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NCAA investigation update: Nevin Shapiro rants from prison; UM optimistic

SUNDAY BUZZ COLUMN

 

As he sits behind a computer in a New Orleans prison, the rage still boils inside Nevin Shapiro.

The angry e-mails this winter paint the picture of a man determined to destroy the UM football program. But UM remains optimistic he won’t be nearly as successful as he claims he will be.

“The public is going to hate me worse in the next coming months,” Shapiro, serving a 20-year sentence for a Ponzi scheme, wrote in numerous e-mails over the past few months. “It’s going to be severe and catastrophic. My feelings are getting inflamed and I’m going to pop off pretty soon with regards to them and the NCAA. I’m coming for them both [UM and former players] and I’m going to be successful.

“I’m taking that program down to Chinatown and the former players and links to that program. Why? Because the U.S. government lined up 47 former players to testify against me in open court if I went to trial. That in itself is motivation to shove it up their collective [butts].”

Nobody at UM believes Shapiro when he claims “UM is getting the death penalty or damn close to it.” The NCAA isn’t commenting on its investigation, which began last March, but here’s what people are saying, including UM administrators and Board of Trustee members:

### The NCAA has not told UM what punishment to expect, but there’s cautious optimism. UM’s understanding is the NCAA will dismiss any of Shapiro’s claims that it cannot corroborate and is highly skeptical about some of his allegations. Many of them have not been corroborated.

One top UM official said if Shapiro were under oath, UM could punch holes in much of what he says. UM expects to hear from the NCAA by early summer.

### One UM official said he expects “one more bowl ban, maybe two at most” plus undetermined scholarship losses. But that’s speculative, because UM hasn’t been told anything on either issue. Some are hopeful of escaping further bowl bans after last year’s self-imposed one.

### Al Golden said: “We think the worst is behind us. The [current] coaches and 95 percent of the players weren’t here when that thing went on. There’s a shift by the NCAA to go after the perpetrators and that’s not us.”

### Surprisingly, the NCAA hasn’t contacted many former players implicated by Shapiro. Samuel Shields said his son Sam, whom Shapiro claimed he gave a television, was never called by the NCAA and said Shapiro’s allegation is false.

The school believes none of the former Canes, excluding those still attending college elsewhere, are talking to the NCAA. The NCAA called several college players who aren’t at UM; some gave information that could hurt UM but others, such as ex-Cane Storm Johnson did not. Johnson, now at UCF, told the NCAA he had no contact with Shapiro, his father said. (Remember, only current college players, current coaches and current college employees are required to speak to the NCAA; all others are not.)

### Former UM basketball coaches Frank Haith, Jake Morton and Jorge Fernandez denied wrongdoing to NCAA investigators and claimed no knowledge of Morton’s alleged payoff intended for DeQuan Jones’ family, according to friends. The NCAA hasn’t corroborated the Jones allegation. "DeQuan Jones didn't do anything wrong, but that won't stop the proof of the cash payouts to Morton, with Haith's knowledge," Shapiro e-mailed. The NCAA apparently has no such proof, as of this time.

### Former assistant football coach Joe Pannunzio, now at Alabama, said he would do nothing to implicate UM, according to a friend, though one active player told the NCAA that Pannunzio was to blame for taking him to Shapiro. More problematic is Louisville assistant Clint Hurtt, who was implicated by several players for providing lodging during recruiting trips.... Also still problematic, among other things: Shapiro's co-ownership in a sports agency that signed Vince Wilfork and Jon Beason and recruited lots of others. But his partner, Michael Huyghue, has disputed Shapiro's claims and denied NCAA violations. 

### The owner of one prominent local business where Shapiro allegedly took players said he did not return the NCAA’s call. Fashion Clothiers owner Shelly Bloom said the NCAA hasn’t called him, notable because Yahoo! claiming Bloom confirmed that Shapiro spent thousands of dollars on suits and clothing for Devin Hester, Tavares Gooden and Willis McGahee. Bloom disputed that Yahoo portrayal, saying he didn’t know for whom Shapiro bought the clothing.

### Shapiro said “114 is the true number” of players he has implicated “and that’s what the NCAA is working off” – not the 72 mentioned by Yahoo! But aside from the eight who were disciplined last year, allegations against many will be difficult or impossible to prove.

### Shapiro spoke of claims that have not “been brought to light yet” and that “the NCAA is aware and involved.” If there are such claims, UM people we spoke with aren’t aware of them.

### After a December agreement ensured that no current or former UM players will be asked to testify in front of the bankruptcy trustee, Shapiro said the former players “are going to have to tell the truth, but it’s not going to be [to] a trustee.” He has suggested UM players will be required to speak to the government.

But Michael Ward, who’s in charge of Newark’s FBI division (which investigated Shapiro's Ponzi scheme), said Shapiro’s allegations “against the players would not rise to the level of a federal crime. There is no FBI investigation of Shapiro’s allegations.”

Overall, Shapiro sounds like a desperate man, willing to say anything to exact revenge and still furious that "once the [ex-UM] players turned pro, they turned their back on me.'' Incredibly, he says of himself, "I'm more of a victim than a Ponzi schemer and assailant." The federal government doesn't see it that way.

A member of the Federal Department of Justice said Shapiro, 42, must serve at least 85 percent of his sentence, equal to 17 years, for orchestrating the $930 million Ponzi scheme. He pled guilty, in September 2010, to one count of securities fraud and one count of money laudering. 

CHATTER

### Carl Peterson’s friends say even though he and Stephen Ross discussed an executive position with the Dolphins, Ross would not give Peterson a title that would put him over CEO Mike Dee and GM Jeff Ireland because of faith in both. That eliminated any chance of it happening.

### One prominent NFL agent predicts the Dolphins and Redskins are the most likely to make the highest bids for Peyton Manning (health provided), but NBC’s Peter King expects Redskins executive Bruce Allen will tell owner Dan Snyder, “I’m not going to screw up my salary cap unless his physical comes back perfect.” Said King: Dolphins owner “Stephen Ross is most likely to give him whatever he wants, including the keys to his house.” Besides the Dolphins, Redskins, Cardinals and Jets, keep an eye on Seattle, which has a lot of cap space.

###  Though much was made of Larry Bird’s comments that he would take Kobe Bryant over LeBron James “if you want to win and win and win,” Bird also predicted James “is going to win multiple championships and will go down as one of the top three, four, five players to ever play. He’s so good, I think people nitpick and expect so much of the kid. We should just enjoy him instead of pounding him.”

### The consensus on Marlins target Yoenis Cespedes is scouts love his speed, power, and arm and range defensively. The only concern we’ve heard is whether he’ll be more than a .260 or .270 type hitter. “I would have concerns about him being an above average bat at the big-league level,” one AL scout said. “He looks like he gets everything out in front of the plate. When you don’t see the ball longer and let it travel a little deeper, you are generally using one side of the field. He might hit for power, but if he doesn’t control the zone very well, he will have trouble hitting for average.”

Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen told a Chicago radio station last week that Cespedes is "pretty impressive" but "there are a lot of question marks out there. How is he going to handle major league pitching? We don't know... Whoever signs him is gambling.'' The Marlins remain cautiously optimistic about signing him; Cespedes' agent has spoken to other teams, but the outfielder reportedly has met only with the Marlins so far.

Comments

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paolo

Marlins dont need cespedes - Miami doesnt need another cuban... the guy is an overrated fraud who is going to be a bust... like all cubans, he is already feeling entitled claiming which teams he wants to and not play for... the fish have made great signings to this point, signing him would ruin it at all... i hope he signs elsewhere and he becomes a cancer to another team

canefan_in_ak

hhmmm i heard from a friend who heard from a friend who is legit..he knows the whole story on the punishment from the ncaa... you cant be serious danny... lets say i heard from a friend who heard from a friend that your shapiro's brother...that's about how far fetched your so called statement is... and using caps is for kids...tomorrow is monday so i think you should go back to middle school... you my friend are a tool shed...

Joe

This little twerp with the Napoleon complex can try to scare Cane players.Zero are scared I am sure and no one else is ...in regards to his threats.Virtually anyone and everyone is dying to kick his a.. ASAP anyway.He talks cause he s safe behind bars.He won t talk too loud when he s released.That said.....Sure more punishment is coming but hopefully it s reasonable and the U can move on.This little scumbag needs to quit while he s ahead.Someone in prison just might be...and likely is......a Cane fan.Watch your back Shapiro.

Joe

To:dannyboycane: Wow...you re jumping all over the place.Chill and calm down already with some hot tea.Everyone with reasonable intelligence knows the U will get some sanctions.They sure won t be nowhere close to your fearful...er exagerrated amount.You must be from Gainesville.You demonstrate no common sense with your opinion.So......it cannot be taken seriously.We ll talk another day after this passes.

canentally

So tell me Gatorsam. Why are you so threatened by Golden? You must be. Why else would you call him a liar? This article was not about him. It was about the con man Shapiro. Who by the way is a liar to his core.
As they say: Dirty people always throw stones at things that shine.

Brian

gatorsam,

I belive the part where he says he couldn't even compete with what the SEC does in terms of paying players.

Your time will come to you and your entire conference.

j

Miami should just self impose restrictions as soon as possible. I don agree with another bowl loss when OSU got only one.

gatorsam

canentally: I was responding to a poster who commented that Golden was not aware of the Shapiro situation. The coaching fraternity is a tight knit group, everyone knows everything,so I refuse to believe Golden would jump from Temple to Miami without doing his due dilligence. All I'm saying is with the Shapiro allegations being in print months before Golden was hired I do not believe Golden was in the dark. If he still wanted the job fine, but it is disingenuous for Golden to try and sell the I knew nothing baloney.

Scott C

The NCAA is a scam anyway...they allow Jabba Dee to head the SC inquiry and to find this Miami Athletic director is a complete scumbag...Miami deserves to be spanked!

michigancane

It's so amusing in a pathetic sort of way to see the incessant comments posted on virtually every Herald UM blog by the same "haters"...people like the ever-present gatursam and the delusional DBC (no doubt another camouflaged gatur troll). It's amazing that they are so obsessed with the 'Canes that they hang on every article. To bad that in their blind hatred for The U, they aren't able to make the distinction between what is likely to happen from this Shapiro mess and what they WISH would happen. As far as DBC and his "I really have good sources", in Jersey, no less, he writes like a little kid trying to get attention from the other kids by claiming he really, really, really knows something they don't. As far as Shapiro, please keep making your rants more and more extreme. It only undermines your claims even more than the truth already has.

Joel J

For the record, this lowlife isn't in a Minimum Security ("country club") facility, but he IS in Low Security. Oakdale, LA. You can look it up -- www.bop.gov

Click on the Inmate Locator tab, and put in his name. Oakdale is essentially a "country club" facility, but with double fences.

huskerzfan4life

This guy is a Joke, and the joke is on him, poor Loser boy will spend 20 years in a cell and Nobody gives a rats A SS, He is simply making noise for attention, because no one cares one IOTA about his existence, The Canes already suck, and will suck for the next 10-20 years< thats good enough for me !

DJR

Golden said 95% of current players had nothing to do with this...R. Bush had been gone 5 years and NONE of the players since had anything to do with any of it.
Paul Dee should serve with Shapiro.
USC - ONE player
Miami - 72+ ?

rboud

Hey Danny boy,

Based on your calculations, UM will only be allowed to have 45 players on scholarship after the third year of probation is enforced (40 over 3 years). UM got as low as 57 scholarship players after the Pell Grant scandal. You were probably in a crib when that happened, so you have no recollection. That was about as bad as anyone has ever been punished. I don't think a loss of 40 scholarships has happened in college football since the 85 limit was established. You better have a heart to heart with your sources.

TrojanTruth

From a USC fan's perspective, UM deserves the death penalty. Paul Dee crucified us over one player taking money from people that never set foot on USC's campus. Shapiro had a lounge named after him, was given total access to the football team, and was well known for lavishing money on players in Miami. UM paid $80K to the U.S. trustee as restitution for money that Shapiro spent on UM football players, which is basically an admission of what happened. UM displayed a total lack of institutional control, and should be punished accordingly. Hell, there is a photo of Shapiro handing Shallela a check. He was allowed on the sidelines, in the locker room, etc. UM couldn't have been more complicit. And get your facts straight, nobody at USC "lied to cover up lies." The NCAA accussed one assistant coach of lying after the fact, and that coach sued the NCAA for libel because Paul Dee had zero evidence to support his position.

UM may get off light, but it would only be for the same reasons tOSU got off light. NCAA is about show-friends and jealousy, and Shallala and Emmert have a good relationship. But UM deserves to burn.

canefan_in_ak

trojantruth... fact about that check was simply... it was a fund raiser, the pres. was shocked that little d.b. handed over a 50k check...really dont go spouting off without out knowing a little about the situation first... just saying.

dannyboycane13

@ rbound

LMAO! Another person that doesn't UNDERSTAND. Not one IOTA. USC lost 30 scholarships, but that didn't mean they have to GET DOWN to 55 scholarships, silly. That means USC can't have over 75 (-10) for the next 3 years.

http://usc.ocregister.com/2010/06/10/breaking-news-usc-football-team-receives-2-year-bowl-ban-loses-30-scholarships-over-3-years/40813/

MY SOURCES ARE TO LEGIT TO QUIT!

Eudocimus01

You have no sources. You're full of sh*t.

That is all.

Eudocimus01

NOT ONE IOTA!

k

Hey Coach Golden, 95% of the USC players were in high school when Reggie Bush screwed up too and several current of the coaches weren't there as well, so don't think thats going to keep your pristine program from getting thrown into the wood chipper. That fat f*#k Paul Dees' legacy and bad karma are going to take the Canes into the dumpster where they belong. The U>>>>THUggggs & punks.

Rob

I'm a Nole fan, but this guy sounds desperate. He is just searching for a way to get back at those who testified against him and put him away. This guy is a fraud, liar, and thief. Maybe some of his allegations are true, but he is trying too hard to end miami sports and it just makes him look worse. Every football and baseball recruit/athlete gets free stuff. Shapiro is a waste of a human, and not someone who we should waste more time listening too.

Go Noles!

MCaa Hammer

IT'S HAMMER TIME!

BUCKEYES4LIFE

the chickens have come home to roost. TAKE YOUR MEDICINE MIAMI

tony

FYI- People call Shapiro a booster as if it is some high level position. If you ever donated $1 to an athletic department, you are considered a booster. So all of us that have to pay the "donation extortion" for the right to by season tickets, are considered boosters. SO, be careful by saying "the U let this guy be a booster".

Also, I suggest google the Adam Kuperstein story about lucky strike lanes and shapiro....you find out exactly what happened from the owner of lucky strike.

robert rodgers

shapiro and um fans...two peas in a pod. both liars and thugs that deserve each other, how fitting

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