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Tag:NCAA Investigation
Posted on: August 16, 2011 11:39 pm
Edited on: August 16, 2011 11:53 pm
 

Former staffers mum following Miami report

Posted by Bryan Fischer

While most of the attention from the exhausting Yahoo! Sports report detailing impermissible benefits from Miami booster Nevin Shapiro was focused on the 72 athletes named, there were seven current or former Hurricanes staff members named as having knowledge or direct participation of violations. Because several are no longer at the school, the potential impact of the NCAA investigation is not limited to Coral Gables.

Clint Hurtt
Detailed allegations
Previous position at Miami: The Hurricanes' defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator for three years.
Current position: Defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator at Louisville.
Statement: According to WAVE3, Louisville put out a statement saying they would not be responding to any accusations.

Jeff Stoutland
Detailed allegations
Previous position at Miami: Was offensive line coach for the Hurricanes for four years. He was also the interim head coach following the departure of Randy Shannon.
Current position: Became the offensive line coach and assistant head coach at Alabama in January.
Statement: Alabama released a statement saying they were aware of the story but would not comment, according to The Birmingham News.

Aubrey Hill
Detailed allegations
Previous position at Miami: Wide receivers coach for three years.
Current position: Wide receivers coach for Florida.
Statement: Florida issued a statement saying that while Hill declined comment to Yahoo!, he was comfortable and confident with how he conducted himself at Miami, according to The Orlando Sentinel.

Joe Pannunzio
Detailed allegations
Previous position at Miami: Tight ends and special teams coach for five years.
Current position: Director of Football Operations at Alabama.
Statement: Alabama released a statement saying they were aware of the story but would not comment.

Miami report fallout
Sean Allen
Detailed allegations
Previous position at Miami: Student manager from 2001-2005.
Current position: Returned to the school as an assistant equipment manager in 2009.
Statement: Miami provided a statement early Tuesday saying they were fully cooperating with the NCAA investigation. As an employee, Allen is required to cooperate or face a possible show-cause penalty.

Ralph Nogueras
Detailed allegations
Position at Miami: assistant equipment manager
Statement: The school provided a statement early Tuesday saying they were fully cooperating with the NCAA investigation.





Posted on: August 16, 2011 10:04 pm
Edited on: August 16, 2011 11:51 pm
 

Twelve current Miami players named in report

Posted by Chip Patterson

The college football world was rocked on Tuesday with Yahoo! report regarding former Miami booster Nevin Shapiro providing "thousands of impermissible benefits to at least 72 athletes" between 2002 and 2010. While the long-term damage of this report will likely not be settled anytime soon, there are some potential eligibility issues facing the 2011 Hurricanes.

Twelve current Miami players were listed in the report with varying levels of involvement with Shapiro. Among them include quarterback Jacory Harris and three members of the CBSSports.com Preseason All-ACC Team. The school has no comment, and the NCAA is already on campus in Coral Gables, so all we can do is look at the players involved and their alleged associations with NCAA violations.

S Ray-Ray Armstrong, Jr., Sanford, Fla.
Projected 2011 Role: Armstrong finished 2010 as a 2nd Team All-ACC defensive back, and is expected to start at safety along with Vaugh Telamaque. He was named to the CBSSports.com Preseason All-ACC Team and should be a vital piece of the Hurricanes defense.
Allegations: Armstrong, Andre Debose, and Dyron Dye were brought to Shaprio's $6 million mansion on a Friday night for a recruiting pitch that included a tour of the home and a ride in Shapiro's Mercedes. The booster then gave an equipment manager "approximately $2,000 to $3,000 in cash" to show the trio a good time. Booster said he paid for food, drinks, and entertainment for the group on a Sunday, and gave Armstrong one of Sean Taylor's game-worn Miami jerseys.

WR Travis Benjamin, Sr., Belle Glade, Fla.
Projected 2011 Role: As the leading returning receiver, Benjamin is just one of the players looking to step up into Leonard Hankerson's role (1156 yards, 13 TDs) as the go-to Hurricanes receiver. Benjamin pulled in 43 catches for 743 yards and 3 touchdowns in 2010.
Allegations: Shapiro told federal agents on the record that he provided "benefits to an array of Miami players from 2002 to 2010." Benjamin was one of the players named, with Shapiro claiming that the wide receiver visited his home "25 times or more" and received cash "more than one time."

DE/LB Dyron Dye, rSoph., Sanford, Fla.
Projected 2011 Role: Backup defensive end. Saw six games of action as a redshirt freshman in 2010. Al Golden had recently asked Dye to switch to tight end because of depth concerns.
Allegations: Dye was a part of the recruiting pitch with Armstrong and Debose. Shapiro said he came to the house several times, but never received cash or saw the yacht. Only that he received drinks and VIP access at nightclubs with Shapiro.

DT Marcus Forston, Jr., Miami, Fla.
Projected 2011 Role: The anchor of the defensive line. Forston has received praise from teammates and coaches for his effective and speedy recovery after a spring knee injury threatened the start of his 2011 season. When healthy Forston is a force to be reckoned with in the trenches, and was named to the CBSSports.com Preseason All-ACC team.
Allegations: Shapiro alleges Forston and several other Miami players received a dinner at Japanese steakhouse Benihana in 2008, which was followed by drinks, VIP access, and entertainment at The Cheetah strip club.

QB Jacory Harris, Sr., Miami, Fla.
Projected 2011 Role: Where to begin here? Considered a potential Heisman candidate earlier in his career, Harris could have been the face of this rejuvenated Miami team. There was no guarantee he would, in fact he still has to beat out Stephen Morris for the starting quarterback job. Harris' main criticism on the field is his decision making (15 INTs in 2010), and it might end up being his biggest off-field criticism as well.
Allegations: Harris was also named in Shapiro's interviews with federal agents. He alleges Harris came by the house "a number of times" and played in pool tournaments for cash. He also claims Harris benefited from drinks and VIP access at nightclubs on a handful of occasions.

Miami report fallout

WR Aldarius Johnson, Sr., Miami, Fla.
Projected 2011 Role: Johnson's best season at Miami was his freshman year in 2008, pulling in 31 catches for 332 yards and 3 touchdowns. Johnson has been outspoken about using his senior year to recapture that kind of performance. Johnson was limited during spring practice by injury and passed over on the depth chart by LaRon Byrd, but was still hoping to reclaim his spot as a primary member of the Hurricanes receiving corps.
Allegations: Johnson was one of the players involved in the aforementioned evening at Benihana's and The Cheetah strip club, as well as the pool tournaments for cash. Shapiro claims he gifted Johnson money "at least 10 times" ranging from $50 to $300-$400. "I'd say he took a couple grand from me over the course of time," Shapiro told Yahoo! Sports.

CB JoJo Nicolas, Sr., Homestead, Fla.
Projected 2011 Role: After 10 starts and 36 tackles in 2010, Nicolas has changed positions and is expected to be the starting cornerback heading into the season. Miami has several talented youngsters in the secondary, but Nicolas has received praise for adapting to the team's needs in the offseason.
Allegations: Nicolas does not play a big role in Shapiro's allegations, with the booster claiming the defensive back benefited from drinks and VIP access at nightclubs on multiple occasions and was in the booster's mansion "anywhere from 15, 20, 25 times."

DE Adewale Ojomo, rJr., Homestead, Fla.
Projected 2011 Role: Expected to be a reserve defensive lineman this season. Recorded 38 tackles and finished third on the team in sacks (5) in 2010.
Allegations: Shapiro lists Ojomo as another player that benefited from food, drinks, and VIP treatment at clubs as well as a visitor at the booster's home. He also recounted one specific time when Ojomo and a female companion met Shapiro a dinner at Smith & Wollensky, which was provided.

DE/LB Marcus Robinson, Sr., Homestead, Fla.
Projected 2011 Role: Robinson suffered an injury during spring practice, and was also asked to move positions this fall. Robinson was moved from the defensive line (19 tackles, 2.5 sacks in 2010) to linebacker.
Allegations: According to Shapiro, Robinson was also present for the evening at Benihana and The Cheetah strip club. Not considered as close to the booster as others, but Shapiro did say he was in the mansion "once or twice"

LB Sean Spence, Sr., Miami, Fla.
Projected 2011 Role: Spence was 1st Team All-ACC in 2010, and was also named to the CBSSports.com Preseason All-ACC team this week. Head coach Al Golden has frequently complimented the leadership of the seniors, and nearly every time he makes a point to mention Sean's name. Of all the players listed in the report, Spence is arguably one of the most valuable to the 2011 roster.
Allegations: Spence was also listed as a player for the Benihana-to-The Cheetah evening. However, Shapiro listed Spence as "one of the regular guys at my house." He also says the all-conference linebacker took part in bowling outings, where Shaprio "gave him some money."

S Vaughn Telemaque, rJr., Long Beach, Calif.
Projected 2011 Role: Telemaque started 13 games for the Hurricanes in 2010, and is the third leading tackler returning for 2011. Expected to start and play a major role in the Miami defense this season.
Allegations: Shapiro called the one out-of-state product in this group a "laid back" and "chill dude." Telemaque allegedly came by the house and to the clubs "a number of times" and took part in pool games for money.

DE Oliver Vernon, Jr., Miami, Fla.
Projected 2011 Role: The 2010 sack leader among returnees was expected to start on the defensive line. Vernon started 11 games last season, totaling 39 tackles and 6 sacks.
Allegations: In addition to many of the same food, drinks, and entertainment allegations, Shaprio alleges he played a significant role in Vernon's recruitment. The booster claims he hosted Vernon and his parents in his luxury suite for the Miami-FSU game in 2008. Shapiro also made a $1,000 donation to the booster club of Vernon's high school at the solicitation of Vernon's father.

Details of the allegations levied against all current and former Miami student-athletes and staff can be found here, courtesy of Yahoo! Sports


Posted on: August 16, 2011 6:26 pm
Edited on: August 17, 2011 2:33 am
 

Report: Miami coaches knew of massive violations

Posted by Chip Patterson and Adam Jacobi

Former Miami booster and indicted Ponzi schemer Nevin Shapiro provided thousands of dollars in impermissible benefits to "at least 72 student-athletes" between 2002 and 2010, according to a Yahoo! Sports report.

The investigation included over 100 hours of jailhouse interviews with Shapiro, along with financial records and corroboration from several sources - including former Miami players - to support the claims. Among the most alarming details to the program include seven former coaches and three athletic support staff who either witnessed, had knowledge of, or even participated in Shapiro committing all kinds of NCAA violations. The report details the life of a rampant rule-breaker who was never told to stop.

"At a cost that Shapiro estimates in the millions of dollars, he said his benefits to athletes included but were not limited to: cash, prostitutes, entertainment in his multimillion-dollar homes and yacht, paid trips to high-end restaurants and nightclubs, jewelry, bounties for on-field play (including bounties for injuring opposing players), travel and on one occasion, an abortion," Robinson writes.

One former Miami player, running back Tyrone Moss, told Yahoo! Sports he accepted $1,000 from Shapiro around the time he was entering college. "Hell yeah, I recruited a lot of kids for Miami," Shapiro told Yahoo! Sports. "With access to the clubs, access to the strip joints. My house. My boat. We're talking about high school football players. Not anybody can just get into the clubs or strip joints. Who is going to pay for it and make it happen? That was me."

The University of Miami has not commented specifically on the allegations made by Shapiro, as is generally the policy of schools under NCAA investigation, except to say that Shapiro was not as forthcoming to the school and to the NCAA as he was to Yahoo! Sports.

“When Shapiro made his allegations nearly a year ago, he and his attorneys refused to provide any facts to the university,” Miami associate for communications Chris Freet said. “We notified the NCAA enforcement officials of these allegations. We are fully cooperating with the NCAA and are conducting a joint investigation. We take these matters very seriously.”

Shapiro was once one of Miami's most prominent boosters, donating hundreds of thousands of dollars (and committing $250,000 more) to the football program, and presenting head basketball coach Frank Haith (now of Missouri) and current Miami president Donna Shalala with a check for $50,000 -- earmarked for the basketball program -- at one fundraiser. Shapiro alleges that his donations were was enough for Miami's brass to look the other way on the litany of violations he was perpetrating because they were so desperate for donations.

In fact, not only did Miami officials cast a blind eye to Shapiro, they embraced him as a booster, naming a student lounge after him and letting him lead the team onto its home field before games -- twice. In fact, former Miami athletic director Paul Dee maintained as of Tuesday that Miami "didn't have any suspicion that he was doing anything like this. He didn't do anything to cause concern." Dee is the former chair of the NCAA Committee on Infractions, having served the maximum allowable nine-year term as chair. 

Miami report fallout

Shapiro said he gave money, cars, yacht trips, jewelry, televisions and other gifts to a long list of notable former Hurricanes including Vince Wilfork, Jon Beason, Antrel Rolle, Devin Hester, Willis McGahee and the late Sean Taylor.

The potential fall-out from this report could be devastating to the Miami athletic department. Miami's football program was hit with serious sanctions in 1995. Many thought that the program would be protected by any allegations because of the NCAA's four-year statute of limitations. However, under NCAA bylaw 36.2.3 an investigation can expand beyond the statute if information reveals that in individual tied to a university has engaged in "a pattern of willful violations" over a sustained period beyond the previous four years.

One of the most damning aspects of the report was that while Shapiro was a booster for the Hurricanes, he was also acting as a runner for a sports agency -- Axcess Sports & Entertainment -- that he also owned a minority share of. Shapiro's partner in that agency, former NFL agent and current UFL commissioner Michael Huyghue, vehemently denied Shapiro's charges to the Associated Press.

"It's just fantasy," Huyghue said. "He never had any role in my company. He didn't have the acumen to represent players."

Yahoo! Sports reported that Axcess signee Vince Wilfork received $50,000 and a pair of Cadillac Escalades from Shapiro on behalf of the agency, however, and that Hester recognized Shapiro as a runner (though Hester did not name which agent).

Among the litany of gifts and incentives that Shapiro lavished on the Hurricanes included a $5,000 bounty on rival quarterbacks Chris Rix of Florida State and Tim Tebow of Florida. Neither quarterback was knocked out of a game against Miami, but Shapiro said Rix was targeted several time by Miami defenders.

“We pounded the (expletive) out of [Rix],” Shapiro said. “Watch the tape of those games. You’ll see so many big hits on him. Guys were all going after that $5,000 in cash. [Jon Vilma] tried to kill him – just crushed him – a couple of times trying to get that $5,000. And he almost got it, too.” 

Vilma, a current member of the New Orleans Saints, did not comment to Yahoo! Sports.

Now, Shapiro's prediction of the "death penalty" for Miami -- an entire season's cancellation, which is punishment only meted out by the NCAA once, to flagrant and repeat offenders Southern Methodist, in 1987 -- will probably not come true. Robinson even said as much in an interview on ESPN on Tuesday night, saying the idea isn't "reasonable or possible with any program anymore."

And yet it might be. For perhaps the first time since that fateful day in February 1987, the notion of a "death penalty" is now at least a remote possibility. For Miami, that means some of the NCAA's strongest sanctions are likely in store, so even if the worst-case scenario doesn't come true, the once-storied program will probably be damaged for years and years to come.  

AP Sports Writers Steven Wine, Eric Olson, Cliff Brunt and RB Fallstrom contributed to this story.

Posted on: August 16, 2011 10:09 am
Edited on: August 16, 2011 2:17 pm
 

Miami responds to NCAA investigation

Posted by Chip Patterson

Miami has stayed mum on the subject of the NCAA's investigation into claims of impermissible benefits until Tuesday. No players will be available to the media, but head coach Al Golden spoke to reporters before Tuesday's morning practice and the school offered this official statement.

When Nevin Shapiro made his allegations nearly a year ago, he and his attorneys refused to provide any facts to the University of Miami. The University notified the NCAA Enforcement officials of these allegations. We are fully cooperating with the NCAA and are conducting a joint investigation. The University of Miami takes these matters very seriously.

Golden informed reporters that he is learning about the investigation as the public/reporters are, because the NCAA has not identified him as someone of interest in this investigation. There are current players on the roster who have and/or will be interviewed, but they will not be contacting the coach and Golden will not be a part of the process.

CBSSports.com's Brett McMurphy reported today that the investigation could uncover serious NCAA violations, citing a source that believes that "between a 1 and 10," the scandal-in-waiting is "a 10."

In the below video you will also hear Golden claim that when he was hired, then-athletic director Kirby Hocutt did not inform of possible NCAA violations.  CBSSports.com's Daniel Walker reports that Texas Tech's athletic department (where Hocutt is currently AD) offered an official "no comment" in response to Golden's claim.  Hocutt was the Hurricanes AD when Golden was hired in December, then left for Lubbock, TX in Febrauary.  Golden did say that he would still have taken the job, even if he did have knowledge of a potential investigation.  

Full interview of Golden with the media on Tuesday morning below, courtesy of Canes All-Access


Posted on: August 15, 2011 2:35 pm
 

Lawyer: Miami booster has been talking with NCAA

Posted by Chip Patterson

The NCAA spent Monday morning on Miami's campus investigating claims that Miami football players received impermissible benefits from former UM booster and convicted felon Nevin Shapiro.

CBSSports.com's Bryan Fischer reported the investigation, and the Associated Press confirmed the NCAA's presence on campus after speaking to Shapiro's attorney, Maria Elena Perez.
His attorney, Maria Elena Perez, says Shapiro has told the NCAA he provided players with the use of a yacht and other favors. Shapiro and Perez have been talking with the NCAA about the matter for a couple of months, and she says investigators were on campus Monday.
Shapiro claims he is working on a tell-all book about Miami football that is expected to name nearly 100 Hurricanes who broke NCAA rules since 2001. He was a big-time booster who, unfortunately, became very close with the team and was often seen on the Miami sideline. One CBSSports.com source told Fischer Miami was in "big trouble" and "Shapiro would be able to back up his allegations."

Shapiro, 42, was sentenced in June to 20 years in prison for his involvement in a Ponzi scheme. While one argument in Miami's favor would try to paint this as a desperate man looking for publicity, Shapiro's legal troubles could actually end up hurting Miami. In other situations money trails disappear and make it difficult for allegations to stick, I bet it is impossible for someone already convicted of investment fraud to hide any transactions.

University officials have not offered an official comment on the issue. Keep it here at the Eye on College Football for more as it develops.
Posted on: July 28, 2011 11:23 am
 

Dick Baddour stepping down as UNC AD

Posted by Chip Patterson

The firing of Butch Davis is not the only leadership change that will occur in the North Carolina athletic department in the coming months. When Chancellor Holden Thorp and athletic director Dick Baddour addressed the media to explain the dismissal of Davis, Baddour also announced that he plans to step aside as AD.

Baddour's contract is set to run through June 2012, and he informed the media that he has told Thorp to begin the search for his replacement "as soon as possible." Thorp elaborated that Baddour would join the school in representing the program in Indianapolis before the NCAA Committee on Infractions. Once the school selects a replacement, Baddour will step aside from day-to-day duties but he will remain under contract until it expires in June.

Baddour, who has served as North Carolina's athletic director for 14 years, was visibly shaken as he announced the conclusion of his tenure to the gathered media in Chapel Hill. Thorp took multiple questions on the timing of the dismissal, and thanked the current playes in his opening statement "for putting on a North Carolina uniform."

Thorp also announced that he would be interviewing the interim candidates Thursday afternoon, and all of the interim candidates are current coaches on the North Carolina staff. The announcement of the interim coach is expected in the next few days.
Posted on: July 28, 2011 9:21 am
Edited on: July 28, 2011 9:39 am
 

Davis: 'Personally did nothing wrong' at UNC

Posted by Chip Patterson

North Carolina head coach Butch Davis issued a statement Wednesday night in response to his abrupt dismissal. Davis wishes the best to the current team and coaches, and maintains that he "personally did nothing wrong" during his time as the head of the program

"My family and I were surprised and saddened to learn that I have been relieved of my duties as head football coach at Carolina. I am not naïve enough to have ever considered this situation anything less than a serious matter and a significant priority. I have worked as hard as possible to address all aspects of the program that have been questioned. I fully believe we were on our way to getting past these issues and moving ahead in a positive direction.

"My family and I have been able to endure this difficult period in our lives for several reasons: First and foremost, as a family we have known all along that I personally did nothing wrong. That is the truth. Second, we have also had remarkable support from friends, family, the players, our coaching staff and so many others within the Tar Heel community. That these players and coaches were able to achieve the success they did last season, under such circumstances, makes me enormously proud.

"Moving forward, I wish only the best for the current team and coaches. For the players in particular, I wish them nothing but success on the field and in the classroom. The coaches already know how I feel about them. I couldn't be more proud of their hard work and dedication. In fact, during the past year or so, my respect and love for our players, the coaching staff and the football administrative staff has grown enormously. It's a wonderful group of people and I will miss them all.


Davis went on to elaborate that he would not be doing any interviews or discuss his future. He explained he did not want to be any further distraction to the current players and staff as they prepare to begin camp.

Davis' dismissal has seen some significant blowback from certain members of the North Carolina community. Many of the fans are upset with the timing, but the most concerning distaste has been on the current roster. As CBSSports.com's Brett Friedlander reported last night, some players have even begun to discuss the option of leaving the program.

"Some guys have been calling each other and have said they might want to leave," junior wide receiver Jheranie Boyd told the Gaston Gazette. "He’s a big reason a lot of the players came to UNC."

The sting of losing your head coach is still very real for these players, and I would probably chalk that comment up to emotion. But it is an immediate concern for North Carolina to make sure that the recruits in the 2012 class are still interested in the program. Davis has been referred to over and over again as a "players coach," and whoever takes the seat for the interim will need to put in work immediately to reaffirm recruits' commitment to the university.
Posted on: July 27, 2011 5:47 pm
Edited on: July 28, 2011 9:32 am
 

Butch Davis fired as UNC football coach

Posted by Chip Patterson

UPDATE: Quotes from the official university release.

Chancellor Holden Thorp

"To restore confidence in the University of North Carolina and our football program, it's time to make a change," said Thorp. "What started as a purely athletic issue has begun to chip away at this University's reputation. I have been deliberate in my approach to understanding this situation fully, and I have worked to be fair to everyone involved. However, I have lost confidence in our ability to come through this without harming the way people think of this institution. Our academic integrity is paramount and we must work diligently to protect it. The only way to move forward and put this behind us is to make a change."

Thorp said the decision was not related to any change in the NCAA investigation, but that it was the result of the cumulative damage to the University's reputation over the past year.

"Athletics and football are an important part of this University, and a successful football program is essential to the overall health of our athletic program," Thorp continued. "That's why we have to put this behind us and move forward."

Athletic Director Dick Baddour

"I want to thank Butch Davis and his family for their four-plus years of service and dedication to the University and the Chapel Hill community," said Baddour. "My staff and I will work with Chancellor Thorp to transition to an interim head coach as soon as possible. It is critical that we do all we can to help our students and other staff members on the football team since preseason training camp begins in just eight days."

The timing of the dismissal comes after a change in leadership and the induction of new members to the school's Board of Trustees.  Below are some details of the new BOT members, via InsideCarolina.com

According to a source, Davis, athletic director Dick Baddour and chancellor Holden Thorp held a closed door meeting on Tuesday afternoon.

The Board of Trustees had a regularly scheduled 1 p.m. meeting on Wednesday at the Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill, including a session that was closed.

The Board of Trustees, a 13-member board that governs the University welcomed new leadership and new members on Wednesday. Wade H. Hargrove, a Raleigh a corporate and national media lawyer and partner with Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard LLP, was elected chairman. W. Lowry Caudill of Durham, co-founder of Magellan Laboratories and retired president of Pharmaceutical Development for Cardinal Health, and Steven J. Lerner of Chapel Hill, founder and chairman of the Board of Directors of both Capstrat and FGI and managing partner of the Blue Hill Group, were also sworn into office.

------------------------

Butch Davis has been fired as head coach of the North Carolina football team, according to CBSSports.com sources.

The termination comes after the new Board of Trustees met in a closed session today to discuss the future of the football program. Davis remained employed for over a year as North Carolina has undergone NCAA investigation for both impermissible benefits and academic improprieties. Earlier this summer, North Carolina received their Notice of Allegations from the NCAA - which detailed 9 different violations being alleged against the football program.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com