FanDuel - WFBC

August 17, 2011

Miami booster and Ponzi schemer alleges illicit benefits for pretty much everyone who ever played for the Canes: Convicted fraudster Nevin Shapiro says he partied with and paid more than 70 current and former Miami Hurricanes football players. The NCAA has been investigating the allegations for the last five months, and if even a fraction of it is true, this could well lead to the death penalty for the football program.

posted by Etrigan to football at 01:52 PM - 18 comments

Wow!

posted by yzelda4045 at 02:47 PM on August 17

Wow, the ACC is getting hit pretty hard this year. UNC, GA Tech and Miami. At this rate, NC State will win by default. Hooray! Of course, they need to not get embarrassed by Duke this year.

posted by NoMich at 03:00 PM on August 17

That is some seriously deep shit UM are into, I wonder if this will get them death penalties for football and basketball.

posted by billsaysthis at 04:59 PM on August 17

I thought this story was a shady character making accusations that couldn't be backed up, but Yahoo Sports did an unbelievable amount of reporting to corroborate it. The U is toast.

posted by rcade at 07:08 PM on August 17

I'm curious to see what sort of tentacles this scandal will end up with. Purdue's QB (Robert Marve) is a Miami transfer, Missouri's basketball coach left Miami to go there, and Alabama has a couple of assistants from there. Not that any of those schools have necessarily done anything wrong, but the collateral damage could be interesting. I feel bad for Al Golden (one of the few people there I think is innocent), but I would say the death penalty is warranted if all of this is true.

posted by TheQatarian at 07:36 PM on August 17

This whole story is gross. They take a corrupt, morally bankrupt human being and give him access to impressionable and poor 18-22 year old kids. Of course, as they say, they are going to take the money offered. They are dirt poor with a kid to feed. And, then he is offering these kids prostitutes as well? A true dirt bag. Then, he decides to bring the whole thing down because it turns out they aren't really his friends and won't give him money. They are 18-22 year old kids hanging out with an old dude with lots of money!

I don't believe the NCAA would give Miami the death penalty for this. All they ever do is reduce scholarships and forfeit wins. They have only done it once to a football program, and that was much more egregious than anything alleged here.

posted by bperk at 10:03 PM on August 17

Then, he decides to bring the whole thing down because it turns out they aren't really his friends and won't give him money.

Dog, sleep, fleas. Either the U knew, or the U put nobody anywhere near their athletic program with a functioning moral compass.

posted by rcade at 10:19 PM on August 17

They have only done it once to a football program, and that was much more egregious than anything alleged here.

While, yes, SMU had prior violations that complicated things, I'm not so sure I call what they did "much more egregious". If the accusations stick, it's multiple coaches being fully aware that a booster was not only giving money, but illegal items like prostitutes to players. That's plenty egregious to me.

Now, I doubt the NCAA has the balls to hand down a death penalty over anything anymore, but I do think they have to come down pretty hard on Miami if the bulk of this stands.

posted by dviking at 11:05 PM on August 17

Does this mean that the Miami/Ohio State national championship game was never played?

posted by afl-aba at 07:24 AM on August 18

While, yes, SMU had prior violations that complicated things, I'm not so sure I call what they did "much more egregious".

SMU maintained a slush fund to pay their players, and continued the practice after they were put on probation. This is with approval of the athletic department, not knowing ignorance which characterizes most NCAA violations.

posted by bperk at 07:54 AM on August 18

If you think Miami should get the death penalty, get ready for the end of college football as we know it. This guy or someone like him is supporting college athletic programs all across the country.

posted by bender at 10:31 AM on August 18

UM player booster Luke Campbell thinks this guy was evil. How evil? Glad you asked.

posted by yerfatma at 10:36 AM on August 18

Poor ol' Ben. Just because he's kind of a dick shift supervisor at the Kinko's in Ames doesn't mean he's actually evil.

posted by NoMich at 10:38 AM on August 18

Does this mean that the Miami/Ohio State national championship game was never played?

Willis McGahee's knee remembers that game very well.

posted by BornIcon at 10:39 AM on August 18

UM player booster Luke Campbell thinks this guy was evil. How evil? Glad you asked.

On Ben's Facebook page it says that his activities include Rocking and Jokin but he does say that he 'hate it when I'm making a milkshake and boys just show up in my yard' so would that define him as being evil?

posted by BornIcon at 12:42 PM on August 18

Now, I doubt the NCAA has the balls to hand down a death penalty over anything anymore, but I do think they have to come down pretty hard on Miami if the bulk of this stands.

They came down pretty hard on USC over two players: Reggie Bush and OJ Mayo. I think the loss of post-season activity for two years and the loss of scholarships isn't putting a dent in their fortunes, and this is one of the stiffest penalties the NCAA has handed down in a long time.

If even half of this is true, it's pretty clear: Miami has thrown down the gauntlet to the NCAA. In spite of promises to cooperate with the investigation I really sense a "Yes we did all this, now what are you going to do about it" mentality at work here. The players involved with Shapiro are still practicing with the team and it's clear there's no intention to remove them anytime soon. They're daring the NCAA to do something to them. If the NCAA is serious about injecting college sports with any sort of integrity here, the Miami football program is going to have to disappear entirely for at least one year.

If you think Miami should get the death penalty, get ready for the end of college football as we know it. This guy or someone like him is supporting college athletic programs all across the country.

Everybody with any interest in college sports is watching this situation very closely, be they fans, boosters, ADs or university presidents. This decision, whatever it may be, will determine how big-name college run their programs over the next several years.

posted by NerfballPro at 01:32 PM on August 18

SMU maintained a slush fund to pay their players, and continued the practice after they were put on probation. This is with approval of the athletic department, not knowing ignorance which characterizes most NCAA violations

Well, yeah, I said that SMU had prior violations, but do you really think Miami's program was ignorant of the violations going on? For that matter, do you really think that most schools really are ignorant of their violations? I don't.

posted by dviking at 11:58 PM on August 18

Not content with the "Ben Laden" comparison, Campbell told ESPN yesterday the news was a lot like 9/11 for folks in Miami. At least he's maintained perspective in all of this.

posted by yerfatma at 09:00 AM on August 19

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