Convicted Ponzi schemer Nevin Shapiro may have just killed the University of Miami football program. (And men's basketball program, but, really, who cares about that?) Yahoo! Sports reporter Charles Robinson just published a report detailing Shapiro's involvement in paying and providing impermissible benefits to players.
The report is 11 months in the making and includes more than 100 hours of jailhouse interviews with Shapiro (which he may have allegedly been paid for), and some of the allegations are corroborated by former players, other witnesses, and financial statements. Among the litany of wrongdoings: Shapiro paid for prostitutes for players, gave them access to his yacht (sometimes for hooker parties), and provided money and jewelry. The corruption involved 72 players over most of the last decade, and even some coaches (though neither Larry Coker or Randy Shannon is said to be involved).
It's too much to aggregate. Read it for yourself. Then join us as we go through the seven stages of grief, because holy shit folks, this is the kind of stuff that could warrant major NCAA sanctions. The kind of sanctions that could doom a once storied but now struggling program to another lost decade of irrelevance.
Ajsdikasjdikasjfdiasdfjsidgfjsoigjhdsifogjsdifjdsiofjdiofjasiofhasdfhdsfhsdkfjhsdklfsdhf. Hahkshd. We. Just. Can't. Oh. Sweet. Football. Lord.
Come on, Shapiro is a convicted Ponzi schemer. He may have gotten paid for the Yahoo! interview. He's a criminal mastermind well versed in pulling off schemes, manipulating financial records, and calling attention to himself. Did you read our cover story on him last year? He's exactly the kind of guy who could fool a journalist into believing these allegations.
How could this even happen under the nun-like Donna Shalala and her disciplined lackey Randy Shannon? Let's also remember for part of the time this all went on, former athletic director Paul Dee sat on the NCAA infractions committee. Given all of that and the program's previous history of running afoul of the NCAA, don't you think they'd be extra careful not to get involved in this kind of rampant bullshit? It's almost unimaginable that this took place.
It's one thing to get caught in a scandal while you're playing well. It's another thing to play crappy, but still be the spitting image of NCAA compliance. It's a totally fucking inexcusable thing to play like shit and still break NCAA rules like there's no tomorrow.
Is it just a coincidence that Shapiro's alleged involvement in funding this kind of shit happened in 2002? That was pretty much the last year the team was good. Ever since then we've seen promising talent come in and disappoint. And no wonder. Doesn't it make sense that access to things like hookers, cash, nightclubs and yachts would diminish someone's will to win? Would that not be something of a distraction? Wouldn't it undermine much of the discipline coaches are trying to implement on the field?
Fuck Shapiro, and fuck every single one of these players involved.
Then again, as fans of college football, we are complacent in a system in which lots of people make millions and millions of dollars while the players on the field make absolutely nothing.
An anonymous player says in the story, "[Tyrone Moss] had a kid while he was in college, a little Tyrone Jr. He comes in poor as (expletive) from Pompano and he's got a little kid to feed. I could barely feed myself. I can't imagine having to feed a kid, too. Of course he's going to take it when someone offers him $1,000."
It's a flawed, unfair system, and yet we as fans are guilty for not demanding or accepting changes.
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Pain and Sorrow
This will set in as soon as we see one of our friends who happen to be a Seminole or a Gator fans. Oh, it will be painful. How we taunted them over the years as their players got arrested, and ours remained clean. Of course they weren't committing petty crimes. They were too busy throwing it in hookers on yachts.
Release And Resolution
Besides, UM still has baseball! They're unaffected by all of this! Yes, the pure, untainted, angelic, multiple championship-winning University of Miami Baseball team! We'll always have you, our sweet, sweet princes of student athlete virtue.
Return To the Willingness To Love
Sack up. Next season is still around the corner. Nothing has been proven completely yet. It could be months, more than a year even, until the NCAA releases a ruling. Under most situations, a death penalty comes only after a program has been found guilty of other major infractions in the past five years. So, that's unlikely.
It's just football. It's cool. It's cool. Go Canes! OK, sorry if that felt forced. We're not there quite yet.
Related: Nevin Shapiro, Miami's Caligula