prediction of the "death penalty" for Miami -- an entire season's cancellation, which is punishment only meted out by the NCAA once, to flagrant and repeat offenders Southern Methodist, in 1987 -- will probably not come true. Robinson even said as much in an interview on ESPN on Tuesday night, saying the idea isn't "reasonable or possible with any program anymore."
And yet it might be. For perhaps the first time since that fateful day in February 1987, the notion of a "death penalty" is now at least a remote possibility. For Miami, that means some of the NCAA's strongest sanctions are likely in store, so even if the worst-case scenario doesn't come true, the once-storied program will probably be damaged for years and years to come.
AP Sports Writers Steven Wine, Eric Olson, Cliff Brunt and RB Fallstrom contributed to this story.
Tags: ACC, Adam Jacobi, Antrel Rolle, Axcess Sports & Entertainment, Chip Patterson, Chris Freet, Chris Rix, Death Penalty, Devin Hester, Donna Shalala, Florida, Florida State, Frank Haith, Jon Beason, Jon Vilma, Larry Coker, Miami, Miami Death Penalty, Miami Investigation, Miami NCAA, Miami Repeat Offenders, Miami Report, Miami Yahoo Report, Michael Huyghue, Missouri, NCAA Bylaws, NCAA Death Penalty, NCAA Investigation, NCAA Miami, Nevin Shapiro, New Orleans Saints, Paul Dee, Randy Shannon, Repeat Offenders, Sean Taylor, SMU Death Penalty, Tim Tebow, Tyrone Moss, Vince Wilfork, Willis McGahee
Posted on: August 16, 2011 10:09 am
Edited on: August 16, 2011 2:17 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
Miami has stayed mum on the subject of the NCAA's investigation into claims of impermissible benefits until Tuesday. No players will be available to the media, but head coach Al Golden spoke to reporters before Tuesday's morning practice and the school offered this official statement.
When Nevin Shapiro made his allegations nearly a year ago, he and his attorneys refused to provide any facts to the University of Miami. The University notified the NCAA Enforcement officials of these allegations. We are fully cooperating with the NCAA and are conducting a joint investigation. The University of Miami takes these matters very seriously.
Golden informed reporters that he is learning about the investigation as the public/reporters are, because the NCAA has not identified him as someone of interest in this investigation. There are current players on the roster who have and/or will be interviewed, but they will not be contacting the coach and Golden will not be a part of the process.
CBSSports.com's Brett McMurphy reported today that the investigation could uncover serious NCAA violations, citing a source that believes that "between a 1 and 10," the scandal-in-waiting is "a 10."
In the below video you will also hear Golden claim that when he was hired, then-athletic director Kirby Hocutt did not inform of possible NCAA violations. CBSSports.com's Daniel Walker reports that Texas Tech's athletic department (where Hocutt is currently AD) offered an official "no comment" in response to Golden's claim. Hocutt was the Hurricanes AD when Golden was hired in December, then left for Lubbock, TX in Febrauary. Golden did say that he would still have taken the job, even if he did have knowledge of a potential investigation.
Full interview of Golden with the media on Tuesday morning below, courtesy of Canes All-Access
Posted on: August 15, 2011 2:35 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
The NCAA spent Monday morning on Miami's campus investigating claims that Miami football players received impermissible benefits from former UM booster and convicted felon Nevin Shapiro.
CBSSports.com's Bryan Fischer reported the investigation, and the Associated Press confirmed the NCAA's presence on campus after speaking to Shapiro's attorney, Maria Elena Perez.
His attorney, Maria Elena Perez, says Shapiro has told the NCAA he provided players with the use of a yacht and other favors. Shapiro and Perez have been talking with the NCAA about the matter for a couple of months, and she says investigators were on campus Monday.Shapiro claims he is working on a tell-all book about Miami football that is expected to name nearly 100 Hurricanes who broke NCAA rules since 2001. He was a big-time booster who, unfortunately, became very close with the team and was often seen on the Miami sideline. One CBSSports.com source told Fischer Miami was in "big trouble" and "Shapiro would be able to back up his allegations."
Shapiro, 42, was sentenced in June to 20 years in prison for his involvement in a Ponzi scheme. While one argument in Miami's favor would try to paint this as a desperate man looking for publicity, Shapiro's legal troubles could actually end up hurting Miami. In other situations money trails disappear and make it difficult for allegations to stick, I bet it is impossible for someone already convicted of investment fraud to hide any transactions.
University officials have not offered an official comment on the issue. Keep it here at the Eye on College Football for more as it develops.