If you haven’t read Yahoo! Sports’ insane, incredibly well-sourced, documented and in-depth investigative piece on the NCAA violations at the University of Miami from 2002-2010, do yourself a favor and give it a read. It is as good a piece of sports journalism as I’ve read in years.
The report details the actions of Miami booster Nevin Shapiro and the thousands of impermissible benefits he provided to at least 72 athletes. Shapiro provided cash, prostitutes and threw lavish parties in his home and yacht, while also taking players out to restaurants and nightclubs. He also provided bonuses for good play and even an abortion for a stripper who was impregnated by one of Miami’s players.
Many will dissect the report and single out certain aspects of it, but until the NCAA fully investigates the matter and sends Miami a notice of allegations. Until then, all we’re worried about is the effect it will have on this year’s Hurricanes team.
The report cites 12 current players as being involved with Shapiro. Those 12 are: Ray-Ray Armstrong, Jacory Harris, Vaughn Telemaque, Olivier Vernon, Dyron Dye Travis Benjamin, Marcus Forston, Aldarius Johnson, JoJo Nicolas, Adewale Ojomo, Marcus Robinson and Sean Spence. Those players presumably received benefits before Shapiro was arrested for his part in a $930 million Ponzi scheme in 2010. Shapiro is currently serving a 20-year sentence.
The contact with the 12 current players ranges from dinners and drinks at nightclubs and trips to strip clubs, to plain old handing over cash fistfuls of cash.
If I were Al Golden – and after today, thank God I’m not – I would suspend all 12 of the players pending an investigation. This story has serious meat to it. These aren’t spurious allegations, this is an insanely serious matter. If Golden wants to score any points he’d withhold those 12 players from any game action until they are proven innocent or ruled ineligible officially.