The attorney for convicted Ponzi schemer Nevin Shapiro said the NCAA has been given a deposition in which former University of Miami assistant football equipment manager Sean Allen confirmed some of Shapiro’s allegations against UM but denied others.
Shapiro’s attorney, Maria Elena Perez, was permitted to depose Allen and Shapiro’s former business partner Michael Huyghue in mid-December, before UM and the bankruptcy trustee reached an $83,000 settlement days later.
As part of that agreement, no former UM players can be asked to testify, under oath, about Shapiro. If Perez attempts to depose anyone else involved the case, UM could challenge it legally. And the NCAA has no subpoena power, though current university employees are required to speak to NCAA officials.
Whereas Allen’s testimony could both help and hurt UM, Huyghue did not say anything significant under oath that would implicate the school, according to a source with direct knowledge of the deposition.
In Allen’s deposition, obtained by Miami New Times, Allen told the bankruptcy trustee that he has no knowledge of Shapiro giving DeQuan Jones’ family $10,000 to ensure that he stuck by his commitment to UM – among the most damaging of Shapiro’s claims. Allen also said he has no knowledge of Shapiro buying cars or prostitutes for players, as Shapiro alleged.
Allen confirmed in the deposition that Shapiro gave him $3000 to take Ray Ray Armstrong, Dyron Dye and Andre Dubose to a strip club during their UM recruiting trip. Armstrong and Dye signed with Miami eventually, while DuBose opted for UF.
Allen confirmed that dozens of players took improper gifts from Shapiro, mostly in the form of parties at Mansion or partying with him on his yacht. That group included Devin Hester, Jon Beason and Kyle Wright, among others.
Allen also confirmed former Central quarterback Jeffrey Godfrey visited Shapiro’s suite and had dinner at Benihana’s, at Shapiro’s expense.
Allen, who worked as Shapiro’s personal aid from late 2007 to 2008, told The New Times that he spoke to the NCAA last spring but did not answer a lot of their questions. “There was truth in what Nevin told Yahoo, but it was blown way out of proportion,” Allen said.
Perez told The Miami Herald in December that she planned to send Allen’s deposition to the NCAA. On Tuesday, she said via text message, “The NCAA has had the Sean Allen depo and their view is that Mr. Allen was not being forthcoming.”
The NCAA declines to comment on individual cases, but Allen’s attorney, Devang Desai, said Perez “ought to look at her client before disparaging mine.” Desai also said he objects to Perez sharing the deposition with the NCAA because Allen has not been given the deposition transcript to review and finalize.
Shapiro alleged that he and Huyghue operated a sports agency that gave gifts to UM players while recruiting them. Huyghue consistently has denied Shapiro’s claims of wrongdoing.
Shapiro, serving a 20-year sentence for engineering an $880 million Ponzi scheme, reiterated recently that he remains determined to hurt the UM football program and he has shared damaging allegations with the NCAA that have not been made public. But according to multiple UM sources, the school is not aware of any new allegations, and there is skepticism about Shapiro’s claims to the contrary.