Nevin Shapiro: 10 People with Most to Lose in Miami Booster Scandal

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IAugust 17, 2011

Nevin Shapiro: 10 People with Most to Lose in Miami Booster Scandal

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    After the recent news that booster Nevin Shapiro allegedly provided "thousands of impermissible benefits" to at least 72 Miami Hurricanes football and basketball athletes, it's time to start looking forward to how this will affect those associated with the Hurricanes.

    A total of 12 current Hurricanes football players were allegedly involved in Shapiro's dealings, not to mention a former athletic director who handed out the USC sanctions as a chairman of the NCAA Committee on Infractions in 2010.

    What will ultimately happen to the Hurricanes football program won't be ironed out until 2012, but in the meantime all 12 Hurricanes players are at risk of being deemed ineligible for the upcoming football season.

    Some of these players had recently been projected as first-round picks in the 2012 NFL Draft. If they are deemed ineligible, their stock will likely slide due to those dreaded "character concerns." Think former North Carolina defensive lineman Marvin Austin, who was a legitimate top 10 talent in the 2011 NFL Draft but slid to No. 52 overall because of allegedly receiving improper benefits while at NC.

    As for basketball, one current player—senior DeQuan Jones—was involved in the scandal, not to mention the former Hurricanes head coach.

    Here are the 10 people associated with the Miami Hurricanes who stand to lose the most after the recent allegations.

10. Olivier Vernon, DE

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    Hurricanes junior defensive end Olivier Vernon was the team's sack leader last season, finishing with six sacks and 39 tackles in 11 starts.

    This was supposed to be the season he continued on his progress and built his stock up in the NFL.

    Vernon not only allegedly received the usual food, drinks and entertainment Shapiro provided to many athletes, his high school's booster club also received a welcome $1,000 from Shapiro at the behest of his father.

    Thanks, Dad.

9. Sean Spence, LB

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    Senior linebacker Sean Spence finished with 110 tackles, 2.5 sacks and two forced fumbles last season on his way to All-ACC honors and he's on most All-ACC lists this preseason.

    Spence not only was allegedly treated to Benihana and The Cheetah strip club by Shapiro, Shapiro also said he gave Spence money at bowling outings.

    Spence now may have to forgo his senior season leading up to the 2012 NFL Draft.

8. Jim Larranaga

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    Of all the years to join the Miami Hurricanes, former George Mason basketball coach Jim Larranaga chooses this one.

    In his 14 seasons with the Patriots, Larranaga led them to five NCAA Tournament appearances and an improbable Final Four run in 2006.

    Welcome to Miami basketball, Jim!

7. Frank Haith

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    Frank Haith may have left his wheelings and dealings behind him at the University of Miami, but they will surely follow him as the new basketball coach at Missouri.

    Haith allegedly acknowledged the transfer of $10,000 to forward DeQuan Jones' family upon his commitment to Miami. He even allegedly thanked Shapiro later on in the summer of 2008.

    And Larranaga thought a 43-69 career record was all Haith left him.

6. Jacory Harris, QB

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    Let's face it, senior quarterback Jacory Harris needed this season to prove to NFL scouts that he was worth a pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.

    Sure, Harris received a few drinks from Shapiro, as well as VIP access to nightclubs, but he also earned cash for his skills in pool tournaments.

    Hey, if he's deemed ineligible for this season, at least Harris has a chance as a pool pro.

5. Al Golden

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    Hurricanes coach Al Golden joins Jim Larranaga as the coaches with the pleasure of taking over programs that are headed for massive sanctions.

    Golden is predictably peeved, recently blasting the university for not telling him of Shapiro's dealings.

    Said Golden, via FoxSports.com:

    "If they knew this was percolating, I believe they did have a responsibility to tell me."

    On top of losing Golden's trust, Miami has also set up Golden to have a miserable opening campaign with the Hurricanes, with numerous stars at risk of being deemed ineligible.

    Golden and Larranaga can share horror stories with each other after this season is through.

4. Ray-Ray Armstrong, Safety

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    Junior Ray-Ray Armstrong has regularly been mentioned this offseason as a potential first-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, possibly even the No. 1 safety selected.

    He made Second Team All-ACC last season and is seen as a critical part of the Hurricanes' defense in 2011.

    Shapiro said he gave an equipment manager "$2,000 to $3,000 in cash" to show Armstrong, Andre Debose, and Dyron Dye a good time. You know, the usual food, drinks, and strip clubs.

    Armstrong also allegedly received one of Sean Taylor's game-worn jerseys.

    At least Armstrong has his senior season, but it still likely delays his NFL career, not to mention hurts his stock in the draft.

3. Marcus Forston, DT

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    The player most affected by the allegations, defensive tackle Marcus Forston was seen as almost a lock for the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft coming into this season.

    He's the anchor of the Hurricanes' defensive line and when healthy he's been absolutely dominant. He was labeled as possibly "the best nose tackle prospect in the past five years" by Rivals.com in 2009, and ranked ahead of Marvin Austin, who was just grabbed in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the New York Giants.

    Forston was another player treated to Benihana and The Cheetah strip club.

    Now his junior season is in jeopardy, as well as his stock going forward.

2. Donna Shalala

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    University of Miami president Donna Shalala may resign as early as this week after the most recent allegations.

    Shapiro made it clear that Shalala was aware of his pursuit of recruits, and said she would often walk from her office just down the hall to a suite Shapiro rented out infamous for wild parties, excessive drinking and gambling (hey, if that doesn't convince recruits to stay I don't know what will).

    Shalala also happily accepted a $50,000 check from Shapiro that later became known as Ponzi money.

    Shalala's reputation as a university president has not only taken a hit, her reputation as a world leader has, as well.

    She was the former Secretary of Health and Human Services in the Clinton White House.

    Shalalala, Shalalala, hey, hey, hey, goodbye!

1. Paul Dee

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    Paul Dee was the University of Miami's athletic director from 1993-2008.

    From 2002 on, he oversaw Shapiro's wheelings and dealings.

    The worst part of all of this?

    Dee was a chairman of the NCAA Committee on Infractions in 2010 when it handed down stiff sanctions against USC for the Reggie Bush fiasco.

    “High-profile players demand high-profile compliance,” Dee said while announcing USC’s sanctions.

    The Biggest Hypocrite of 2011 award goes to...Paul Dee! (Dee could not be here to accept this award tonight)

    Dee appears to be receiving the harshest criticism over everyone, and for good reason.

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