Former Miami booster tells Yahoo! he gave benefits
“The university notified the NCAA enforcement officials of these allegations,” the school said in a statement Tuesday morning. “We are fully cooperating with the NCAA and are conducting a joint investigation. The University of Miami takes these matters very seriously.”
After Yahoo! Sports posted its story Tuesday afternoon, the university released another statement, saying it “takes any allegations seriously, and will continue to cooperate fully in a joint investigation with the NCAA.”
The allegations against Miami are just the latest in what has been a string of NCAA investigations involving some of college football’s most high-profile and successful programs. In the last 18 months, the football teams at Southern California, Ohio State, Auburn, Oregon, Michigan, North Carolina, Georgia Tech and LSU all have either been investigated or sanctioned by the NCAA.
The litany of scandals has led to calls for major reforms in the way the NCAA regulates and polices big-time college athletics. Commissioners of the major conferences, including Mike Slive from the Southeastern Conference and Jim Delany from the Big Ten, have called for major changes and increased penalties for rule-breakers. Last week, NCAA President Mark Emmert led a group of university presidents in laying out an outline for changes, including raising academic standards, streamlining the rulebook and changing the parameters of athletic scholarships.
Golden said he emailed his team “every day this summer” about avoiding problems that recently hit other schools, and he specifically mentioned North Carolina, Georgia Tech and Ohio State. He said his players have a “Cane Code” reminding them about such issues.
“We’ve got to make sure the third parties stay away from our student-athletes,” Golden said.
When Shapiro was sentenced, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said he “used investor funds to make payments to dozens of student athletes who were attending a local university in the Miami area to which Shapiro made significant donations … cash in amounts up to $10,000 and gifts such as jewelry and entertainment at nightclubs and restaurants in Miami Beach. As a result of a 10-year gift to the university, its Student-Athlete Lounge was named for Shapiro.”
The University of Miami was not specifically mentioned in that release, but the school temporarily named its lounge for Shapiro. His name was removed in 2008 after the school said he did not follow his pledged donation-payment plan.