Far enough removed from the roaring eighties and nineties to make it seem like they were nothing but strangely entertaining visitors from a distant planet, the Miami Hurricanes have done a remarkable job over the past few years reshaping their off-field image, even as they have yet to come even remotely close to duplicating the on-field success of the halcyon days of the football program.
For all of the flak Randy Shannon has taken for his won-loss record, his police record and the way his players conduct themselves both on and off the field have been a stark contrast to Jimmy Johnson‘s ‘Canes. Now, after all of the polishing done to the brand by Shannon and company, it appears someone with both a connection to the program and a sordid past is looking to tarnish what’s been gradually built over the years.
Former UM booster and convicted criminal Nevin Shapiro, the Miami Herald writes, is writing a book about the UM football program in which he alleges former Canes players committed major NCAA violations.
Shapiro spoke to the Herald from a jail in New Jersey, where he is awaiting sentencing next month on a $900 million Ponzi scheme that reportedly left upwards of 60 victims with losses totaling $80 million. While Shapiro refused to go into the violations contained in the first draft of a book titled The Real U: 2001 to 2010: Inside the Eye of the Hurricane, he did identify players such as Jon Beason, Devin Hester, Antrel Rolle, Randy Phillips, Robert Marve and Kyle Wright as former ‘Canes he was close with.
Additionally, Shapiro claimed he was close with with Clint Hurtt, Miami’s former recruiting coordinator and assistant coach who left for a job at Louisville this offseason.
Shapiro has been lauded by as recently as five months ago for a $150,000 contribution he made for the university. Now, the businessman is looking to tear down something he was once a part of, due in part to what seems like hurt feelings brought on by players blowing him off once they left The U for the NFL.
“This will be a tell-all book from a fan and booster perspective,” said Shapiro, who did not attend UM. But why write a book that will hurt UM?
“I want to make the average fan aware of what really exists under that uniform,” he said. “They might be great players, but they’re certainly not great people. I’m speaking of no less than 100 former players.”
Shapiro, 41, is angry because “once the players became pros, they turned their back on me. It made me feel like a used friend.” He was motivated by “heartbreak and disappointment on behalf of the university, which I considered to be an extended part of my family.”
The NCAA is aware that allegations are forthcoming from Shapiro, but will not decide whether an investigation will be launched until they get their hands on the specific claims Shapiro will make. ”When reasonably reliable information has been obtained indicating intentional violations may have occurred, the enforcement staff will undertake a review of the information in order to determine the credibility,” NCAA spokesperson Stacey Osburn said when asked if they would act on the claims of a person serving time.
Shapiro hopes to have his book published by December. Until then, it appears a shadow will be looming over a football program that, according to some, are on the verge of bursting back onto the national title chase scene this season.
Way to cast a pall, Shapiro. Nice going.