Yahoo! Sports: Miami, Nevin Shapiro and NCAA Violations

Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports reports that former Miami football booster Nevin Shapiro provided millions of dollars in impermissible benefits to at least 72 athletes from 2002 through 2010

The story, in the midst of various discussions of reform in collegiate athletics and pay-for-play, could have far-reaching ramifications.  The details of the benefits provided to Miami football players by Shapiro, a convicted felon serving time for his role in a Ponzi scheme, are stunning:

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.

Shapiro claims that these violations were committed in plain sight of the University of Miami’s administration:

Shapiro said he was enabled by the university, allowed to run the entire Miami team out of tunnel and onto the field – twice – and once honored on the field by former athletic director Paul Dee during a game. The same Paul Dee who wagged a finger at USC as the chairman of the NCAA’s committee on infractions in 2010, chiding the Reggie Bush/O.J. Mayo scandal as a systematic failure.

“High-profile players demand high-profile compliance,” Dee said while announcing USC’s sanctions.

Now Shapiro says Miami’s athletic compliance – Dee’s own backyard while Shapiro was operating – suffered one catastrophic oversight after another.

In addition, Shapiro also claims that some Miami assistant coaches were aware of  the benefits that he provided to players, which could lead to a finding of willful violations under NCAA rules.  Such a finding could overcome the NCAA’s 4-year statute of limitations according to Robinson:

Under bylaw 36.2.3, an investigation can expand beyond the statute if information reveals that an individual tied to a university has engaged in “a pattern of willful violations” over a sustained period beyond the previous four years.

Although it is early in the investigation, Miami could be forced to deal with a host of NCAA violations:

All told, the length, breadth and depth of the impropriety Shapiro has alleged would potentially breach multiple parts of at least four major NCAA bylaws – and possibly many more. Shapiro described acts that could include violations of multiple parts of bylaw 11, involving impermissible compensation to coaches; multiple parts of bylaw 12, involving amateurism of athletes; multiple parts of bylaw 13, involving improper recruiting activity; and multiple parts of bylaw 16, involving extra benefits to athletes.

The NCAA has been investigating these allegations for a few months now, but it is still too early to speculate as to the sanctions that Miami might face.  Nevertheless, many have opined that these violations, if proven, are far more serious than those involved with the USC and Ohio State situations.  Some are even mentioning Miami in the same breath as SMU, whose football program received the death penalty in 1987.

Click here to read the Yahoo! Sports story in its entirety.

Comments

  1. I read the Yahoo Sports story when it first hit and I was floored! I don’t believe that Miami’s athletic compliance suffered any “oversights.” Oversights are unintentional errors. Based on what’s been published thus far, Miami’s athletic compliance appears to have willfully turned a blind eye to the activities linked to Shapiro. It will be fascinating to watch this play out!

Trackbacks

  1. […] fallout from the scandal at the University of Miami […]

  2. […] While Golden was interviewing with Miami, the university was reportedly aware of former booster Nevin Shapiro’s allegations that he provided millions of dollars in impermissible benefits to at….  Miami, however, never informed Golden of the brewing […]

  3. […] NCAA has suspended its investigation of the University of Miami and the scandal involving former booster Nevin Shapiro after it was discovered that NCAA investigators improperly obtained documents from Shapiro’s […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: