So if you’ve not heard the story, Yahoo Sports – 20,000 pages of financial business records, 5,000 pages of cellphone records, a 1,000 photos, 100 interviews, 6 different states, 21 human sources, 9 former players, and a former coach all corroborated on multiple parts of a story, a story told by a booster named Nevin Shapiro, who basically funded for a decade Miami Hurricane players…it’s ugly!
This makes my Ohio State case look like a traffic ticket, so the good news for Big 10 fans…no yachts in Columbus! I mean, Big 10 boosters compared to this, use coupons!! This is unbelievable. Now in Law & Enforcement, there is a term “lawful but awful” what does that mean? Sometimes in Law & Enforcement you gotta do things that are legal, they’re lawful…but god they look bad! You’re in an ally, 2 cops, bad guy has a gun (you think) threatens the cops, you’re going to beat him with a stick. It’s lawful, you’re trained to do that, but on the local news…it looks bad! It looks really bad to the rest of us, “lawful but awful”.
The question now – like this stuff in Miami all looks awful, pictures, school president, jewelry store, $50,000 to this player or $40,000 to that player… but, how much of it is lawful? How much of it is looking bad, but not un-lawful? I will say this, if you read what the guy who did the reporting said – read the bite from Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports, I mean you’re starting to read words like prostitutes “…You’re talking about things like cash, gifts, we’re talking about a man in Nevin Shapiro, because of the fact that he had millions and millions of dollars, had multi-million dollar homes and this is where he would host players, feed them, entertain them in his house, at one point a $6 million dollar yacht, jewelry and even in some cases he said that he had a prostitution service provided to 40 different individuals over the 8 years that I was there”
Now remember this, most college football programs are in rural towns – Tuscaloosa, Tallahassee, West Lafayette etc. USC and Miami are in major cities with pro sports teams and agents and wanna be’s everywhere. USC got in trouble because Pete Carroll ran a loose program, USC has since hired Pat Hayden – above reproach, rigid and strict. Like nobody is shocked by this stuff – I mean, for anybody who has covered sports for a long time, its grosser than what you thought, it’s uglier than you thought, but it is the University of Miami. We’ve all sorta known, the NCAA changed its rules years ago – they sent out a tape and it was basically Miami Hurricane football with a bunch of “don’t do this, don’t do that” on it. It has always been a sexy program that runs somewhere between NFL and college football – it’s neither, but it’s somewhat closer to the NFL than Purdue I’d say.
The truth is, when you live in a LA or Miami, you live in tornado alley, you live in a flood zone – it’s inherit in your business every day. So you have to be overly rigid because you’re living on fault lines in LA and Miami – it is easy to get in trouble in Coral Gables, not that easy in Ames, Iowa. Here is what I think is unbelievable – and I think Miami is in big trouble. USC lost 30 scholarships, 4 years probation and got a 2 year bowl ban…it wasn’t even a primary booster! It was one player for 15 months. In Miami, this was a booster, over 10 years, over 75 players, like coaches knew about this and here’s what’s also interesting. Paul Dee is a big deal in Miami, he was the athletic director in Miami for years. Do you know who handed down the sanctions to USC? Paul Dee.
When he handed down those sanctions – for one player mind you that played for 15 months, here’s what Paul Dee…here’s why he was unwavering and rigid against USC. “There was a finding of a lack of institutional control [hmm] on the part of the institution. There were 3 areas where that occurred, the failure to heed to clear warnings and warning signs, the failure to be proactive [proactive?] when the evidence was presented to themselves and the failure to have effective monitoring within the athletics program” Proactive? Monitoring? Warnings? Has there ever been a program in the U.S. that we’ve all known about, that the NCAA has known, that has always been running a little loose no more than Miami?
So Paul Dee – who was unwavering, relentless, no excuses “don’t want to hear it…you’ve got to be proactive” attitude. Excuse me? 15 years ago the NCAA changed it’s rulebook because of Miami. You’ve got to monitor? Excuse me…this guy was a booster! You knew him! Donna Shalala knew him. Monitor?? According to the reports, Vince Wilford of the Patriots…$50,000 in lump sum payment with multiple cash gifts, Antrel Rolle of the Giants got $40,000 along with a $7500 watch, $1500 in game bounties, Frank Gore of the Niner’s got $20-30,000 in cash, Devin Hester got over $10,000, Willis McGahee got lots of cash and plane tickets, Jonathan Vilma of the Saints got cash gifts and game bounties as well…again, it is really really ugly. Stay tune for more rants as this new saga in college football starts to unfold.