Home > Sports > Miami Vice: Nevin Shapiro Is Bringing a Major Sh*t Storm On The Miami Hurricanes.

Miami Vice: Nevin Shapiro Is Bringing a Major Sh*t Storm On The Miami Hurricanes.

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Meet Nevin Shapiro, a man who is serving 20 years in a federal prison for running a 930 million dollar Ponzi scheme in Miami. Shapiro is also the man who is single handedly going to bring down the University of Miami athletic department. At the very least, he will be responsible for bringing the death penalty to the Hurricanes football program.

In what may be the biggest scandal to hit college football since the SMU investigation in the 80’s, Shapiro is the focal point in a list of infractions that trail all the way back to 2002. Up until he was charged with his Ponzi scheme in April of 2010, Shapiro has alleged that he has given a ton of money to several Miami athletes including such notables as Vince Wilfork, Andre Johnson, Devin Hester, Frank Gore, and Jon Beason. He gave them cash and jewelry, and threw them parties that came complete with booze and prostitutes. In one incident, he paid for an unnamed player’s girlfriend to have an abortion. The investigation, deemed by many in the NCAA as the biggest infractions case ever, will probably find that the U of M officials knew about Shapiro’s dealings with Hurricane athletes, and will most likely come down on the university like a ton of bricks. This is going to make the current OSU and North Carolina scandals seem infinitesimal in comparison.

Shapiro was a huge contributor to Miami’s athletic program; he had his own luxury box at the stadium. He had free access to the Miami press box, as well as the coaches in both the football and basketball programs. In fact, Shapiro claims that he has had interaction with no less than 7 Hurricane football and basketball coaches, taking them to dinner and strip clubs, and in the case of one coach, loaning him $5000 dollars. He hobnobbed with the highest officials in the U of M program, including university president Donna Shalala. He had open access to practices, flew on the team charter to away games, and even led the team onto the field at least twice before home games. Shapiro was as tied to the university as the ocean is tied to Miami Beach. To make things even worse, the millions that he has given to the university, were from the ill gotten gains from his near $1 billion dollar Ponzi scheme.

While some will claim that Shapiro is merely bitter because the university disassociated from him after his Ponzi scheme, Shapiro has the proof to back it up. He has provided the NCAA with bank records, financial statements, credit card receipts, e-mails, phone bills, as well as the names to witnesses that can back up his allegations. He may be pissed, but he was thorough, and as a result, the University of Miami is royally fucked.

What is going on at Miami just underscores a point that I’ve been making all along; big time college athletic programs cheat. I don’t care who it is: USC, Ohio State, Miami, Michigan, Florida, Auburn, Alabama, Oregon State, it doesn’t matter who they are, they all flaunt the NCAA rule book in order to get a leg up on the competition. Money fuels success, and success fuels money. It’s as simple as that. Just because a college athletic program has not been found guilty of any infractions to date doesn’t mean they comply, it just means they’re good at not getting caught. If you’re a fan of a “clean” program, don’t delude yourself, your team’s time under the microscope is coming. It’s not a question of if; it’s a question of when. College athletics are big business, and like every major corporation, where there’s big business, there’s big time greed and corruption. It’s the American Way; just ask our politicians and corporate leaders.

To quote former baseball player Oscar Gamble “They don’t think it be like it is, but it do.” In the case of college athletics, truer words were never spoken. Think about that, the next time you feel tempted to criticize a program for cheating. Your team may just be next.

  1. August 17, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    Interesting post. I’ve always heard that down south the various college, even high school sports teams are extremely competitive.

    One could probably extrapolate this case to other facets of society. It could make a strong argument against competition in its extreme form. Healthy competition is a good thing, but once monetized, it becomes corrupt not about competition anymore, but about greed and how well connected you are.

    Pro-sports all to much typify this second type and set a poor example for others to emulate. Another reason not to watch them I guess. 🙂


    • August 18, 2011 at 7:13 am

      Intellectually, I would agree. Emotionally, well, I love football too damn much to advocate its eradication 😉


      • August 18, 2011 at 1:57 pm

        Consider though the inclusion of a slight “but,” in your football analysis. As in, it is a great game, “but”, it encourages a regressive set of goals and morality…

        Good food for thought anyways… 🙂


        • August 18, 2011 at 3:40 pm

          Oh, it absolutely does. I’ll never deny that. Furthermore, who can blame the kids at the college level for taking money,jewelry,cars, etc from anyone who’s willing to give to them. They’re doing exactly what the heads of athletic departments, coaching staffs, conference officials, etc are doing. The NCAA is corrupt from top to bottom, just like our government.

          Like our government, the only way to fix it is to tear it down and start over. But who in their right mind wants to kill the golden goose? That is, as long as they have access to the eggs of course.


  2. Ric
    August 21, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    …and let’s not forget the corrupt Little League World Series.


    • August 22, 2011 at 10:34 am

      Check out this quote from James Michener, originally made in his book “Sports in America.”

      “The evil always begins with adults who desperately want to win championships that were denied them when they were young boys. They use children, often not their own, to achieve this dream, and in doing so pervert the normal experiences of youth.”

      I wonder if ESPN will use that quote while they and the World Series commission make 20 million dollars in the process of exploiting tweeners.


      • Ric
        August 22, 2011 at 3:04 pm

        Earlier in my life I might have wondered why the kids themselves haven’t caught on to the basic unfairness of the LLWS. But having seen the dumbing down of American education (and any number of other social endeavors), I’m not surprised that they haven’t. I like to think I would have quit LL once I cottoned on to the con game, but nobody ever asked me to play baseball.


      • August 28, 2011 at 6:17 pm

        George Orwell on sports…

        “Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence. In other words, it is war minus the shooting.”


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