Report: Players got gifts from Miami booster

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Yahoo! Sports also said Shapiro paid Wilfork $50,000 as a recruiting tool to sign with sports agency Axcess Sports & Entertainment, a firm Shapiro claimed he co-owned for much of the time he was involved with the Hurricanes. Yahoo! Sports reported players got cash and benefits through Shapiro’s partner, former NFL agent and current UFL commissioner Michael Huyghue.

Reached Tuesday by The Associated Press, Huyghue denied that story.

“It’s just fantasy,” Huyghue said. “He never had any role in my company.”

Huyghue said he signed three Miami players in seven years. He said Shapiro was not a runner and he did not represent any players, but did invest $1.5 million in his agency in 2001 and that the two spoke only occasionally.

“He didn’t have the acumen to represent players,” Huyghue said.

Meanwhile, at least one player named by Shapiro said he did try to steer them toward agents.

“I know of (Shapiro),” said Hester, now with the Chicago Bears. “At the time I was going into the draft, he was like a runner for an agent. I had declared into the draft. He was one of the runners for one agent.”

Hester would not say which agent.

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.

Also reported by Yahoo! Sports:

_Shapiro said he paid basketball recruit DeQuan Jones $10,000 to secure his commitment. Jones, a part-time starter last year, is now a senior with the Hurricanes.

_At least six coaches and as many as 10 athletic department employees overall were allegedly aware of Shapiro’s illicit activity, including former basketball coach Frank Haith, now at Missouri. All the coaches named by Shapiro have since left Miami. Haith lashed out at the story in a statement released through Missouri late Tuesday.

“I am more than happy to cooperate with the national office on this issue and look forward to a quick resolution,” Haith said. “The NCAA has instructed me not to comment further at this time in order to protect the integrity of their review, so I appreciate your understanding in this matter. The reports questioning my personal interactions with Mr. Shapiro are not an accurate portrayal of my character.”

_Shapiro said he paid for 39 different players to receive sex from prostitutes. He also claimed to have offered a $5,000 bounty to any player who could knock Florida State quarterback Chris Rix out of a game, provided players access to his multimillion-dollar home and yacht, and even alleges he bought rims for Hester’s sport-utility vehicle.

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