So yesterday news broke that the NCAA was talking to Nevin Shapiro, a guy currently in jail for running a Ponzi scheme. Before he was the Miami Madoff however, he was an ardent booster of the Miami Hurricanes, and is now willing to talk about some violations he happened to be involved in. The investigative team at Yahoo! Sports, the people who brought you the scandals at UNC, Oregon, Ohio State, and, well, everywhere else, has gotten Shapiro to spill the beans, and whatever you were imagining? It's worse.
Shapiro was unquestionably a booster – he gave a $50,000 check to UM president Donna Shalala at a basketball fundraiser – while also being part owner of a sports agency that signed a couple of Hurricanes when they went pro. He provided 39 players or recruits with prostitutes, both in hotels and on his yacht. He offered cash bounties to players for big hits. He gave players jewelry, cash, meals, travel, and lodging, paying for strip club visits, throwing parties on his yacht, and facilitating a stripper's abortion unbeknownst to the impregnating player. He took Frank Haith, Miami basketball coach until last summer, on at least one strip club trip, and also alleges that numerous football assistants brought recruits around for Shapiro's help in getting them to sign with the Hurricanes.
Read the entire thing. Marvel as athletic director Paul Dee, chairman of the NCAA's committee on infractions, honors Shapiro on the field. Watch as he gets the athlete lounge named after him with a $250,000 pledge of well, Ponzi-money. And then bask in Shapiro's own disappointment when Miami loses 48-0 to Virginia in 2007:
As a major booster to the program Shapiro had access to the Orange Bowl press box and that’s where he spotted David Reed, the school’s associate athletic director for compliance. Shapiro felt Reed had been implementing rules that were too stringent, trying to keep boosters and players apart.
To Shapiro, the results of Reed’s efforts were manifesting themselves on the field. A once-powerful program was a competitive disgrace.
"So I tried to kick his ass," said Shapiro, who despite standing just 5-foot-5 was always willing to fight. "I was screaming at him, calling him a sissy over and over, at least five times. I shouted, ‘these guys are a bunch of (expletives) playing for a real (expletive) (head coach Randy Shannon) and, by the way, you’re a (expletive) too.’
But what you're really asking is, how does this affect North Carolina? And the good news, it doesn't! Shapiro become involved with Miami in 2001, after Butch Davis had left the program for the NFL, and of all the recruits Shapiro was involved with, none of them ended up in Chapel Hill. The cynical part of me actually though this might put a ceiling on the sanctions UNC could receive. After all, Miami's situation is much, much, worse. Death penalty worse. Then again, the NCAA might just hammer everybody, out of pure fury.
Also, you may want to add Al Golden to the its of potential UNC coaches. I get the feeling he may no longer be confident in the long term job prospects in Miami.