Yesterday, Charles Robinson and the team at Yahoo! Sports broke an absolutely Earth-shattering story, which details rampant NCAA violations committed by ex-booster Nevin Shapiro at The University of Miami. In a nutshell, Shapiro did something similar to what Luther Campbell did for Miami football in the ’80s and ’90s; paid for players to go to nightclubs, hosted parties for players, and gave monetary rewards for players performing well in big games.
Shapiro, a booster who cashed in on the real estate market in Miami, also owned a large stake in a sports agency which ended up being the go-to agency for top NFL draft prospects coming out of “The U.” In addition to his NCAA violations, Shapiro was involved in a ponzi scheme which has landed him in jail. Although the ex-booster struck up many relationships with top Miami football and basketball players between 2002 and 2010, the only players with ties to the Ravens involved with Shapiro were Willis McGahee and Tavares Gooden.
While Gooden did not receive as many benefits as other players did from Shapiro, the middle linebacker had, by all accounts, a very good relationship with the shady booster. Among the many things Shapiro provided Gooden were a $7,500 watch, over $5,000 worth of clothes and suits, a studio apartment in Miami Beach, and a job with the Miami Beach Police Athletic League. On top of that, Shapiro paid for many high-priced meals and nights at Miami clubs for Gooden and teammates. Needless to say, all of those purchases are blatant and severe NCAA violations.
To give you some idea of the magnitude of this scandal involving the Miami athletic department, Gooden’s treatment seemed to be the norm among football players.
McGahee, who had a short but very memorable college career for the Hurricanes, is no longer a running back for the Ravens, as he signed a contract this offseason with the Denver Broncos. With that said, McGahee has strong Ravens ties, and was also involved with Shapiro during his college days.
Shapiro claims McGahee was among the first players he became involved with during his time as a Miami booster. Shapiro bought McGahee two suits, one of which he wore at the 2002 Heisman Trophy ceremony, for a total of about $2,000. Additionally, McGahee’s plane tickets to said ceremony were provided to him by Shapiro. Along with other cash gifts, McGahee was rewarded for his performance in two big games in 2002, being awarded $2,000 after strong performances against Florida and Florida State.
This scandal is one of the biggest in NCAA history, and it will be interesting to see how Gooden and McGahee will respond to the allegations. On that note, this scandal will make its mark on the NFL in the next few days, with some of the league’s top stars involved. Frank Gore, Jon Beason, Devin Hester, Vince Wilfork, and Andre Johnson are just a handful of the many NFL players that allegedly received illegal benefits from Shapiro.
Stay with us at BSR as we continue to follow this story and see how it develops.
Edgar Walker writes stuff, and pretty much all of it is about sports. Follow him on Twitter to see him write more stuff. Pretty much all of that is about sports, too.