How far desperate men fall when they go to prison. Nevin Shapiro has cast a very dark and potentially devastating shroud over Miami's football program.
In pages of revelations first revealed by Charles Robinson and Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports, the allegations and supporting corroboration made by Shapiro are damning.
More than 70 former and current Hurricanes players are tied up in the affair—names such as Devin Hester, Kellen Winslow Jr., D.J. Williams, Jon Beason, Jonathon Vilma and Jacory Harris, just to name a few.
Shapiro says he operated right under the university's nose as he provided benefits such as sums of cash to players, financing trips to high-end restaurants and hosting sex parties on his yachts.
According to the segments of the investigation obtained from Yahoo! Sports:
"Shapiro described taking a player to the Pink Pony strip club and paying for a dancer to engage in sex with the athlete.
"In the ensuing weeks, Shapiro said the dancer called one of his security providers and informed him that the player had gotten her pregnant during the incident. Shapiro said he gave the dancer $500 to have an abortion performed, without notifying the player of the incident."
With all of that said, I believe the uproar this has caused is slightly unfounded. The Hurricanes are not on probation, and I believe there will be some kind of significant consequence, but not what people are believing.
Here are four reasons why everyone should stop with the "death penalty" posts.
It has been some time since Miami has been in the spotlight of the NCAA. From the Pell Grant scandal in the late 1980s and early 1990s, to the incident in 1996 when Miami football players broke into the school's track captain's apartment and assaulted him, the team has not been a stranger to controversy.
The penalties were stiff against the Hurricanes in the mid-1990s, bowl bans and lost scholarships galore. Recruiting took a huge hit, and it may do so again.
The simple fact is this: The 'Canes are not currently on NCAA probation, and a lot of these allegations are after the term of years set for the NCAA statute of limitations, except if the NCAA stamps "repeat offender" status on the whole investigation.
Many people are pointing to the fact that the baseball team was on probation, so that means that the football team was on probation as well. I don't believe that theory for a New York second.
The university has complied with all NCAA inquiries in the past, so there would be no reason they wouldn't cooperate again.
First and foremost, Nevin Shapiro is a convicted felon. He was recently incarcerated for a 20-year term for his involvement in a $930 million Ponzi scheme.
He is also a hypocrite and a liar who has presumably wanted to take as many people with him.
According to Steve Gorten and Shandel Richardson of the Sun Sentinel:
"One former UM player named in the Yahoo! report who's now in the NFL told the Sun Sentinel on Wednesday that Shapiro appeared less frequently around the program as Shannon's tenure progressed.
"The player said he felt Shapiro was trying to 'extort' money from those players he felt he built relationships with over the years. He said conversations with Shapiro usually centered on how the former booster was struggling financially.
"Once Shapiro was incarcerated for his role in the Ponzi scheme, the player said, he began receiving letters from prison requesting money. According to the player, someone called on Shapiro's behalf and asked if he wanted to 'buy the story off him' or else face the allegations."
That seems like a man bent on retribution. He has been described as a man full of contradictions and false statements, as evidenced in him cheating investors out of more than $80 million.
Why should we believe what he says?
The NCAA has been criticized as of late for not being harsh enough on universities and athletic programs guilty of impropriety.
NCAA president Mark Emmert has been presumed as of late to be preparing to take a harder stance on impropriety across all of college sports.
He said this about the mess in Miami:
"We'll just to have wait and see what the real facts are when it's finalized, and we'll go from there. But this is very troubling, and it points out the real need for us to make changes and to make them thoughtfully and aggressively."
That can't be good for the Hurricanes. With all of the allegations coming to the surface, everyone in Hurricane Nation is concerned as to what may or may not happen.
Stay tuned as the NCAA continues the investigation. People will not soon forget how Ohio State and USC were investigated by the NCAA committee chaired by Miami's own former athletic director, Paul Dee.
It is worth noting that the "death penalty" has only been used five times in NCAA history, with the most notable being the Southern Methodist University punishment from the 1987 and 1988 seasons.
The "death penalty" left SMU's football program in ruins for years after the scandal and ensuing punishment, and NCAA enforcement staff has stated they would not so easily hand it down again, comparing it to an "atomic bomb."
People shouldn't worry about all of this just yet.
I say this because information is still being gathered, questions are still being asked and it's going to take a while to unravel all of Shapiro's claims.
The NCAA has been up to their necks in the USC, Ohio State, Auburn and now Miami messes. Only time will tell what kind of penalty the school will face in light of such allegations.
To some, it will seem that David (Shapiro) has killed Goliath (The Hurricanes football program) and brought into even hotter scrutiny all of the wrongdoing and taint that exists in all of college football.
To others, the accusations will seem like the last stand of a desperate man wishing to see the unraveling of one of the country's most storied college football programs. Shapiro has stated in multiple interviews that he did all this because he could, and he is now dragging the university through the mud because he felt abandoned by the people he thought were his friends.
He thinks he knows abandonment and "feeling like a used friend?" Just ask the people he stole millions of dollars from.