Miami Hurricanes Taken for a Ride by a Con Man

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Miami Hurricanes Taken for a Ride by a Con Man
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - OCTOBER 03: Quarterback Jacory Harris #12 of the Miami Hurricanes celebrates with teammates after a victory over the Oklahoma Sooners at Land Shark Stadium on October 3, 2009 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Miami defeated Oklahoma 21-20. (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

I’ve never been much of a Miami Hurricanes fan. They were always a little slimy for me. I didn’t like the bravado, the dirty play or scandalous behavior of the 1980s and '90s Hurricanes. 

Sorry if I seem less cool for that. I liked Notre Dame back then. I do still like 2 Live Crew, though. 

I know it was popular to feel pity and respect for "The U" and their plight after a very compelling and well directed 30 for 30 about the Hurricanes. But I still have trouble respecting the players of that time, though they were very talented. 

But hey, we’re talking about sports and personal preference here. You can love those years of Miami Hurricanes football, and I won’t think any less of you. 

And I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to stick up for the reputation of the Miami Hurricanes a little bit here, and question Nevin Shapiro’s motivation for his tell-all interview with Yahoo Sports' Charles Robinson. 

And honestly, that dude needs a reality check, and to remember he made his bed, or cot in this case, and he has to lie in it.

I still wasn’t into the 2001-2010 Miami Hurricanes, but didn’t really have any animosity toward them either.

MIAMI - OCTOBER 04: Defenders Adewale Ojomo #97, Antonio Dixon #96, Allen Bailey #57 and Marcus Forston #99 of the Miami Hurricanes wait for the next play while taking on the Florida State Seminoles at Dolphin Stadium on October 4, 2008 in Miami, Florida. Florida State defeated Miami 41-39. (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

I do understand the plight of the black athlete who grew up poor, and is thrown into the limelight of D-I, championship-level college football in a city like Miami. I’ve always spoken freely about what a difficult transition that is, and the culture shock that both the athletes and mainstream fans and media experience.

I don’t make the excuse of “everybody does it,” for big college sports programs when they get busted for major violations. But it is obvious the system is broken, and is unfair to the student athlete who brings in big money for the University.

Shapiro says he feels betrayed because the people he gave money to as a Miami booster weren’t there for him when he got in legal trouble. Shapiro referred to those he affiliated with from the U as his family. Family? Really? 

Families do favors for each other and give each other gifts out of love. Shapiro did it for business, fame, attention and to feel important. He didn’t even attend the University of Miami, so how can he call them family?

Shapiro said, “Once the players became pros, they turned their back on me. It made me feel like a used friend.”

Dude, you were never their friend. You were a hanger-on. A booster who, like Luther Campbell said, did what a booster was supposed to do. 

You were just part of the experience to these kids. A fake-tanned, slimy ATM machine they went to because you were there, and willing to give them cash for returns down the road. 

And family doesn’t expect anything back. Shapiro wanted favors back from the University of Miami's players, and wanted them as clients for the sports management firm he was part of.

They didn’t know you as a person. And what they did learn about you was that you were a shady, ponzi-scheme running crook who didn’t even have all the money he claimed.

Shapiro vowed to reveal the real Miami Hurricanes, “They might be great players, but they’re certainly not great people.” 

Wow. What gall. There’s an old saying where I’m from, similar to the pot calling the kettle black, to describe Shapiro slamming the Hurricanes players for not being great people. We would say, “that sounds like a rat calling a possum an ugly, long-nosed, S.O.B. to me.”

These players probably felt like they had to take money from Shapiro, or that it was something they were supposed to do. They’re often left with little choice but to accept gifts due to NCAA restrictions on where they can get money from.

He was there, so they took advantage of it. He had become ingrained as part of the university’s culture. It’s probably why a lot former players Shapiro affiliated with and gave gifts too are staying silent. It’s very possible they felt anything involving Shapiro was condoned by the university.

And it’s the University of Miami’s fault for letting Shapiro hang around. But they were suckered in by the fast talking and dollar signs too. They have to coddle boosters to get the funds they need.

I have little doubt that some high-ranking members of the University of Miami and its athletic department knew about Shapiro’s doings. Miami will have to face some major punishment for major rules violations. Though I don’t think the “death penalty” is warranted. 

And this scandal may even create another coaching search for the University of Missouri’s basketball program, who hired former Hurricane hoops coach Frank Haith, primarily due to his “character.” 

So this time, this scandal can’t just be chalked up to those selfish Miami players or coaches looking to acquire the best talent and keep them happy. This was the work of a con artist. A lying, thieving sham of a man, and the U got taken for a ride.

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