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…