During a week in which most college football programs are focusing on learning plays and running drills, the University of Miami is reacting to allegations by a former booster that he showered players with more than $1 million in improper benefits between 2002 and 2010.
The claims are being made by Nevin Shapiro, a former booster who is now serving 20 years in federal prison for running a $930 million Ponzi scheme. In an interview with Only A Game’s Doug Tribou, Yahoo! Sports national columnist Dan Wetzel explains Shapiro’s motivation for bringing the allegations to light.
“His reason for coming forward is both to cooperate with the federal government and revenge,” Wetzel said. “It’s fairly simple. He wants to hurt people that hurt him. He has absolutely nothing to lose, so he will tell pretty much any story that he can to hurt the Miami football program.”
Yahoo! Sports corroborated the details of this week’s report, but Wetzel says the NCAA might be able to confirm even more of Shapiro’s allegations. Given the severity of the accusations and the previous sanctions against the University of Miami, the NCAA could choose strip the University of Miami of its football program under the so-called “death penalty” clause. Wetzel says that’s not likely to happen.
“This is one of the storied, powerhouse programs in a big TV market,” Wetzel said. “It would cost the NCAA a great deal of money, and I just don’t believe the organization has the stomach for that.”