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Old 08-15-2011, 07:31 PM   #1
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Default Miami (FL) Under NCAA Investigation for rules violations

NCAA investigating Miami, lawyer says -ESPN.com
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MIAMI -- NCAA investigators visited the University of Miami campus Monday looking into claims that more than a dozen former or current football players received gifts and services from convicted Ponzi schemer Nevin Shapiro, his attorney said.

Shapiro has told the NCAA he provided players with the use of a yacht and other favors, said his attorney, Maria Elena Perez. Shapiro and Perez have been talking with the NCAA about the matter for a couple of months and provided documentation, she said.

University officials didn't immediately respond to requests for comment. School officials and current players were expected to be interviewed.

[...]

Shapiro's relationship with the program dates back about a decade. Some of the alleged incidents occurred in the past four years, which would be within the NCAA's statute of limitations regarding violations.

Shapiro, 42, was sentenced in June by a New Jersey federal judge to 20 years in prison for his role in an investment fraud scheme. He pleaded guilty to charges related to running a multistate Ponzi scheme that prosecutors say left more than 60 investors in Florida, Indiana and New Jersey with nearly $100 million in losses.

[...]

Shapiro was generous with his investors' money, donating to athletic groups and charities and getting a student-athlete lounge named after him at Miami by donating $150,000. Shapiro's name was removed from the lounge in 2008 after the school said he did not follow his pledged donation-payment plan.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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Old 08-16-2011, 09:54 AM   #2
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Why am I more amazed the espn covered this story than this story actually happening?
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Old 08-16-2011, 07:19 PM   #3
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espn.com

Al Golden: Players may have erred.....................
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Old 08-16-2011, 07:28 PM   #4
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Surprise surprise, Thug U is in trouble again
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Old 08-16-2011, 08:05 PM   #5
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Any current players involved? Does this effect them any way this season?
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Old 08-16-2011, 08:11 PM   #6
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Was this the second big scandal that has been rumored for months now?
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Old 08-16-2011, 09:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Any current players involved? Does this effect them any way this season?
Yes, current players are involved. The guy has pics of current players on his yacht..........that is a violation alone............lets see if they tell the truth to the NCAA. He also has credit card receipts......

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Was this the second big scandal that has been rumored for months now?
Yes. Yahoo is all over this story.....current players and coaching staff involvement is the rumor............that is a big no go..............

The NCAA has been investigating them for months..........
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Old 08-16-2011, 09:47 PM   #8
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This story is a 10 on a 10 scale in my opinion.........makes our issues seem like nothing...........if the NCAA can prove this stuff............we may be looking at everything up to the Death Pentalty.........

yahoo.com

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Renegade Miami football booster spells out illicit benefits to players


Nevin Shapiro and a second source said this photo of the booster and Kellen Winslow Jr. was taken in Shapiro’s VIP section of Opium Garden nightclub in 2003.

KEARNY, N.J. – A University of Miami booster, incarcerated for his role in a $930 million Ponzi scheme, has told Yahoo! Sports he provided thousands of impermissible benefits to at least 72 athletes from 2002 through 2010.

In 100 hours of jailhouse interviews during Yahoo! Sports’ 11-month investigation, Hurricanes booster Nevin Shapiro described a sustained, eight-year run of rampant NCAA rule-breaking, some of it with the knowledge or direct participation of at least seven coaches from the Miami football and basketball programs. 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.


Nevin Shapiro said this photo was taken during a basketball fundraiser in 2008, in which the booster donated $50,000 to the program. From left to right are men’s basketball coach Frank Haith, Shapiro and University of Miami president Donna Shalala. Shalala is holding Shapiro’s donation check, which the booster has said was entirely comprised of Ponzi funds.

(Special to Yahoo! Sports)

Also among the revelations were damning details of Shapiro’s co-ownership of a sports agency – Axcess Sports & Entertainment – for nearly his entire tenure as a Hurricanes booster. The same agency that signed two first-round picks from Miami, Vince Wilfork and Jon Beason, and recruited dozens of others while Shapiro was allegedly providing cash and benefits to players. In interviews with federal prosecutors, Shapiro said many of those same players were also being funneled cash and benefits by his partner at Axcess, then-NFL agent and current UFL commissioner Michael Huyghue. Shapiro said he also made payments on behalf of Axcess, including a $50,000 lump sum to Wilfork, as a recruiting tool for the agency.

In an effort to substantiate the booster’s claims, Yahoo! Sports audited approximately 20,000 pages of financial and business records from his bankruptcy case, more than 5,000 pages of cell phone records, multiple interview summaries tied to his federal Ponzi case, and more than 1,000 photos. Nearly 100 interviews were also conducted with individuals living in six different states. In the process, documents, photos and 21 human sources – including nine former Miami players or recruits, and one former coach – corroborated multiple parts of Shapiro’s rule-breaking.

While the NCAA declined comment, Miami associate AD for communications Chris Freet told Yahoo! Sports the school has been cooperating with an NCAA probe to unravel claims the booster has made to investigators. He added that the university unsuccessfully sought an interview with the booster last summer.

This package of Axcess Sports documents shows Nevin Shapiro’s stake in the agency, which signed two first round picks from the Hurricanes - Vince Wilfork and Jon Beason. It includes a balance sheet from 2007 which shows Shapiro’s initial $1.5 million investment in the agency in 2003. It also shows the year-end filing reports from the agency which add Shapiro as a co-owner in February 2004 - more than a year after Shapiro says he first started recruiting Miami players for the agency. Shapiro remained on the filings through 2008, when the agency eventually halted operations. PDF file

(Special to Yahoo! Sports)

“When Shapiro made his allegations nearly a year ago, he and his attorneys refused to provide any facts to the university,” 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.”

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.

Perhaps most troubling is Shapiro’s sustained impropriety could trigger the NCAA’s “willful violations” exception to its four-year statute of limitations. 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.

Some of Shapiro’s allegations were outlined in multiple recorded interviews with federal prosecutors – brought on by charges he misappropriated nearly $83 million in investor funds with a fraudulent grocery distribution business. And it was Shapiro’s cooperation in his Ponzi case – which encompassed both fraud and money laundering – which opened the door to his conduct at Miami.

“He agreed to cooperate with the government,” said Shapiro’s attorney, Maria Elena-Perez. “He had to be 100-percent truthful. And it has never been the government’s position that he lied about his conduct or the conduct of others in his discussions with the U.S. Attorney’s office.”

“Once Miami was on the table, it opened up everything in that realm. And his cooperation with the NCAA was another level of him coming clean about conduct that wasn’t above board with investor funds – specifically things he was doing with everyone in the UM athletic program.”

Ultimately, what documents show is a booster who broke NCAA rules while simultaneously making tens of thousands of dollars in annual contributions to Miami’s athletic program. All while incurring massive bills aligning himself socially with a stable of Miami players. A stable that features multiple elite players such as Wilfork, Beason, Andre Johnson, Devin Hester, Kellen Winslow Jr., Antrel Rolle and many more – including at least 12 players currently on the Hurricanes roster.


Nevin Shapiro with defensive tackle Vince Wilfork at Miami’s team awards banquet following the 2002 season.

Here’s the thing: Luther Campbell was the first uncle who took care of players before I got going,” Shapiro said, referring to the entertainer notorious for supplying cash to Miami players in the 1980s and 1990s. “His role was diminished by the NCAA and the school, and someone needed to pick up that mantle. That someone was me. He was ‘Uncle Luke’, and I became ‘Little Luke.’

“I became a booster in late 2001, and by early 2002, I was giving kids gifts. From the start, I wasn’t really challenged. And once I got going, it just got bigger and bigger. I just did what I wanted and didn’t pay much mind toward the potential repercussions.”

In 15 prison interviews with Yahoo! Sports and hundreds of telephone and email interactions, Shapiro laid out a multitude of reasons for blowing the whistle on his illicit booster activity. Chief is his feeling that after spending eight years forging what he thought were legitimate friendships with players, he was abandoned by many of the same Miami athletes he treated so well. He told Yahoo! Sports that following his incarceration, he asked multiple players for financial help – either with bail money, or assistance to individuals close to the booster. Shapiro admitted some of those inquiries included angry letters and phone calls to players whom he provided benefits.

“Some of those players – a lot of those players – we used to say we were a family,” Shapiro said. “Well, who do you go to for help when you need it? You go to your family. Why the hell wouldn’t I go to them?”

Now feeling outcast, the booster said his goal is to rip away the façade of ‘The U’, and reveal an ugly truth about one of the country’s most celebrated college football programs.

“Yeah, I’m guilty,” said Shapiro, whose plea to counts of securities fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud and money laundering resulted in a 20-year federal prison sentence. Shapiro also has one prior conviction on his record – an assault case from 1995 in which he pled guilty to punching a nightclub owner. Shapiro was sentenced to 18 months probation in that case.

“I’ve pled guilty to my crime,” the booster said. “I understand the public perception of me and that’s going to be what it’s going to be. My name has been dragged through the mud as much as it could be. But remember, when Jose Canseco told the truth about the steroid problems in baseball, he was considered a dirty rat. Everyone said he was bitter, he was out of baseball, he’s out of money, he was this and that. But he changed the face of the game. I don’t care if I change the face of the game. But I’m telling the truth about what happened at Miami. It’s the truth. And you tell me, why should the University of Miami be exempt from the truth?”

Continued..................
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Old 08-16-2011, 09:57 PM   #9
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LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL This story has a little of everything I despise....democrats, New England Patriots, and the biggest DB from the team we beat in the NC game. Is this a dream or reality? LMAO!!!!!!
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Old 08-16-2011, 10:03 PM   #10
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If they can prove these allegations, this is on the same level as SMU...........really puts our rule violations in perspective..............

Auburn is next.............mark it down......
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