I've intentionally taken some time to digest all the information coming out of Coral Gables, so as not to offer a emotional, knee-jerk reaction. That's what my weekly picks are for. And just so there's no confusion among some of you Hurricane fans, Coral Gables is where the University of Miami is actually located, not Sun Life Stadium.
What's telling about this whole fiasco is not what's been alleged by Nevin Shapiro, it's the reaction of former players, coaches and anyone who stood to gain financially or professionally from being associated with Nevin Shapiro. No one is saying, "Never met the guy....never seen his house....never been on his boat....he's lying about everything"....NO ONE. To a man, from former coach Jimmy Johnson to former players like Jonathan Vilma, they've all attacked Shapiro's credibility in spite of evidence presented in the Yahoo Sports article.
For you Miami fans who never bothered to go watch the Canes play, let alone stepped foot on campus or enrolled in a single class, this is called a "diversionary tactic". Google it and read the results before blindly supporting Da U. Read the Yahoo article while you're at it. The article has plenty of pictures so you can follow along.
For you Miami alums and season ticket holders, people who actually support the program, please accept my condolences. Your Canes are fucked.
This Shapiro cat did his dirt for nearly a decade, right under the nose of Miami's athletic department and top administrators. The UM brass also failed to notice Shapiro was a stakeholder in a sports management agency that represented several high profile Canes after they went pro.
Essentially UM's administration enabled a guy who illegally brought in big-time recruits, kept them knee-deep in hookers and cash during their UM playing days, then made money off the few elite kids good enough to go pro. To show their appreciation, the UM brass allowed Shapiro to lead the team out of the tunnel and named a building after him.
Lack of institutional control? Try lack of institutional competency...lack of a clue. Worst case Miami's athletic department is guilty of just not giving a damn as long as Shapiro's donor checks cleared. Either way UM will pay dearly.
Southern Cal got hammered over paying OJ Mayo and Reggie Bush. Jim Tressel lost his job for covering up a "tattoos for memorabilia" barter deal involving no more than a half dozen Ohio State players. How much is a Big 10 championship ring worth...a butterfly tattoo?
Meanwhile, the body count in Coral Gables is currently 72 players, and Shapiro's tab for this 8-year party has to be in the millions. SMU didn't spend anywhere near this much for talent.
Should Miami get the death penalty? Yes they should, if for no other reason no one at UM in a position to stop Nevin Shapiro bothered to do so. Throw in Miami's repeat offender status, coupled with the NCAA waiving the 4-year statute of limitations under the "willful violator" clause, there's a strong case for shutting down the program for a year.
Whether or not the death penalty happens is in the hands of an organization with about as much dirty laundry as UM's athletic department, right down to the head enforcement honcho who just so happened to be in charge of Miami's athletic department when Shapiro did his dirt. Do us a favor and step down Paul Dee...you have about as much credibility as Michelle Bachmann wishing Elvis Presley a Happy Birthday last week.
As for you Miami, whatever penalties come your way, you earned them. Congratulations from your good friends in Gainesville and Tallahassee. As I understand it, Casey Anthony's legal team is available to work another miracle. You might want to give Jose Baez a call.