Felon Who Stole $900M Ready To Rat Out ‘The U’

Barry Jackson of the MIAMI HERALD reports a possible major storm on the horizon for the University of Miami football program thanks to allegations from a now-disgraced local businessman.

Five months ago, UM’s website called Nevin Shapiro “an ardent, devoted, intense supporter.” A student lounge was named in his honor.

Now, facing years in prison for allegedly running a Ponzi scheme, Shapiro is writing a book about the UM football program in which he alleges former Canes players committed NCAA violations, said his attorney, Maria Elena Perez. Perez said Shapiro told the federal government about the violations, which are alleged to be major, but it did not investigate because “that’s not their area.”

Shapiro, who lived in a posh Miami Beach home before his April arrest, said from a New Jersey jail that he will not detail the allegations until the book is published; he’s aiming for December. He wrote a first draft and will seek a publisher. The title: The Real U: 2001 to 2010. Inside the Eye of the Hurricane.

It’s documented that former UM booster Shapiro, who was recently convicted of stealing $900 million as part of his racket, formally donated up to $300,000 to the school from what was stolen investor funds. $130,000 of that money has so far been returned to the victims of Shapiro in a bankruptcy proceeding.

Shapiro has yet to be sentenced for his crimes but will likely face significant jail time. Meanwhile, any and all proceeds from his book will go to his Ponzi victims.

Q: So if Shapiro won’t make a dime personally from the book, why hurt the school he supported for so long?

A: Shapiro learned over the years that his money and kindness didn’t buy respect from Miami players and coaches. Especially those who went on to the NFL.

“I want to make the average fan aware of what really exists under that uniform,” he said. “They might be great players, but they’re certainly not great people. I’m speaking of no less than 100 former players.”

Shapiro, 41, is angry because “once the players became pros, they turned their back on me. It made me feel like a used friend.” He was motivated by “heartbreak and disappointment on behalf of the university, which I considered to be an extended part of my family.”

He said the heartbreak was caused by “former players mostly” and “some administrative staff and coaches. I’ve always had the utmost respect for Donna Shalala, Kirby Hocutt and Paul Dee.”

Who are some of the Hurricanes Shapiro claimed to have assisted? Read more…

NCAA Infraction Head Part Of Dirty Miami Program

In sanctioning USC’s football program two weeks ago, the Chairman of the NCAA Committee in Infractions, former Univ. of Miami (FL) Athletic Director Paul Dee, oversaw the most severe penalties levied against a Division I football program since SMU was forced to drop football.

Paul Dee's Miami Hurriances: SI called to disband program in 1995

The USC penalties happened in large part due to a NCAA investigation into the school’s football program that was sparked by multiple reports by Yahoo Sports beginning in 2006. Those reports, authored by Jason Cole and Charles Robinson, detailed improper benefits received by USC running back Reggie Bush - among other NCAA-applicable improprieties.

For longtime NCAA observers, COI Chairman Dee’s decision to punish USC severely was ironic as he previously was immersed in a notoriously renegade football program: The Miami Hurricanes of the ’80s and ’90s.

In 1995, the Miami football program under Athletic Director Dee was heavily penalized by the NCAA for rules violations that NCAA Committee of Infractions chairman David Swank reported at the time indicated a “significant lack of institutional control.”

15 years later, Dee applied that same term to the USC football program in doling out harsh penalties to the Trojan football program.

Six months before the NCAA handed out its penalties to Dee’s Miami football program in ‘95, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED’s Alexander Wolff reported the problems at Miami to be so widespread that he argued the school should drop football altogether.

Perhaps not coincidentally, after the SI piece by Wolff, the NCAA ramped up its investigation of Miami - which reportedly began four years earlier. On Dec. 2, 1995, the Hurricanes received a one-year bowl ban, were stripped of 24 scholarships and placed on probation for three years. (Dee reported to the media on June 10 that Miami lost 31 scholarships.)

Much of Wolff’s SI piece came from citing investigative work by MIAMI HERALD reporter Dan Le Batard. On May 19, 1995, in addition to detailing outrageous off-field activities of Hurricane football players, Le Batard wrote of an incident involving Dee that had caught the attention of NCAA investigators: Read more…