Well, it looks like the NCAA investigators will be taking their talents to south beach. But this won’t be the first time that Miami has been under the scrutiny of the NCAA. “The U” as it is commonly referred to by fans,players and alumni has had a history of being in trouble with the NCAA. Back in the 80’s they had a – booster who got the school in trouble and there have been other problems since.
But this latest report by Yahoo has the college football world on it’s ear. This is being called the most blatant cheating scandal since the infamous SMU scandal of the 80’s. The scorned booster,who is serving 20 years for his part in a ponzi scheme, has contacted the NCAA and gave them evidence of his actions over the course of the early 2000’s. It was so blatant and out there, I don’t see how Miami can say they knew nothing about it. He had seven coaches from the football program and three from the basketball team helping him.
This was not a case of $100 handshakes under the table at a quiet banquet, this was a guy who was renting suites, buying up VIP rooms and parading around Miami with players in tow. The entire area turned a blind eye towards what was going on, because at the time Miami was winning. But as when the program started to fall off, and it was getting embarrassed at home, the booster decided to challenge the head of compliance to a fight in the press box. You would think after that the school would distance it self from this guy, but they turned a blind eye on him and continued to let him do his thing and associate with the players. This was the final part that allowed Nevin Shapiro to see that he was free to do what he wanted, and he couldn’t be stopped.
All of this went on for the better part of a decade, and there are lots of players that have been named in this scandal, a lot of players still on the roster are on the firing line also. This is going to be interesting to see how the NCAA finally decides to handle this because so many players have transferred out and are supposed to play for other teams this season, but if they are involved, will they be allowed to play? This is one scandal that is going to rock college football to the very foundation, but will it bring out the dreaded “death penalty”? It is highly doubtful that this will have that big of ramifications, but the NCAA needs to learn from it’s mistakes and finally lay a severe penalty that will strike fear into other schools.
It is funny to think that this whole thing could have been avoided, the only reason Shapiro decided to tell his story to the NCAA and Yahoo is because a lot of the players he thought were his friends turned their back on him when he finally had to turn himself in for his crime. He said that phone calls and requests for help fell on deaf ears, so as he has had a lot of time to sit and think and let the anger build inside of him. He decided to put the school he once loved with a passion to the fire and exact his revenge for breaking what he percieved as breaking the friend code.
While this looks to be a problem across the country at all of the major universities, we are just now starting to see some of the big schools getting busted consistently. The NCAA needs to stand up and make a point that this will not be tolerated, but as long as they let these schools off with little to no real punishment, then we will continue reading about these violations. Miami had this problem back in the 80’s and twenty years later we are learning that it is happening again, if it ever really ever stopped at all. This to me constitutes a repeat offender and deserves the most sever punishment the NCAA can hand down. Like I have said before, the NCAA finally needs to show it’s teeth and get serious when it punishes these institutions. Only time will tell what the final verdict will be, but I am sure it will be less than what they deserve.