Tag:Nevin Shapiro
Posted on: November 14, 2011 5:30 pm
Edited on: November 14, 2011 5:31 pm
 

Emmert: Miami being "incredibly cooperative"

Miami has been “incredibly cooperative” in the Nevin Shapiro case, NCAA president Mark Emmert told CBSSports.com. But at the same time the NCAA’s highest-ranking official reiterated his view that the death penalty should be used as deterrent in certain cases.

Emmert was widely quoted after the Shapiro report broke in August saying, that, hypothetically, the death penalty was an option in the Miami case. He repeated that again recently without speaking specifically about Miami.

“My position hypothetically was, no, you can’t take that [death penalty] off the table,” Emmert told CBSSports.com in a one-on-one interview. “We’re going to need whatever penalty structure we need to get people to behave themselves. If that entails – in extraordinary situations – the death penalty, I’m not unwilling to put that on the table.”

When the depth of Shaprio’s influence was revealed, the scandal was called the worst in NCAA history. Since then, there has been competition for that label.

Emmert went out of his way to compliment Miami president Donna Shalala and her role in the ongoing investigation that the NCAA started in the spring. For a sitting NCAA CEO to comment on such a high-profile case as Miami’s is almost unprecedented. For him to drop in compliments in the middle of the case, well, it’s hard to remember if that has ever occurred.

“The reality is that Miami, the university, has been incredibly cooperative,” Emmert said. “[Miami] President Shalala is doing an incredible job of interacting with us. Donna is doing a great job. She is being very, very helpful.”

Emmert did not elaborate, only to say that the NCAA is determined to wipe out third-party influence in football. The Shapiro case is ongoing as is the one involving Houston mentor/talent broker Will Lyles.



Emmert also spoke on other issues:

 

Conference realignment: “We had a situation a few months ago where it felt like June 1914. Everybody had their hand on the trigger and waiting for somebody to flinch. People weren’t necessarily making rational choices for rational reasons. We watched friendships, collegiality and trust blown up. That’s not the way universities are supposed to handle themselves.”

Emmert was most likely talking about Texas A&M’s June-September fling that resulted in its move to the SEC.

“I’d love to see something like a waiting period almost. Kind of like what you had with the SEC – the Securities and Exchange Commission. If you buy a company you have to vet it out. We saw that with Missouri. ‘Yeah, we’re thinking about this.’ It was a pretty rational process.

“We don’t have a formal role in all that [conference realignment]. Universities have to be able to make those decisions. Nobody should tell a university who they’re going to be a conference affiliate with. What I want is a system or a process by which schools can make up their minds -- optimally, deliberately without any rancor and politics of it.”

 

Recent NCAA reforms: “This is really the first wave. I’m extremely pleased. It was heartening to see the kind of support a pretty big change in a short period of time garnered … We made a clear statement about where I’ll our values were. The next wave will be around the rulebook, be around the way we do enforcement and the way we insist on integrity.”

On some criticisms of those reforms: (Some critics have said the $2,000 stipend was instituted too soon and/or won’t make much of a difference.) “You know the history of the NCAA. In the past when we wanted to make some decisions we started down a good road but then you say, ‘There’s this wrinkle and that wrinkle.’ By the time you’re done, you’ve got mush. This time we’re saying this is where we want to be.”


On pending legislation to address the Cecil Newton situation: (There is pending legislation that would label a parent a booster/agent if that parent solicited money from a school for the child’s services.) “We’ll see it coming out of this current task force on enforcement and infractions -- language that defines third parties to include family members, guardians, etc. That will have a very, very positive impact … That will be an integral part of the wave of reform around those issues. As you know, the intrusion of third parties…is ubiquitous and can be extremely pernicious. We’ve got to get our arms around it.”

The NCAA’s role in football’s postseason: “We have to be involved all the way along. Even though we don’t govern [FBS] postseason football, we certainly have rules about it. We’re debating right now the length of the season. How long the bowl season should be. Everybody wants to shrink it a bit. As we’re doing that, we have to then work with the conferences to say, ‘All right, what are you thinking about with the BCS?’ “

 

His hiring of Nick Saban at LSU in 2000: (Emmert was then LSU’s president.) “His record at Michigan State was very impressive in that he had taken a team that was floundering and having a lot of NCAA problems. By the time he’d spent five years there they were ranked eighth or ninth in the country. They beat Michigan once in a while. That’s a tough place to win at, Michigan State.

“I didn’t know him I hadn’t met him but when I sat with him his football mentality, his analytical nature, the clear game plan for what you needed to do at LSU were just pretty stunning. It was a very, very easy choice.”

Posted on: November 1, 2011 11:46 am
Edited on: November 2, 2011 8:25 am
 

Miami interested in redoing Golden contract

The agent for Miami coach Al Golden told CBSSports.com Tuesday there have been “overtures made” by the school about adjusting his client’s contract in the wake of the current NCAA scandal.

Golden had expressed frustration about not being told about the full scope of the scandal involving former booster Nevin Shapiro. Brett Senior, Golden’s long-time representative, said at least one Miami official has reached out to Golden specifically about the contract.

Golden is in the first year of a reported five-year deal worth $10 million.  

“I’ve got the feeling they’ll [Miami] do the right thing,” said Senior who has represented Golden since he came out of Penn State in 1991.

Asked about an escape clause in the current deal that would allow Golden to leave Miami based on the severity of NCAA sanctions, Senior added: “I will say this. We’ve got options available to us.”

That’s believed to be the first time there has been some kind of acknowledgment that Golden could get out of his deal. Senior added that NCAA penalties “that would cripple a program for five years,” would be tough for Golden.

“We’ll evaluate all options,” Senior said. “You only have so many bites at the apple.”

“We’ve got to get sort of a feel for what the NCAA implications might be,” Senior added. “Those kind of things may take a fairly long time … [You] certainly expect that something is going to come down. It certainly can debilitate a program at least a couple of years.”

Senior also said that any contract issues will be addressed after the season. Golden is 4-4 in his first season with Miami, tied for fourth in the ACC Coastal Division, having had to deal with several players suspensions emerging from the Shapiro scandal. Yahoo Sports reported in August that Shapiro had been providing extra benefits for years to at least 65 current and former Miami players as well as Miami recruits who went to other schools.

“Frankly, we’ve not done anything formal or direct to this point,” in contacting the Miami administration Senior said. “I don’t know how well you know Al. He’s hunkered down. He was prepping for the season and dealing with skeletons in the closet.

“The university acknowledged there is something that needs to be done. Initial overtures came from them. It’s the right thing to do. It wasn’t handled well in the initial [stages].”

Senior did not specify where the overtures had come from including AD Shawn Eichorst and/or president Donna Shalala. Golden said at the time the scandal broke: “If they [Miami] knew this was percolating, I believe they did have a responsibility tell Shawn [Eichorst].”

The AD who hired Golden, Kirby Hocutt, left abruptly in March and is now at Texas Tech. Eichorst was hired from Wisconsin in April. The NCAA said it had been investigating the Shapiro case since March. Hocutt approved Shapiro’s access to the program according to an August wire report.

Shapiro is serving 20 years in federal prison for his role in a $930 million Ponzi scheme.

“He takes it as another challenge,” Senior said of Golden. “I know he was teed off. He had come there with great aspirations, the way recruiting class was shaping up. He likes to coach football and likes to lead young men. This is something he shouldn’t have had to deal with and should have been made aware of.  It was tough. You get distractions you don’t need. To compete at that level, is tough enough. You don’t need one hand tied behind your back.”

Through a spokesman, Miami had no comment.  

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: August 30, 2011 6:13 pm
 

NCAA has this Miami thing nailed

It was not a good afternoon for you film buffs who attach historical significance -- or meaning -- to those riveting Donna Shalala videos of late.

The Miami president lately has been greeting every new shred of Miami sleaze with her version of fireside chats from her office. Nice touch. Where exactly is that bunker she is speaking from?

Doesn't matter. Shizzle's about to get real. The NCAA suspended eight Miami players Tuesday for varying amounts of time (one to six games) in the scandal's latest chapter. But the most significant thing to come out of that announcement was a name in the first paragraph.

Nevin Shapiro.

The NCAA felt no reluctance naming the sleazy central figure of the Yahoo Sports report. Usually in these cases, the NCAA uses phrases such as "a person representing the university's athletic interests" or "third party" or something like that. It doesn't want to be sued in case the person they name is, you know, innocent.

On Tuesday, the NCAA just come out and said it: Nevin Shapiro offered it. These players took it. We've got this thing nailed.

It may wait months or even years for the final verdict but it's clear the NCAA is well on its way to discovering everything Yahoo reported.

The lengths that the NCAA went to get the information may be debated. Former Hurricanes Arthur Brown (now at Kansas State) and Robert Marve (now at Purdue) were allowed to keep their eligibility. That basically confirms my story regarding limited immunity.

It was another not-good day for Dr. Shalala's program. Earlier in the day a bankruptcy lawyer made noise about subpoenaing all 72 players in the report. Seems like those victims of Shapiro's Ponzi scheme have the audacity to want their money back.

How long is it going to take the IRS to weigh in on this?

There are two levels of pressure here: At Miami where there has to be a lingering anxiety over whether Shalala will have a program to rebuild when the NCAA gets done with it. The other is at Maryland. The on-field pressure now shifts to Randy Edsall and Maryland. They get the downgraded Hurricanes Labor Day night.

If they don't beat Miami in its current crippled state it may never happen.

The only winners for now figure to be the guys selling bootleg T-shirts near Byrd Stadium: (Prosti)'Tutes vs. Turtles, anyone?

 

 

 

Posted on: August 18, 2011 1:13 pm
Edited on: August 18, 2011 1:39 pm
 

Former agent calls Saban a "whore"

Josh Luchs seems like ancient history. The Sports Illustrated story detailing the former agent's lavishing extra benefits on college players is 10 months old. 

Since then we've had Ohio State, North Carolina, Miami, etc. But there's one thing about scumbags: If they see an opening, they're likely to take advantage of it.

Luchs is in the process of writing a book that essentially is an extension of the SI story. If you listen or watch close enough, you can probably catch Luchs going through the national carwash promoting himself.

Imagine that, a sleazy former agent hawking his wares.

Luchs has turned righteous just in time, or maybe it's because of the times.

"The ideal of amateurism truly doesn't exist, and I don't know if it's existed since the '50s," he said. "Until the powers that be realize they're trying to operate in a broken system, nothing is going to change."

I caught one of his radio interviews Thursday morning. Suddenly, Luchs sounds like the voice of reason, ripping the NCAA and the culture that allows cheating. It's a lot of the stuff that those of us without books to sell have been saying for years.

Ah, but the money shot came while talking about Nick Saban. Speaking on WHB 810 in Kansas City on Thursday (listen), Luchs was asked about Saban's infamous "pimps" comment from July 2010.

You'll remember how Saban reacted to a question about unscrupulous agents during the '10 SEC media days: "Are they any better than a pimp?"

Luchs took particular issue with that statement Thursday, reminding his audience that Saban made more than $5 million per year, adding, "What he's done here is he's showed who the whore is."


Whore? Really? Can't wait to see how that plays in Alabama. While you're likely to hear/view Luchs as he, um, prostitutes himself, you may not hear those particular words from him in future interviews. A recording of the interview has been passed along to Alabama. I'm not expecting a reaction. There will be enough of one from 'Bama Nation when this gets out.

Scratch Tuscaloosa off his book tour list, I guess.

Other nuggets from Luchs:

 He says he was sought out by the NCAA to speak at East Coast and West Coast compliance seminars. That, in itself, isn't surprising. The NCAA has used convicted gamblers to speak on the evils of gambling. This quote from Luchs, though, sticks out.

"For the 20 years that I was in the business -- half of which I spent breaking every one of the rules, breaking rules paying players -- I had never once seen a compliance person."

 Luchs also said the compliance business has a fundamental flaw, those directors are paid by schools.

"When you think about that for a minute, it's mind-boggling. It's against the schools self-interest to find the wrongdoing. The checks should come from a pool at the NCAA ... This, to me, is at the heart of this Miami issue."

 Luchs spoke of Nevin Shapiro with a sense of jealousy.

"This guy provided illegal benefits to 72-73 players over an eight-year period ... I only gave [benefits to] 32-33 over an eight-year period. Heck, this guy was just killing me."


 
 
 
 
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