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 Rivals Swipe Reveals Agenda Against USC?

I was skeptical when I heard Pete Carroll say this immediately after the USC football program was saddled with the harshest NCAA sanctions since the SMU Dealth Penalty:

“The agenda of the NCAA infractions committee took them beyond the facts, and the facts don’t match the sanctions.”

That comment was before USC’s Rivals website USCFootball.com, which is owned by Yahoo, published previously unreleased NCAA documents that showed significant inaccuracies in the NCAA’s investigation of the link between the USC football program and sports marketing agents who provided Reggie Bush with improper benefits. (That link is the central reason cited by the NCAA for applying such harsh sanctions on the school’s football program.)

That USC Rivals report though only showed a general incompetence by the NCAA in the efficacy of its investigation of USC. It didn’t give any reason to believe Carroll’s “agenda” claim.

But the NCAA’s almost immediate response to the USC Rivals report, may indeed have confirmed Carroll’s accusation.

Read more…

Sources: Percy Harvin Part Of NCAA’s USC Report

More details about the NCAA’s investigation of USC are leaking out this week after USC Rivals site USCFootball.com reported late last night on previously unreleased NCAA investigative documents.

Reggie Bush and Percy Harvin

Many of those documents, which include interview transcripts of USC assistant football coach Todd McNair, are littered with errors that can’t help but call the NCAA’s ultimate findings into question.

McNair’s alleged knowledge of Reggie Bush taking improper benefits from sports marketing agent Lloyd Lake is the heart of the NCAA’s case against USC. It was that alleged proof that led the NCAA to drop its harshest penalties on a football program since the SMU Death Penalty sanction.

Early this morning I posted about the NCAA’s errors in interviewing McNair and Lake. Errors that led to a lack of due process and prevented the establishment of indisputable proof that McNair knew what Lake was doing with Bush.

The most serious of those mistakes were during the investigation of a Jan. 2006 phone call in which Lake called McNair. Despite those discrepancies, the NCAA cited that call as perhaps its most prominent evidence in its case against USC.

The NCAA also attempted to point to calls McNair made to Lake in March 2005 as evidence that he knew what Bush was up to with Lake.

The circumstances, per NCAA investigative documents and USCFootball.com:

Bush was to host a recruit after the Oct. 29, 2005 USC-Washington State game considered the nation’s the top high school prospect.

McNair made repeated attempts to contact Reggie Bush in regards to the top recruit’s official visit. But Bush, on a post-game outing with family and friends, including Lake and Michaels, left the recruit waiting in his hotel room while they ate dinner. The recruit would later verify that timeline.

Among the numerous calls McNair placed to Bush and the recruit that night, three were to a 619 area code that was not Bush’s number. That number, cited from McNair’s USC phone records, belonged to Lake.

The NCAA assistant director of enforcement, Richard Johanningmeier immediately questioned McNair’s credibility when he denied knowing Lake or having any recollection of whose phone number he’d called that night.

“So as you can see from our standpoint, we’re having a lot of problems with your credibility and I have to tell you that there’s a good possibility that, uh, the NCAA could allege a, uh, ethical conduct charge of providing us false, misleading information in the fact that you denied that you know him, we have the telephone calls and we have a photograph with you with people that you say that you don’t know.”

The phone calls and photo were cited as proof despite McNair’s explanation that the three one-minute calls were to a number Bush had given him earlier when Bush’s cellphone wasn’t working. Lake, in his interview, didn’t recall the phone calls.

The photo, which USC was never allowed to see in its original format, had been altered, according to an expert in the university’s response to the NCAA’s allegations. McNair and his easily recognized actor-friend had posed for photos frequently according to his testimony.

Despite pages of documentation covering the Oct. 29 calls, the photo and statements of McNair’s “lack of credibility” the June 10 Infractions Report did not cite this as evidence that the assistant football coach must have had knowledge of the illegal benefits.

So thanks in part to trio of :60 calls McNair made to Lake, that Lake didn’t recall receiving, the NCAA surmised that McNair knew that Lake was partly responsible for giving Bush $300,000 in improper benefits. (The evidence involved in that part of the investigation was so dubious that the NCAA’s own Committee On Infractions threw it out.)

But the question remains: Why was McNair calling Lake that night in a seemingly desperate attempt to reach Bush? Read more…

Document Drop: NCAA Botched USC Investigation

After its football program was buried thanks to four years of damning media reports of impropriety perpetrated by Reggie Bush, USC is finally fighting back against the NCAA via its own media leaks.

Pete Carroll

(On second thought … he actually has a point)

Late Thursday Dan Weber and Bryan Fischer of USC Rivals site USCFootball.com published a report attributed to unreleased NCAA investigative documents that indicates the NCAA had very little, if any indisputable proof that a USC representative had direct knowledge of Bush receiving improper benefits while at the school. (The NCAA investigative documents would normally be accessible to the media but as the NCAA and USC are private institutions, respective Freedom of Information Acts are not applicable.)

Those newly-leaked NCAA investigative documents, which were part of the “workbook” used by the NCAA’s Committee On Infractions to prove its case against USC, show the NCAA made crucial errors in attempting to pin down a direct connection between USC assistant football coach Todd McNair and sports marketing agent Lloyd Lake. Lake was one of the men who provided Bush with up to $300,000 worth of improper benefits.

McNair’s alleged direct knowledge of Bush’s improper benefits is the central piece of evidence cited by the NCAA as justification for the harsh penalties doled out to the USC football program.

After reading the entire NCAA infractions report and the lengthy USCFootball.com report citing confirmed NCAA investigative documents, the basis for those penalties can be traced to two key situations. Read more…

Reggie Bush Reality Show This Time Actually Real

Reggie Bush in 2006: “When this is all said and done, everybody will see at the end of the day that we’ve done nothing, absolutely nothing wrong.”

Reggie Bush in 2006: He did nothing wrong

So Bush is either a liar or an idiot. Read more…

Prescient Reggie Bush Never Cheats His Tweeps

As the NCAA prepares to release its investigative report on the USC football program, Reggie Bush apparently was kind enough last weekend to keep us entertained in the meantime:

Reggie Bush Tweet On World Cup Players Not Getting Paid

(Had to be a hack … right?)

Did you know that soccer players who participate in the world cup do not get paid! Just found that out… Read more…

Reggie Bush Hush Money Too Late To Save USC?

Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports reports today that Reggie Bush recently wrote a hush money check to the man who reportedly helped him and USC break NCAA rules, sports marketing financier Lloyd Lake.

Reggie Bush Hush Money Too Late To Save His Heisman

(Bush response to his reported cheating? Vewy vewy quiet)

Bush previously used the pseudo lawsuit from Lake as a mechanism to avoid having to ever face NCAA questioning about the reported illegal benefits he was provided by Lake and Michael Michaels while he was winning the Heisman Trophy and BCS Championship with the Trojans.

It was the lawsuit by Lake that Bush cited in February when refusing to defend himself and USC against cheating charges. So the guy whose reported illegal actions may well bring down the USC football program manipulated the legal system to hide from the NCAA. If only Pete Carroll, Lane Kiffin, Mike Garrett and others had been such gifted litigants!

So does this mean that Bush hiding from the NCAA will cause USC to get off lighter when sanctions come down next month?

On the contrary. Read more…

Reggie Bush Fired Agent Because He Wanted Out of Court Settlement

BUSH’S AGENT FIRED OVER NCAA VIOLATIONS LAWSUIT: Reggie Bush fired his agent last week because of allegations of NCAA violations against the running back:

Mike Ornstein Reggie Bush

The LOS ANGELES TIMES reports that Mike Ornstein was let go over differences of opinion on how to handle charges of wrongdoing. Bush is fighting allegations that he & his family took money & gifts while he was at USC.Two would-be sports marketers hoping to sign Bush made the claims that Reggie accepted the illegal gifts. Ornstein was hoping to settle the lawsuit with the pseudo-agents out of court, but other Bush advisors advised RB to fight the suit.

As the TIMES notes, “Bush could have written a check, signed (plantiff Lloyd) Lake to a confidentiality agreement, and the lawsuit would have evaporated.”

Matt Leinart

Instead, the lawsuit was challenged, the allegations came out, and Ornstein was shown the door. But it didn’t take the agent long to find new work, as Matt Leinart hired him the next day.The only thing stranger than what has happened between Bush, Leinart and Ornstein is if a video of Ornstein dancing with Kerri Strug was posted on the internet.

Oh, wait.