Miami Scandal Leaves Hurricanes in a Whirl

Posted: August 28, 2011 by Kodi in NCAA

Nevin Shapiro getting a little touchy feely with Jonathan Vilma.

Although he has left Miami fans and President Donna Shalala quoting Eric Cartman

“Can I at least put on some make-up, c’mon I want to look pretty when you F@#$ ME!”

The name you must all know, the dirtbag that so desperately wanted to be embraced by The U’s athletes, is Nevin Shapiro. Shapiro was able to become a millionaire through his company Capitol Investments USA, which was supposed to have bought wholesale groceries then distributing those goods in a more expensive market. He lured investors with promises of 10-25% commissions every month and had fraudulent financial statements that made his claims look true.

This paperwork said that Shapiro’s company was generating millions of dollars in annual sales and He went as far as having false tax returns reflecting that same revenue. The bottom fell out on Nevin Shapiro’s dream world in 2009 when he quit making payments to the people whose money he had been spending. By April of 2010 he was brought up on federal charges of securities fraud and money laundering.

In September of 2010 he pled guilty to one count of each and was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison and ordered to pay $82.5 million. Nevin Shapiro is now known as inmate #61311-050 in the Atlanta Penitentiary.  Before Shapiro even pled guilty to his charges, he had made claims to the Miami Herald that he was going to shed light on certain NCAA misconduct that took place on the University of Miami starting in 2001 and continued until his indictment.

In an exclusive investigation by Yahoo! Sports reporter Charles Robinson and contributor Rand Getlin, they uncovered just what Shapiro or should I say inmate #61411-050 was up to. I know a lot of people like to stick their heads up their asses and believe that this type of stuff doesn’t happen, but quit kidding yourself. The problem isn’t that it happened, but rather that they got caught and it wasn’t surprising that certain misconduct was taking place, but rather the specifics of that misconduct.

The Yahoo! Investigation was a lengthy one, sending Robinson searching through thousands of pages of paperwork from inmate #61411-050’s bankruptcy filing, cell phone records, multiple interviews, summaries from his federal case and thousands of “trophy” photos, with U athletes. Shapiro had no intention of dragging down the Hurricanes Athletic program until it was clear he was going down in a $930 million Ponzi scheme.

Among some of the alleged violations, Shapiro is the co-owner of a sports agency that funneled money to recruits and successfully signed Miami first-round picks Vince Wilfork and Jon Beason. Shapiro drug another name into the mud, his partner, former NFL agent and current UFL commissioner Michael Huyghue. Huyghue allegedly made a $50,000 lump payment to Wilfork as a recruiting tool towards he and Shapiro’s sports agency, Axcess Sports & Entertainment.

Inmate #61411-050 claims that he spent millions of dollars over his 9 year period of contributing to the deliberate delinquency of The U. He says that some of the benefits the athletes were given, but not limited to, was prostitutes, lavish parties in mansions and yachts, steak from four and five star restaurants, VIP bottle service in nightclubs, jewelry, tattoos, paid trips, bounties for wrecking opposing players, an abortion (for a prostitute, but he also claimed the player was unaware of the situation) and of course, straight cash homey.

Shapiro had very little respect for the student athletes he was providing goods to, saying in an interview that he “helped in certain ways. They’re gifted ball players, but just because you’re gifted doesn’t mean you have the mental also.” If you ask me it doesn’t sound like Shaprio has the mental also, or he has a little problem speaking proper English, but growing up in New York he doesn’t have any excuses. Shapiro went on to stroke his ego claiming that he “helped them in a lot of other ways. . . felt more than a friend” but realistically he was nothing better than a millionaire middleman. He used the money he was funneling through a Ponzi scheme to lure in these weak minded athletes, who he so desperately wanted to befriend.

Inmate #61411-050 has been linked to Hurricane Alumni WIlfork, Beason, Andre Johnson, Devin Hester, Kellen Winslow Jr., Antrel Rolle and a bunch of others, including 12 current players. His first interaction came with a young RB named Willis McGahee that he provided some home cooked meals to, but he claims it was the next year when he really started breaking rules, giving Miami Heat tickets to DE Andrew Williams, who played alongside Vince WIlfork who was connected to Shapiro throughout his entire career at Miami.

He bought big screen televisions for Williams’ and his roommates and admitted that he immediately enjoyed the company of what he believed was his new friends. It wasn’t long before Shapiro had stepped it up, when asked about getting recruits to pick Miami, Shapiro said “Hell yeah, I recruited a lot of kids for Miami”. He went on to explain that “with access to the clubs, access to the strip joint. My house. My boat, were talking about high school football players.” Continuing to explain just how important he was he told Yahoo! “not anybody can just get into the clubs or strip joints. Who is going to pay for it and make it happen? That was me.”

One of the greatest stories to come out of this investigation is Inmate #61411-050’s conduct during halftime of the 2007 Orange Bowl. The Hurricanes were down 31-0 against the Virginia Cavaliers and Shapiro was shitfaced and found his whipping boy in Miami’s head of compliance, David Reed. Shapiro demanded that Reed fight him, calling him a sissy, fagget and fucking pussy, among other things, but why was he so angry? Was it because the Canes were getting trounced? No, it was because he thought that Reed had too much oversight on relationships between players and boosters like himself.

In one of many phone interviews Shapiro said that “I understand the public perception of me and that’s going to be what it’s going to be.”  Even having the audacity to claim that his “name has been dragged through the mud as much as it could be. But remember, when Jose Canseco told the truth about the steroid problems in baseball, he was considered a dirty rat.” I don’t know if anyone has informed inmate #61411-050 that he is a convicted felon, spending 20 years in federal prison for fraud and that although Jose Conseco may have been right 90% of the general public still think he’s a pathetic douchebag.

Shapiro has made it clear that it wasn’t just the players that knew the types of benefits he was offering, actually that more than 7 coaches were aware of some sort of improper activities. These types of things happen, even at schools that look pristine from the outside, in the case of Ohio St. The problem with this story is the sheer shock of all the benefits offered by the mastermind of a near $1 billion Ponzi Scheme. Prostitutes, you mean somebody was paying women to have sex with these professional athletes, uh-hem, I mean student athletes.

That these privileged athletes were out drinking alcohol at fancy nightclubs, on yachts and in mansions, football players don’t partake in such disgusting conduct. Bullshit, this is what any realistic football fan knows, that these kids are held on pedestals from the final years of high school, until their career fizzles. College is a grooming tool for the NFL, especially at Universities like Miami, Ohio St., USC, but violations aren’t limited to those big schools. How are small schools to compete? They may not be able to offer what Shapiro did, but they do have something to give, because anything is better than nothing and if one school doesn’t press their luck than another will.

The real question is if this is what Miami had been offering its recruits, how the hell did any of them turn the Hurricanes down? Is it possible that some of these other big schools may have offered even more? Or is it that some of these kids that grow up struggling all of their lives and when their offered an early life of luxury their morals stop them from doing it? If so they chose Stanford or BYU and were never on Miami’s recruit board in the first place. This is THE U we’re talking about, some of the hardest, most bad ass players have come out of this school and now we know why they may have chosen to be a Hurricane.

Miami athletics will probably never be the same after the whirlwind that Shapiro has started, but it may be their own fault. Shapiro said that all it would have taken was one investigator, one person to follow some of the athletes around or asking the right questions, but that never happened. Did it not happen because Miami didn’t know about it, or did they not investigate it because they knew but didn’t really want to know, I believe it was the latter and any other good President and Athletic Director would have done the same.

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