Origins of the Problem Are Not at the University of Miami
On August 16th, Yahoo Sports writer, Charles Robinson, after an 11 month investigation, dropped a bombshell on the University of Miami athletic program as well as the rest of college football.
Robinson wrote a lengthy, descriptive article in which he discussed that at least 72 former and current Miami players received financial benefits from convicted felon and Ponzi schemer Nevin Shapiro.
Shapiro claimed he provided improper benefits to Hurricane players from 2002 to 2010. In the investigative report are numerous photos of Shapiro with former Miami greats and current NFL players. Some notable names mentioned who are currently in the NFL were: Jonathon Vilma, Kellen Winslow Jr., Antrel Rolle, Vince Wilfork and Willis McGahee.
Now current Hurricane players are in hot water for their connection with Shapiro as well. Up to 13 players, including starting quarterback Jacory Harris, linebacker Sean Spence and receiver Travis Benjamin, were declared ineligible for their possibly receiving benefits from Shapiro.
Miami head coach Al Golden asked the NCAA to reinstate his players. The NCAA is conducting further investigations to determine whether these players will be eligible to play next week or at all this season. Coach Golden is also facing the possibility that the NCAA might dish out the "death penalty" to his football team. After all these are major allegations against the athletic department and the school.
This is one of the numerous college football scandals that have happened during the summer.
Ohio State University had an extremely rough summer. The NCAA found out former Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel had prior knowledge that Terrell Pryor and other players were selling their memorabilia in exchange for tattoos. Despite being aware of these violations he failed to notify the NCAA at the time. Ohio State asked their sweater vest legend to resign as head football coach.
University of North Carolina faced sanctions after the NCAA discovered that players received up to $27,000 in jewelry and free trips to Miami.
USC had their 2004 national championship stripped after the NCAA became aware of a never-ending list of improper benefits that Reggie Bush received while enrolled at USC. USC received a two-year postseason ban last year, but was officially stripped of their title during the offseason.
All of these things trigger a few questions in the minds of college football fans: How far will athletic departments go in order to compete at a high level? How long has this been going on? Will this change the outlook of college football?
The elicitation of improper benefits has been going on for decades. With the growing social media these problems within each university have become everyone's business.
Despite all of these punishments the NCAA will eventually impose on Miami, OSU and other universities, these corruption issues will continue to occur as long as college football remains a multi-million dollar industry.
Many times players begin to rely on boosters like Shapiro because the university prohibits providing extra benefits.
Don't get me wrong, I believe that an education at an accredited university is priceless, but when a college football team is producing millions of dollars in revenue, their star players will find benefits being thrown their way.
Eventually, the NCAA will have to allow some type of financial compensation. The integrity of the sport is at stake.
Many traditionalists believe that college athletes should not be paid because it will drastically change the outlook of major college athletics.
As of right now the policies and regulations that the NCAA has in place are not effective. Athletic programs will continue to fall if the NCAA doesn't alter their rule book.
Something's gotta give or nothing's going to change.
Erick Fernandez is the creator of I Want to Thank My Hood & My Psychiatrist
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