Miami Hurricanes Football Scandal: Making a Case for the Death Penalty

Stacey MicklesCorrespondent IIAugust 18, 2011

CORAL GABLES, FL - DECEMBER 13:  Former Temple University football coach Al Golden, 41, speaks to the media after being introduced as the new head coach at the University of Miami  on December 13, 2010 in Coral Gables, Florida.  Golden is replacing Randy Shannon, who was fired November 27 after a 7-5 season  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

By now, the shock is over after hearing that the University of Miami is under NCAA investigation.  After hearing all that has gone down at the “U” these past 10 years, I don’t know if shock is the right word to use. How about stunned, unbelievable and wow?!

Nevin Shapiro and the administration at the University of Miami apparently have been very busy these past few years. Shapiro, who is now serving time in prison for a Ponzi scam, decided to spill his guts to the feds and the NCAA. Boy, did he.

Shapiro’s interview was like Henry Hill in “Goodfellas”—he ratted out everyone. He ratted out the 72 players he bought, he ratted out the coaches, and he ratted out some administrators.

I guess Shapiro was like “Hey, if I’m going down, I’m taking you with me.” Shapiro gave not only money, but also hookers and yacht trips to players, too. The only thing missing was Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci.

The man even has a room named after him. Now, we know why.

It’s not really shocking that this took place. What was shocking was that it seems like everyone was in on it and that it has been going on for a long time. There have always been rogue boosters, but normally they worked alone or with an assistant coach or two. Shapiro had everyone in on it—including maybe the university president.

This case has to be up there with what happened at SMU in the 80s, when everyone was in on it, even the governor at the time, who was an SMU alum. So far, the NCAA has said they will not make this a death penalty case, which is a joke.

How do you not suspend a program for a year with all this going on? Basically, whatever the NCAA decides to do will be the closest to the death penalty as you can get, so why not suspend the program?

And yes, I know the argument that it will hurt the kids, but forcing them to endure losing seasons for the next four or five years is just as bad. Most of them didn’t sign up for this and neither did head coach Al Golden. How do you recruit players now?

If the NCAA doesn’t suspend the program for a year, the University of Miami should take the initiative and do it themselves—especially if they are serious about cleaning up and changing the image of their program.

It would not only be the right thing to do, but it is the only thing to do.