Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Miami Hurricanes Hit By Tsunami

Via the Miami Herald:

An 11-month investigation by Yahoo! Sports alleged that [former booster Nevin] Shapiro “provided thousands of impermissible benefits to at least 72 athletes from 2002 through 2010,” that included cash, prostitutes, entertainment in his multimillion-dollar homes and yacht, paid trips to expensive restaurants and nightclubs, jewelry, bounties for on-field play, travel and, on one occasion, an abortion.”


The report said that the improprieties Shapiro alleged “would potentially breach multiple parts of at least four major NCAA bylaws — and possibly many more.” The four: “Bylaw 11 – involving impermissible compensation to coaches; bylaw 12, involving amateurism of athletes; bylaw 13, involving improper recruiting activity; and bylaw 16, involving extra benefits to athletes.”

The report also said Shapiro named 39 UM “players or prospective recruits who he says received prostitution paid for by the booster.”

CBS4 sports anchor Jim Berry had an exclusive phone interview with Shapiro on Tuesday afternoon in his Atlanta prison. “What do you think should happen here?” Berry asked Shapiro. Shapiro replied: “I can tell you what I think will happen.”

Berry: “What’s that?” Shapiro: “The [UM football program] death penalty.”

When asked by Berry if he had a “smoking gun” that could shut down UM football, Shapiro answered, “a tsunami.”

Shapiro, 42, of Miami Beach, is serving a 20-year prison sentence for overseeing a $930  million Ponzi scheme linked to his so-called wholesale grocery distribution business.

To go all in for mixing meteorological metaphors, this tsunami is just the tip of the iceberg for not just the Miami Hurricanes but college football itself. It’s long past time we admitted that it’s basically a professional sports league that offers degree programs as a sidelight.