The Miami Hurricanes Appear To Be In Deep Deep Trouble

Nevin Shapiro University of MiamiFor some time now, the media has been all over the NCAA investigations into the football programs at USC, Ohio State, Tennessee, North Carolina, Oregon and Boise State, among others 

Now, a Yahoo! Sports report, written by Charles Robinson, identifies a program that was totally out of control and may receive the most severe sanctions of them all. 

Robinson also broke the Reggie Bush/USC scandal for Yahoo!. So, this story will most likely be much more than just allegations.

Former University of Miami (FL) booster Nevin Shapiro is currently serving 20 years in federal prison for his part in a $900 million Ponzi scheme. Between 2002-2010, Shapiro was reportedly  involved in numerous NCAA violations, including paying players and recruits, jewelry purchases, hiring of strippers for sex parties in hotels and on a yacht, paying bounties for injuring opposing quarterbacks, travel, private nightclub parties, steering Hurricanes stars to an agency he partially owned and even paying for an abortion for the girlfriend of a player. 

The benefits to more than 70 players, including a number of current NFL standouts, are estimated in the millions of dollars. The above photo shows Shapiro with now Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Kellen Winslow.

Robinson cites documents, photographs and personal interviews in his exhaustive expose. He also notes that the NCAA began investigating Shapiro's illegal activities in March. 

One of the amazing ironies of this story is the role played by former Miami athletic director Paul Dee. Dee served on the NCAA's Committee on Infractions for nine years. During his stint, he presided over the accessing of penalties to many institutions, most notably the heavy sanctions levied against the USC football program, as a result of the Bush improprieties.  

Dee is famous for saying “high-profile players demand high-profile compliance.”

Mr. Dee must have thought those rules only applied to other “high profile” universities.

Among the most interesting negatives, as far as the NCAA is concerned, is the assertion by Shapiro that four football coaches and three basketball coaches knew what was going on. 

Miami's football program won the national championship in 2001 and went 76-38 during Shapiro's nine season renegade run, but only 35-29 in the last five years. 

It is unlikely that the NCAA will shut the Hurricanes down completely, although it's possible. With that said, fans should definitely expect punishing sanctions to be imposed on the Canes.

One has to wonder if new football coach Al Golden wishes he would have stayed in the relative obscurity of his previous gig at Temple.