Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

16 Aug 2011

Renegade Miami Football Booster Spells Out Illicit Benefits To Players

A "sustained, eight-year run of rampant NCAA rule breaking" has been uncovered by Yahoo!'s investigative ninjas at the University of Miami. Former Hurricanes booster Nevin Shapiro, now in jail for his role in a Ponzi scheme, detailed to Charles Robinson how he gave benefits to at least 72 football players and estimated that the amount of money given to them was "in the millions."

Posted by: Rivers McCown on 16 Aug 2011

73 comments, Last at 07 Dec 2012, 7:19pm by lonso

Comments

1
by Sisyphus :: Tue, 08/16/2011 - 9:59pm

I understand having some swear to it is different but is this actually news?

2
by Rhombus (not verified) :: Tue, 08/16/2011 - 10:07pm

While I believe that most top tier college football programs are engaging in some sort of illicit activity, this... this is staggering. This goes beyond "improper benefits," and into the realm of the absurd. It does seem like this is just one guy who got out of hand and no one bothered to stop him, rather than a systematic organizational problem, but for something on this scale to happen surprises even me, a serious skeptic of ametuerism in college sports. I wonder how long it would have taken for the NCAA to figure this out if Shapiro hadn't confessed, and whether they would have released all the information. This is a black eye not only for the University of Miami, but the NCAA as well.

3
by Theo :: Tue, 08/16/2011 - 10:26pm

There's a big market and they are artificially keeping the athletes from getting into that market.
It WILL go wrong. You can punish these guys, you can punish Reggie Bush, but you'll be doing it forever.
On a sidenote, I've heard some guys on TV talk about "getting access to his yacht" but when I read this, it's a bit more than just access. Prositutes, drugs, an abortion and bounties on injuring players were included. Why don't the talking heads talk about that?

4
by Mr Shush :: Wed, 08/17/2011 - 6:19am

"It does seem like this is just one guy who got out of hand and no one bothered to stop him, rather than a systematic organizational problem"

If anyone in the college athletic department had been even slightly inclined to try to prevent this type of activity, it would have been stopped. I'd say that's indicative of a systematic organizational problem. The expectation ought to be effective, pro-active prevention on the part of colleges. I don't suppose that actually happens, anywhere, but any school where it doesn't ought to be considered complicit in whatever goes on.

5
by Insancipitory :: Wed, 08/17/2011 - 7:53am

I remember when the University of Washington was proactive with respect to Billy Joe Hobert, the program never really recovered from the NCAA's response. The NCAA doesn't want proactive, or prevention, they want money, and would like discretion.

9
by Mr Shush :: Wed, 08/17/2011 - 11:17am

Oh, don't get me wrong: the NCAA are the root of the problem. No organisation should make rules they aren't both able and willing to consistently enforce. If you find yourself in that situation, either relax the rules or improve your enforcement. Banning something that everyone does and only occasionally doing anything about it is not a good model.

31
by sundown (not verified) :: Wed, 08/17/2011 - 5:09pm

"If anyone in the college athletic department had been even slightly inclined to try to prevent this type of activity, it would have been stopped. I'd say that's indicative of a systematic organizational problem."

Without question. He claims numerous assistant coaches and others with the university were fully aware of what was going on. And one of the more damaging parts I've seen is that he got into a shoving match in a luxury suite with Miami's compliance officer, which prompted an investigation. Despite discovering he'd been keeping them in the dark about running a sports marketing business on the side, they still didn't do anything about it. That says to me that the major players were never in the dark, but wanted everybody else to remain so.

6
by Dean :: Wed, 08/17/2011 - 8:36am

First of all, as a Miami alum, it’s impossible for me to be objective. I’ll try anyway, but that doesn’t mean I’ll succeed.

Many people will use this as yet another tired excuse to (yawn) rail against the inequities of the NCAA system itself. These people simply miss the point entirely. Spare me. The players know the rules. They know the conditions that they voluntarily agree to work under. They chose this life. If they also chose to violate their agreements, then that is not somehow the NCAAs fault. As draconian as the rules appear, the rules exist because this sort of thing would only be worse if the rules were less strict.

We also do not at this point know the allegations are true. On the one hand, we have the word of a convicted felon who is doing 20 years – essentially for lying. So how do we know he’s not lying now? On the other hand, to be honest, the allegations do not have the ring of bullshit. I wish they did. They don’t.

We also will have a large group of people who will take disproportionate glee in seeing Miami, of all programs, fall. The outrage will be louder, longer, and certainly much more shrill simply because it’s the Hurricanes. Stories need heroes and villains. In college football, Notre Dame and Penn State go out of their way to be the old-fashioned, milk-drinking hero in the white hat. Penn State pulls it off. Notre Dame simply come off as sanctimonious assholes. On the other side of the spectrum, the hero is boring without a great villain, and NOBODY plays a better villain than the University of Miami. We’re everything class-warfare salivates over – a small wealthy, elite private school (and worse, one who is unashamed to promote black athletes) who comes into your house and beats you. You used to hate the Oakland Raiders. You hate Duke Basketball. You hate the Philadelphia Flyers. You hated the Boston Celtics in the 80s and the Miami Heat today. Why? Because they wear the black hat. But it means that when a program like that falters – the fans will take disproportionate glee in its demise. Sports Illustrated will give you comfort while they snipe at us. They’re just mad that some other publication got the scoop, not them. But they’ll take their shots like they always do. You love to hate us and the college football landscape is a more boring place when we’re not on top.

So what is to be done? Right now, nothing. Let the NCAA investigate. They’ll do their usual thorough job. If even a small fraction of the allegations have merit, the NCAA will come down hard. What is fair? I can’t even begin to be objective enough to say. But it’s not going to be pretty and college football will be less interesting without Miami around to hate.

12
by Led :: Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:53pm

"We’re everything class-warfare salivates over – a small wealthy, elite private school (and worse, one who is unashamed to promote black athletes) who comes into your house and beats you. You used to hate the Oakland Raiders. You hate Duke Basketball. You hate the Philadelphia Flyers. You hated the Boston Celtics in the 80s and the Miami Heat today. Why? Because they wear the black hat."

I agree Miami makes a good villain, but this makes no sense. Class warfare? You really think people like to hate Miami because it is a private school? Seems to me people hate Miami for the same reason they hated UNLV (a public school) and hated the Cowboys in the 90's. People tended to think (rightly or wrongly) that those teams were made up of bad people -- criminals, "thugs," etc. There's very likely a race element to it, but it has almost nothing to do with Miami being a private school. In fact, I'm sure most casual college sports fans don't even know that Miami is a private school and never thought about it. And lumping Duke basketball in with Miami makes even less sense because Duke is the classic "white hat" -- like Penn State and ND but more successful. Duke is hated, but for very different reasons and generally by different people than Miami.

14
by Southern Philly :: Wed, 08/17/2011 - 1:30pm

"So how do we know he’s not lying now?"

Because Yahoo has obtained photos and records backing up his claims. They also have former players corroborating the story. They didn't simply take his word for it. If you actually read the article you would know that.

22
by Dean :: Wed, 08/17/2011 - 2:55pm

Anybody can publish a story. Do I buy it? To a certain extent, yes. As I pointed out above. But lets wait for more than one news cycle before we decide that this is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Hell, for all we know, this could be just the tip of the iceberg.

24
by Southern Philly :: Wed, 08/17/2011 - 3:10pm

Where is anyone saying this is the whole truth? I'm saying this stuff is backed up by actual evidence (rather than kinds of evidence like hearsay). It's not just some guy making a claim with no basis.

And you're right, this is just the tip of the iceberg. It's only going to get uglier for Miami as we see how deep this stuff goes.

19
by jabrch :: Wed, 08/17/2011 - 2:43pm

"First of all, as a Miami alum, it’s impossible for me to be objective. I’ll try anyway, but that doesn’t mean I’ll succeed."

Dean - you are correct. You failed.

"we don't know if the allegations are true."

Seriously? Really? I mean - serious?

This has nothing to do with people wanting to see Miami "FAIL". It's not about FAILURE. It's about following the same damn rules that other Schools should be following.

If you prove Penn State has been half as Dirty as Miami - fine - I'll support giving them the death penalty. But don't compare your program to theirs - that's night and day. Compare Miami to Memphis...to Kentucky...to FSU...to Oklahoma....

It's not about hating "the black hat"....it's about hating CHEATERS. I begrudgingly respeced the Celtics. Same for the Raiders. Duke - yeah - but I hated them because of their student body - and the type of people on that team - not the "black hat".

Why am I happy to see justice coming to Miami? Not because of their black hat - but because I believe in justice. I'd love to see an open admission that "The U" CHEATED to do what they did. Let's hear all these guys in the NFL with all their pride for THE U be paraded in a courtroom and forced, under oath, to admit this dirt.

I don't need to wait for a mockery of an NCAA investigation. I've seen enough. I'm good moving right to the penalty phase...where the NCAA will fail to deliver significant punishment to Miami for some BS reason and all they will get is a minor slap on the wrist relative to the insane benefits they reaped cheating. There's no way the NCAA will deliver a fair penalty to Miami. They deserve the Death Penalty + everyone involved with that University's athletics should be permanently banned from being involved in any college or pro athletic event -- EVER. Won't happen - can't happen... But don't cry to me that the NCAA is going to "come down hard" and be "fair". They can't - because there's too much money at stake. If it was about fairness and what was right, Shalala would have fixed this when she took the job without waiting for this to happen.

Or maybe she didn't know...and the US troops won't take over Bahgdad.

23
by Dean :: Wed, 08/17/2011 - 2:56pm

" On the other hand, to be honest, the allegations do not have the ring of bullshit. I wish they did. They don’t."

Apparently you didn't read that. But judging by your post, you're exactly the sort of person I predicted. Your hatred of The U is getting in the way of your ability to be objective. At least I admit my bias from the start.

32
by sundown (not verified) :: Wed, 08/17/2011 - 5:15pm

It takes a hater of the U to make that assumption? After umpteen other cases of major colleges having issues like this, the only rational response is to assume that it's probably true. Can you name any cases like this that broke that turned out to be completely false and ended with the school NOT getting into trouble? On the other hand, every case that ended with violations being punished started out with alumni claiming it was all just a big lie. Every single one.

30
by Bnonymous (not verified) :: Wed, 08/17/2011 - 4:03pm

If youd bothered to pay attention youd see he actually CONTRASTED Miami and Penn State not COMPARED them. He complemented Penn State. But you were too busy foaming at the mouth to notice.

34
by RichC (not verified) :: Wed, 08/17/2011 - 5:24pm

"It's about following the same damn rules that other Schools should be following."

The problem is, there's not a single school out there following them.

41
by Southern Philly :: Wed, 08/17/2011 - 6:46pm

I'm confident that the academies are. So that's 3.

45
by zlionsfan :: Wed, 08/17/2011 - 10:41pm

I'd guess there are plenty more who, if they aren't strictly following the rules, aren't exactly attracting the kind of boosters who would put down enough money to make a difference. I mean, does anyone really believe that there are Sun Belt or MAC alums dumping money into, well, any aspect of their programs?

48
by Intropy :: Wed, 08/17/2011 - 11:32pm

The Citadel is rolling in corrupt cash.

52
by Mr Shush :: Thu, 08/18/2011 - 9:11am

You don't know the half of it. Trace the money back to its source, and you'll find it's part of an elaborate conspiracy by the Reapers.

55
by Eddo :: Thu, 08/18/2011 - 10:37am

OK, here's what we've got: the Rand Corporation, in conjunction with the saucer people, under the supervision of the reverse vampires, are forcing our institutions of higher education to provide illegal benefits to student-athletes. We're through the looking glass, here, people...

58
by Intropy :: Thu, 08/18/2011 - 1:42pm

Geez, man. Ever hear of Occam's Razor?

66
by apk3000 :: Fri, 08/19/2011 - 8:16am

Either you're not a Simpsons fan or we really need a sarcasm font.

67
by Mr Shush :: Fri, 08/19/2011 - 12:21pm

No, he was just noting a glaring omission in the Simpsons' otherwise cogent analysis: notorious Templar conspirator William of Ockham's brilliant scheme to deceive the masses into accepting lowest-common-demoninator, simplistic "common sense" explanations of phenomena is a keystone of this entire field of study.

70
by Intropy :: Wed, 08/24/2011 - 3:39pm

Sarcasm font. Earlier in that same episode Lisa explains Occam's razor in response to conspiracy theories:

Hey! Hey, hey, stop it! Stop it! Why are you guys jumping to such ridiculous conclusions? Haven't you ever heard of Occam's Razor? "The simplest explanation is probably the correct one."

57
by Intropy :: Thu, 08/18/2011 - 1:41pm

They've been collecting massive amounts of sovereign debt through various brokers for some time now, the effect of which has been to raise the spectre of impropriety not just of some shadowy renegades, but by the Citadel's managing council.

59
by tuluse :: Thu, 08/18/2011 - 1:59pm

nice

65
by Mr Shush :: Fri, 08/19/2011 - 7:42am

At'sonishingly well played, sir.

56
by c0rrections (not verified) :: Thu, 08/18/2011 - 11:49am

"...everyone involved with that University's athletics should be permanently banned from being involved in any college or pro athletic event -- EVER"

What the hell is this nonsense? What does being a pro athlete have to do with whether you took benefits in college?

61
by morganja :: Thu, 08/18/2011 - 2:19pm

I would agree nothing. But Roger Goodell obviously differs.

50
by Lance :: Thu, 08/18/2011 - 3:12am

Re: "We’re everything class-warfare salivates over – a small wealthy, elite private school (and worse, one who is unashamed to promote black athletes) who comes into your house and beats you."

Yeah, so just so you know, I can't think of a major college program that has some sort of racial agenda when it promotes its athletes. The notion that Miami has a special place in that regard is stupid. And let's also be clear: I know you're a Miami guy, but no one who knows anything about wealthy elite private schools puts Miami in that list. Sure, it's private. But we could list 30 other private schools that fit the bill of "elite" before we get to Miami.

And finally, I understand this notion to get all puffy-chested and brag that your school "comes into your house and beats you" but the reality is that well, you're sort of living in the past. In 2007, the "U" went 5-7. In '08, they went 7-6 before getting beat by Cal in the Emerald Bowl. In '09, they finished 9-4 ranked #19 in the polls. The next year, they went 7-6 again and got drubbed by Notre Dame in the Sun Bowl.

So for the last few years, there's been no sentiment that the "U" is any sort of dominating force that can only be stopped by (perhaps) overzealous NCAA officials looking to protect their favorite schools from the Miami Juggernaut. And again: sorry to burst your bubble, but few people feel like Miami is the pinnacle of the elite upper class.

No, this is mostly just an investigation based on actual evidence that shows that a rich private school (that was never considered to be academically or socially elite) broke a lot of rules so that its football team could be slightly better than average for the past few years. Sounds like a good plan...

69
by ClemsonMatt (not verified) :: Fri, 08/19/2011 - 2:20pm

Agreed. That comes across as a blanket accusation of racism, when the majority of nearly every team, including those promoted, are minorities.

And Miami's not having a particularly good run.

And in general, I've liked the Miami alumni I've tailgated with when they come to play Clemson.

On the other hand, Miami seems to have more non-alumni as fans (an assumption based on the complete lack of respect given to basic grammatical rules, a complete lack of class, and excessive wearing of AX body spray). There seems to be a pattern with nationally branded universities that have seen times of success (or have alot of players go pro) and are located in major cities that they attract turds. Ohio State (again, I've worked with and generally like their graduates, but their non-graduate fans' culture and behavior disgusts me), USC, UNC.....

These non-graduate fans also seem to think going to college is some elitist club where you're handed something, as opposed to where you have the opportunity to work for and earn....more opportunity to work hard and earn.

I don't think it's a coincidence those programs have issues either.

We've had our issues, but I think it's easier to police when your fans are nearly all graduates. I can only speak for myself, but I'd never pull a Shapiro since doing that tarnishes me and my degree personally.

51
by DavidL :: Thu, 08/18/2011 - 8:48am

Many people will use this as yet another tired excuse to (yawn) rail against the inequities of the NCAA system itself. These people simply miss the point entirely. Spare me. The players know the rules. They know the conditions that they voluntarily agree to work under. They chose this life.

What's their other option, exactly? If you want even a shot at professional football, you have to play in the NCAA. The NFL won't take anyone who isn't three years out of high school, and nobody's going to look twice at a guy who took three years off from the sport. If this were baseball, they could try and get a minor league deal instead of college, but oh wait, in football the NCAA is the minor leagues. So they go to college and play football, and if you're going to play a sport in college you have NO choice but to play by the NCAA's rules - it's a state-sanctioned monopoly. It works out better for athletes in less popular (and therefore less profitable) sports, but for football and basketball players, those rules are "you help us make millions upon millions every year, and we pay you in a degree we know damn well won't be worth the paper it's printed on."

Spare me.

54
by Dean :: Thu, 08/18/2011 - 10:32am

Is there any point there which hasn't been beaten to death in these forums already? Is there any new insight to bring to the table? That horse is dead. Beating it more isn't going to accomplish anything.

64
by Insancipitory :: Thu, 08/18/2011 - 7:24pm

tenderizing

62
by Spielman :: Thu, 08/18/2011 - 5:56pm

Ah, the old preemptive persecution complex. Well played.

7
by BigD1770 :: Wed, 08/17/2011 - 10:21am

These benefits provided by Shapiro are precisely the sort of compensation that should be explicitly ALLOWED (well maybe not the prostitution and abortions). Who was really hurt by any of this? Yeah, this guy, specifically, was a sleazeball. But allowing boosters to compensate college athletes out in the open is a great way let free market forces adequately compensate the players.

33
by sundown (not verified) :: Wed, 08/17/2011 - 5:19pm

If you want to do that, then fine. But call it a pro league and axe the relationship with the colleges. Because if you're going to pretend they're "student-athletes" then you're not going to be able to let the free market completely control what the kids get paid. Paying the kids some amount, I might buy into, because I hate how the NCAA and the schools exploit them by making millions and not sharing a dime with them. But the solution you suggest would end up being worse than the problem you're trying to fix.

35
by RichC (not verified) :: Wed, 08/17/2011 - 5:27pm

Free college tuition most certainly is payment.

It may not be what they'd make in the NFL, but walking out of college with no loans is certainly a form of compensation.

40
by sundown (not verified) :: Wed, 08/17/2011 - 5:55pm

Agreed. But it does bother me that the big universities and the NCAA get paid millions and none of it seems to funnel back to the players in any way beyond making sure the programs have great weight rooms and fancy stadiums. The example that really sticks with me is the O'Bannon brother of UCLA basketball fame who now has a suit winding its way through the courts against the NCAA. He'd been out of college for about a decade and was selling cars for a living when one day he discovers that the NCAA had allowed his likeness to be in video games. He never saw a dime and nobody even asked if he was okay with that...there needs to be some limit on those sort of things. The other thing I'd expect to see if the colleges and the NCAA actually cared at all about the players would be a fund to cover future education of athletes after their eligibility is over. That way, when some 23-year-old comes to the harsh realization that he isn't going to make it in pro ball, he could go back and get a degree.

Don't misunderstand...I see plenty of blame on the players' side, too. They blow their opportunity at getting a free college education and they frequently game the system. But the system absolutely views them as disposable pieces that get cast away the second they can't play any more. Lip service gets paid to the fact that hardly any of them graduate, but nothing ever changes. Coaches can jump from school to school, but players get locked in and have to get special permission or sit out a year if they want to transfer. Normal students can hold jobs to help pay for school, but athletes are specifically barred from having jobs in the name of limiting cheating...which ironically makes under-the-table payments even more likely.

42
by RichC (not verified) :: Wed, 08/17/2011 - 7:10pm

It funnels back into the academic programs of these academic institutions.

This country views pretty much everyone aside from the top .1% as a disposable piece. Why should the NCAA be any different?

Also, athletes aren't specifically barred from having jobs. Many D1 scholarship athletes end up with work-study type jobs as part of their "packages"

44
by Todd C. (not verified) :: Wed, 08/17/2011 - 9:16pm

By NCAA rule, they can earn up to $2K at a job. Assuming they actually can find such a job with the flexibility to allow them to hold it given the severe restrictions on their time, that's about $200 a month over the academic year for guys who in many cases have zero coming to them from home. No shock that guys end up trading gear for tattoos and selling bowl rings.

Sorry, but your pathetic "the world is unfair, so the NCAA gets a pass for being that way" argument doesn't resonate. If you think it's so rough in this country, have fun finding a better one. Your attitude is part of the problem, not a solution.

43
by Intropy :: Wed, 08/17/2011 - 7:13pm

I think the system is set up primarily for the tens of thousands of student athletes not involved in anything remotely like professional sports. That athlete racing in the 200m butterfly? She's doing that because she likes it, or maybe she gets a partial scholarship. It's not a career. And she's at school to get an education. That's the vast majority case. That system to have been stretch beyond the breaking point and can't handle teams of athletes with professional aspirations who will be making millions of dollars in a few short years and off of whom the university is currently making millions of dollars. There's probably some willful maintenance of that status since it's financially beneficial to the schools, but I don't think at it's root, it's set up to screw the students.

8
by Monkey Business (not verified) :: Wed, 08/17/2011 - 10:28am

Several years ago, I watched the NCAA come down on IU Basketball because then-Coach Sampson made a number of impermissible phone calls. I'll repeat those last two words: phone calls. To date, the program still hasn't recovered, and might not for another year or two.

When I see something like this, even if it's just one rogue guy, it's just so beyond the pale that I don't know how Miami's football program survives.

If this really went on for 8 years, and no one in the program said anything to the NCAA, then the program is rotten to the core.

Mark my words: The University of Miami's football program is about to get the death penalty.

13
by Drunkmonkey :: Wed, 08/17/2011 - 1:20pm

Off the top of my head I can't remember exactly what SMU did to get the death penalty, but this has to be worse, right? If this is all true, or even just half of it, then Miami seriously deserves to be punished far worse then whatever SMU was given.

I say this out of complete neutrality. I harbor Miami no ill-will; on the contrary, they are one of the few Florida teams that I actually don't hate, therefore actually have a reason to cheer for every once in a while. I totally agree with the above sentiments, that Miami Football is one of those programs that people love to hate. I am not naive. However, I am not one of those people that hate it.

But seriously, there is no way the NCAA can let this slide with anything less then double what SMU got.

17
by Noah of Arkadia :: Wed, 08/17/2011 - 2:29pm

At what point do you stop killing your own football programs and just accept reality? This kind of thing won't go away. Every football program is breaking the rules one way or another. What sense does a rule that criminalizes everyone make? You simply give the press preposterous power. They blow the whistle, a football program goes down. It seems to me like that encourages handouts to the press, as well. I'd be surprised if that didn't already happen, in fact.

20
by jabrch :: Wed, 08/17/2011 - 2:47pm

"Off the top of my head I can't remember exactly what SMU did to get the death penalty"

They got caught and put on probation 5 times in a 10 year span for paying players...finally the "lack of institutional control" tag got applied to them. The funny thing was that SMU wasn't even in the top 10 in terms of most guilty programs - they just happened to be really bad at hiding it.

25
by Aaron Brooks' Good Twin (not verified) :: Wed, 08/17/2011 - 3:11pm

SMU's biggest coup was letting Eric Dickerson keep the car Texas A&M bought for him.

36
by sundown (not verified) :: Wed, 08/17/2011 - 5:35pm

"Off the top of my head I can't remember exactly what SMU did to get the death penalty, but this has to be worse, right? "

In terms of dollars, maybe so. But in terms of overall scope and the amount of university officials who participated in it, they'd have to work really hard to top SMU. Because SMU's violations were truly incredible. They created a slush fund to pay players and they continued to pay players even as they were investigated and put on probation multiple times--they basically treated it like a regular payroll operation that was a standard operating procedure. Boosters helped fund it, there were even politicians in the loop, and knowledge of the details went way outside the football program and extended to the highest reaches of the SMU administration.

21
by jabrch :: Wed, 08/17/2011 - 2:50pm

"Several years ago, I watched the NCAA come down on IU Basketball because then-Coach Sampson made a number of impermissible phone calls. I'll repeat those last two words: phone calls. To date, the program still hasn't recovered, and might not for another year or two."

IU got lucky that they stopped there... The program is guilty of much more. The investigation stopped at Sampson's recruiting tactics because.....he has left other schools in the same state of disaster....

So IU, home of Myles Brand, hires a guy who was caught cheating at his old job, and does nothing to stop him from doing it in his new role.... and now the fans bellyache about it? IU had a head coach for 30 years who ran a clean program. They fired him, treated his successors like dirt, and then felt a need to win and hired a scumbag. They are lucky all they lost were a few schollys.

38
by sundown (not verified) :: Wed, 08/17/2011 - 5:42pm

I don't know if they were guilty of any more than what they were punished for, but even being guilty of that was enough. It's hard to paint their actions in any way other than how you have--they were desperate to get back to the top of the hill and really didn't care what it took for that to happen. Even at the time, hiring Sampson raised eyebrows because Indiana had been so squeaky clean and bringing in a rulebreaker into that environment just seemed strange. And then he went and did the EXACT same thing as before, basically starting on Day 1. And nobody from the school paid any attention...because they trusted he wouldn't cheat again?

46
by zlionsfan :: Wed, 08/17/2011 - 10:45pm

Yeah, Indiana is a really bad example to bring up. They hired a guy who was ON PROBATION for breaking NCAA rules. Greenspan bought Sampson's lies, hook, line, and sinker. "Of course I won't do it again." And not only did he do it again (as you point out, the exact same thing as before), he lied about it the entire time, even after the NCAA had the mountains of evidence proving he did it. He still won't admit to it.

Of course, given the way things have played out so far, he'd have fit in great at Ohio State.

I'd also argue that the reason they haven't "recovered" has nothing at all to do with the NCAA. From what I've read, Crean is an outstanding recruiter. He's got more than enough talent on the floor. It isn't the NCAA that's turning that potential into what seems to be below-average players.

10
by lionsbob :: Wed, 08/17/2011 - 11:43am

The funniest part:
Paul Dee is the chairman of the NCAA's committee infractions.
Paul Dee was the Athletic Director for Miami from 1993 to 2008.

"High profile players demand high-profile compliance", sure thing Mr. Paul Dee.

I love college football, but the NCAA needs to die.

11
by Joshua Northey (not verified) :: Wed, 08/17/2011 - 11:51am

I cannot believe people are still taking the NCAA seriously. Anyone with the slightest contact with college sports knows that most of its rules are unenforceable jokes. On top of that they distort all the incentives and skew the compensation in really unethical ways.

Basically it is just a guild/cartel using its power to underpay employees.

So glad I don't give money to college sports.

15
by CoachDave :: Wed, 08/17/2011 - 1:33pm

My information is dated...I may be off and this isn't a problem like it use to be, but stories like this one tell me nothing has changed and in fact it might be much worse.

At my school (Big 12 school), EVERYONE and I mean EVERYONE...players, trainers, SID/ASIDs, coaches, QC/film guys...EVERYONE knew who were the Fball boosters who handed out money, tickets to pro games, dinners, etc. and no figures of authority did anything about it, ever.

These big money guys were in tight with the adminstration and the last thing some AD/Asst AD/HCoach/PosCoach is going to do is piss off a big-money booster who has a direct line to the President and Key Adminstration members by telling them what they can and can't do. It's just not going to happen.

And this wasn't unique to the B12...I grew up in the Midwest and a lot of my friends/HS teammates/summer workout partners played at B10 & MAC schools and it went on there in the exact same manner and obviously we've all read stories about schools in other conferences.

Until the NCAA wants to start elmininating the politics and money of Universities and big-money boosters by registering and creating enforcable contracts without regards for how much money, who they are connected with, etc. for these guys, the Universities have no real motivation to do anything about this type of behavior.

The same rich dudes who hand out $50s and/or Luxury box tickets are often the same guys who underwrite the endowements and there isn't a University President or AD or University Compliance official who is going to tell that guy what he can and can't do. It's never going to happen.

49
by Marko :: Thu, 08/18/2011 - 2:46am

Exactly. Captain Renault might be "shocked, shocked" at this. Sam Gilbert would not.

16
by andrew :: Wed, 08/17/2011 - 1:56pm

and the worst thing is, its not like they cheated their way to a national title. Or even a dominant conference run. 2002-2009 has been one of the weakest stretches of football for the Canes in their existence. About the only thing the Randy Shannon era had to hang their hat on was that it was allegedly clean and it had the highest graduation rate in the nation other than the service academies. A lot of the U fanbase detested Shannon because he didn't win more, and felt they needed to be more disreputable to get their swagger back. Well I guess they get their street cred back. Its more like they broke the regulations to... well, just be the "U".

I keep wondering if at some point you're gonna see a handful of schools simply withdraw from the NCAA and create a semi-pro athletic league, still giving an education of sorts, but more as a prep school for the pros. Certainly a lot of them could use education along those lines, on how to handle money, deal with situations, pick agents, etc, while at the same time paying them somewhere along these lines. (it would require a TV network to go along with such a scheme)...

I do feel bad for Al Golden, who had nothing to do with this and left his gig at Temple for this....

18
by jabrch :: Wed, 08/17/2011 - 2:30pm

At the company I work for, an manager would get terminated immediately with no future compensation for allowing this sort of behaviour to go on in a facility that they run. Senior managment wouldn't tolerate it for 1 second.

The NCAA offices and many of its member Universities, with the University of Miami being one of the historic worst offenders, was fully aware of what was going on. Any denial of that coming from either body is nothing more than sticking their heads in the sand....on the level of Mohammed Said al-Sahhaf saying US Troops were nowhere near Bahgdad. It not only lacks credibility and truthiness - it lacks any grip on reality.

There is a "lack of institutional control" going on at probably 20+ of the NCAAs most "succesful" Football and Basketball programs. I'd vote the death penalty to ALL of them if I had a vote. There is an even worse "lack of institutional control" going on with the NCAA. Mark Emmeret and Myles Brand before him have no control over what is going on. Brand ignored his own alma mater's horrid recruiting practices under Coach Sampson - knowing exactly what was going on under his face.

What's Emmert's response today?
"If the assertions are true, the alleged conduct at the University of Miami is an illustration of the need for serious and fundamental change in many critical aspects of college sports. This pertains especially to the involvement of boosters and agents with student-athletes. While many are hearing about this case for the first time, the NCAA has been investigating the matter for five months. The serious threats to the integrity of college sports are one of the key reasons why I called together more than 50 presidents and chancellors last week to drive substantive changes to Division I intercollegiate athletics."

BS - The boosters and agents are not the problem. They are the bottom feeders who will always try and make money off of others. The Member Universities and the NCAA Enforcement are the ones who both knew better - and ignored what was going on under their nose...in Miami...In LA...in Lexington, wherever coach Cal has been...wherever coach Sampson has been...wherever Newheisel, Bowden, etc. were...across the states of Texas, Arizona, Florida....In Bloomington, under the nose of then NCAA President Brand. In Madison, Memphis and at Witchita State... in Oklahoma, at Auburn, and for sure at Bama...

I can go on - but why bother? No - I'm going to add Kansas, Columbus and Durham (yes - ratface is a Dbag too)

The bottom line - someone who really cares about college athletics, and not about money, needs to be running the show. And the show must not go on like it has. Blow the whole damn thing up.

Or - the NCAA can deal with this Miami issue the way they usually do....Miami will get a small probation, lose some scholarships and a few post seasons....and they are going to come down extremely hard on Northsouthern Tech for paying some kids bus ride home - and they will brag about their culture of compliance - while taking the billions of dollars from the sponsors, networks, advertisers and alumni to continue to build crazy new facilities for the athletes, new stadiums, and to continue to be able to pay coaches, ADs, staffs, deans, chancellors, etc millions and millions for the great stuff they do at places like Miami.

Horse Poopy

28
by tuluse :: Wed, 08/17/2011 - 3:41pm

At the company I work for, an manager would get terminated immediately with no future compensation for allowing this sort of behaviour to go on in a facility that they run. Senior managment wouldn't tolerate it for 1 second.

Please, explain to me an analogous situation to this in the corporate world.

29
by jabrch :: Wed, 08/17/2011 - 3:52pm

Good companies foster a culture of compliance.

Like Miami, many Universities, and the NCAA in particular do not foster a culture of compliance.

The degree to the lack of compliance may change - but the point stands. If I paid a customer under the table to do business with my employer, I'd get fired for it.

Analogous?

37
by RichC (not verified) :: Wed, 08/17/2011 - 5:41pm

"If I paid a customer under the table to do business with my employer, I'd get fired for it."

Tell that to Intel. And Samsung. And Phillips. And...

53
by Mr Shush :: Thu, 08/18/2011 - 10:00am

Imagine if policemen routinely accepted payments for information about ongoing investigations from journalists, and senior cops investigating wrongdoing at the papers concerned had fancy dinners with and paid for by the editors or owners, before receiving lucrative gigs as columnists after they retired. Oh, wait . . .

The precise form of the corruption has no direct parallel, but according to my terms of employment I would definitely get fired if I knew that someone was paying bribes on my employers' behalf and didn't inform them. In fact, under UK law I'm not sure I wouldn't be committing a criminal offense.

63
by Bad Doctor :: Thu, 08/18/2011 - 6:40pm

Actually, the recent World of the News scandal isn't that far off the mark. Illegal and unethical activities, so widespread that it's impossible the higher-ups didn't know about them, the activities clearly benefitted the company's bottom line and gave it an unfair advantage vis-a-vis its competitors, but apologists for the tabloid made claims that "everybody was doing it."

26
by Aaron Brooks' Good Twin (not verified) :: Wed, 08/17/2011 - 3:16pm

At some point we're going to see Division-I simply pull out of the NCAA. It will be more lucrative to leave than to stay.

The joke of it is that half the reason we have all these amateurism provisions is because Harvard and Princeton were jealous of the football success of the state schools and tried to take their ball home with them.

27
by Sparty8146 (not verified) :: Wed, 08/17/2011 - 3:30pm

Two simple steps:

1 - Repeal/significantly reform amateur-status requirements, allow outside compensation.
2 - Increase enforcement of academic standards instead.

Why can't this happen?

39
by RichC (not verified) :: Wed, 08/17/2011 - 5:42pm

Why not just decouple athletics from schools? Its not like these kids actually go to many of their classes.

47
by zlionsfan :: Wed, 08/17/2011 - 10:56pm

That first step is simple only in concept. As has been mentioned upthread, virtually the entire major-college athletic system depends on the way the system works now. Even assuming you could avoid the Title IX complications, there is no easy way to make the transition to what would essentially be AAA-level sports.

If you remove the restrictions entirely, you'd have about 20 schools playing I-A football, if that. The bottom 30-40 would have to drop down to I-AA or go bankrupt trying to keep up; another 50 or 60 schools could field decent teams, but would have to cut things to the bone to make that happen. (The money would be there initially from not funding the non-revenue sports, but there's no way to tell how much of that revenue comes, in part, from people who want those sports supported.)

If you lift them a bit, then you have what would essentially be the same scenario as we have today, only worse: some schools would still cheat, only more money would be going to the players in the first place, so the weaker schools would still be drawn toward I-AA and the middling schools would be working harder to tread water.

Of course, if nothing changes, then you get this kind of thing, where some boosters do whatever the hell they want and ADs look the other way because their jobs, in part, depend on their ability to do so. (Imagine if this guy hadn't run out of other people's money to spend ...)

There will be other side effects as well. That money isn't coming out of the schools' pockets in the long run. If they get to pay their players, we'll be paying more for tickets and concessions and parking. (See: every professional league that has ever existed.) The trend toward pay-per-view packages will probably accelerate. Anything that can produce revenue for the school will be explored ... and most likely, the close ties between schools and teams will be broken. (Not until nicer stadiums are built elsewhere, though.)

It'll probably happen, whether the NCAA can ease into that era or not, but I don't think we're prepared for it to happen now.

60
by morganja :: Thu, 08/18/2011 - 2:18pm

This is very simple from an economics perspective. The NCAA exists for the sole purpose of eliminating bargaining power for student-athletes and to funnel money to third parties. That's it.
Every rule they have only makes sense if the above is understood.
NCAA generates billions of dollars. It generates that money mostly through exploiting student athletes under mandatory terms that would shame a banana republic.
Where does that money go? The universities? Please. Despite all these billions of dollars, the amount actually contributed to academic portions of the university, a term that shouldn't even exist, is nothing to less than nothing.
Where does it all go? Ask politicians and their cronies. A lot of people are getting rich over college athletics. It's essentially organized crime.

68
by Charles Jake (not verified) :: Fri, 08/19/2011 - 12:29pm

If the NCAA is serious about enforcing these rules, they need to hire a Kennesaw Mountain Landis-type commissioner: an outsider given tyrannical powers that will hand out death sentences like candy, with no regard for TV contracts or hurt feelings.

Otherwise, they will have to rexamine the rules, and even the very concept of amateurism, because it's obvious that the current enforcement regime is hopeless.

71
by Some 1 in the know (not verified) :: Tue, 09/27/2011 - 4:04pm

Corruption! Plain and simple. About 90% of the world is corrupt!

The rest are "born again Christians" who actually believe that sin exists and that the world is made up of sinners. And that only through the grace offered by Jesus Christ can we be saved and hope to lead a holy life!

72
by Some 1 in the know (not verified) :: Tue, 09/27/2011 - 9:03pm

Corruption! Plain and simple. About 95% of the world is corrupt!

The rest are "born again Christians" who actually believe that sin exists and that the world is made up of sinners. And that only through the grace offered by Jesus Christ can we be saved and hope to lead a holy life!

Because ONLY true followers of Jesus Christ VOLUNTARILY try to avoid sin and follow Christ's commandments.

Without Christ, there is no hope for any one!

73
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