Yahoo Sports alleges a sickening tale of moral and ethical corruption lasting over a decade and involving a 'Canes booster, who is now a convicted and imprisoned felon, UM players and recruits, and, perhaps to a profound extent, employees of the U's athletic program.
Miami Herald Sportswriter Greg Cote's title of his column today, "The Smoke You See at the University of Miami is a Five-Alarm Blaze" doesn't strike me as hyperbole. From Cote's column:
But Shapiro’s [the booster's] claims involve so many players over such a long period that an entire decade could be tainted – virtually all the years of coaches Larry Coker and Randy Shannon. An irony is that Shapiro’s work in the shadows is said to have started just as UM down-turned from its most recent national championship-game appearance into a decade of declining success, reminding us, perhaps, that money can buy you neither love nor BCS hardware.
I should emphasize the obvious here: That none of Shapiro’s claims outlined in detail in the Yahoo.com report have been proven to be gospel. But circumstantial indications of truth appear mountainous. The UM fan who honestly believes none of this is true might be a potential customer to buy sand at the beach.
Yahoo’s chief investigator, Charles Robinson, is respected. Over nearly a year, he conducted 100 hours of interviews with Shapiro, reviewed 20,000 pages of Shapiro’s business records available via his bankruptcy case, scanned 5,000 pages of cellphone records and reviewed 1,000 photographs . . .
The conclusion, the allegation, is that 72 former and current UM players — alphabetically, Ray-Ray Armstrong to Kellen Winslow Jr. — received at least some form of illegal benefit from Shapiro. The allegations ensnare a dozen current players, including quarterback Jacory Harris.
Documentation indicates Shapiro’s gifts to UM athletes variously included cash, prostitutes, entertainment in his home and on his yacht, trips to restaurants and nightclubs, jewelry, bonuses for on-field plays — including injuring an opponent — travel and, in one case, an abortion for a player’s girlfriend.
Further allegations are that seven former UM coaches in football and basketball (including Frank Haith) were aware of Shapiro’s “generosity” and turned a blind eye. If proved, that could be especially felonious.