Nevingate continues its winding path toward whatever conclusion awaits University of Miami athletics.
The Miami Herald's Barry Jackson reports in today's Herald that "Former University of Miami football players who allegedly received Cadillac Escalades, jewelry, party invites, champagne, lap dances and the services of prostitutes and other gratuities courtesy of a now-imprisoned athletic-booster-run amok won't have to talk about it in a bankruptcy pleading. Nor will they have to give anything back.
"UM has agreed to pay $83,000 to the bankruptcy trustee in the case of Nevin Shapiro, who is serving 20 years for defrauding investors in a Ponzi scheme. In exchange, the bankruptcy trustee agreed not to try to recoup any more money from UM or the 70 living players who are alleged to have received cash, gifts or services from Shapiro, in violation of NCAA rules.
"The deal eliminates the likelihood of former Hurricane players having to disclose under oath potentially incriminating information about improper gifts received from Shapiro -- testimony that might have further embarrassed the university.''
Please keep in mind that the settlement, according to our story, must be approved by a bankruptcy court judge on Feb. 27. But that, I am told, especially in a case like this, usually happens.
So how does this affect UM's prognosis? Remember, the NCAA does not have subpoena power and cannot require former UM players -- or former UM coaches (unless they're coaching at another college) -- to answer its questions or cooperate in the investigation.
In the end, it helps UM, though the NCAA has obviously talked at length to Shapiro and can use whatever he gives them, if the NCAA finds it to be true directly through its own investigation. But it has to be the NCAA itself that verifies that information. It can't be through the Yahoo!Sports report, or any other publication or second-hand source.
However, sworn testimony by former players, etc., through the U.S. Courts would help to sink the Canes.
I am told the NCAA case is not close to being concluded.
This is a positive development for the Hurricanes, but it does not mean they won't get slammed. It just depends on what the NCAA can discover for itself.
UM will soon be starting its spring semester, with a new crop of Canes emerging. Between five and 10 newcomers will join the team in January. The status of a few is uncertain, depending on transcripts, grades, courses, etc.
I hope everyone is having a happy and healthy holiday season and has a safe and fulfilling new year.
Here's a link to Barry's well-reported story: http://tinyurl.com/842trms
SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN