The scandal broke just days after NCAA President Mark Emmert led a group of university presidents _ including Shalala _ in drafting an outline for change in college sports.
“She’s been a terrific leader in higher education, and I have great respect for her,” Emmert told The Associated Press on Friday. “I can only imagine how much she’s struggling with this, like I would have been if this had happened on my watch.”
Shapiro is serving a 20-year prison sentence. He has also been ordered to pay more than $82 million to bilked investors. He was in the midst of being transported by federal officials from Atlanta to a still-undisclosed final destination _ possibly South Florida _ on Friday, according to his attorney, Maria Elena Perez.
Neither Horn nor James would say if they spoke to any of the current players who were implicated by Shapiro about the scandal. Shapiro claims he threw lavish parties at his home and on his yacht, provided cash to recruits and paid for 39 players to have sex with prostitutes. Among those named by Shapiro include NFL stars Jon Beason, Frank Gore, Devin Hester, Andre Johnson, Kenny Phillips, Antrel Rolle, Jon Vilma and Vince Wilfork.
Most of the NFL players named in the story have either declined comment or denied the claims made by Shapiro.
“I am concerned,” Rolle said this week. “I am concerned because this is bringing unnecessary drama to the program that doesn’t need to be. I am a Miami guy at heart and I always will be a Miami guy at heart. I just want these players to have the same fortunate career as I had and other people had. But right now there is a lot of drama going on and it’s all caused by one guy, one angry guy.”
The current Hurricanes listed in the story include quarterback Jacory Harris, safeties Vaughn Telemaque and Ray Ray Armstrong, receivers Travis Benjamin and Aldarius Johnson, defensive linemen Marcus Forston, Olivier Vernon, Marcus Robinson and Adewale Ojomo, tight end Dyron Dye, defensive back JoJo Nicholas and linebacker Sean Spence _ many of whom are expected to play key roles for the team in 2011.
All Miami players remain eligible to practice, though some are limited by injury.
Horn said players were not fretting about the possibility that some of those 12 implicated players might be deemed ineligible by the university for at least part of the season.
“The way we’ve been taught from the very beginning is that the depth chart’s in sand,” Horn said. “So we don’t even know who’s going to start the first game. All we can do is come out here and play as hard as we can.”
Added James: “We’ve got tunnel vision.”
Some around the program wonder if the distractions simply will be too much for the Hurricanes, in their first year under Golden and coming off a disappointing 7-6 season. Or it could bring the team closer.
Miami joined a growing list of schools with major football programs to be investigated by the NCAA for rule-breaking in the past 18 months. Others include Southern California, Ohio State, Auburn, Oregon, Michigan, North Carolina, Georgia Tech and LSU.View Entire Story
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