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Shalala: improper benefits ‘wouldn’t have lasted two minutes under me’


Unfortunately for Miami president Donna Shalala, it lasted nearly a decade

By now, the name Nevin Shapiro has become practically a household name for all the wrong reasons. The former UM booster allegedly provided millions of dollars in gifts to Miami athletes over the span of two coaching eras and could now bring down the program through one extensive tell-all with Yahoo! Sports.

How Shapiro was able to get away with as much as he allegedly did without so much as a double-take from either Shalala or then-AD Paul Dee is astounding. Unless, of course, UM’s administrative suits knew what was going on.

Shalala, in an interview with Time magazine dated about a month ago, said nothing could be further from the truth.

I have no tolerance for breaking rules,” Shalala said before later adding that misconduct like Shapiro’s “wouldn’t have lasted two minutes under me.”


There isn’t much else in the form of football-related content in the interview; it’s more about Shalala’s work as UM’s president. In fact, if you get a minute, it’s a pretty great read over some of the academic accomplishments she’s overseen.

Unfortunately for Shalala, football is often the public face of a university, and a damning report such as the one Yahoo! broke yesterday can overshadow other achievements.

Besides, pleading ignorance doesn’t exactly bode well for the NCAA’s confidence in a program.

Especially when one of its Committee on Infractions members, and former UM employees, already said it doesn’t.

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37 Responses to “Shalala: improper benefits ‘wouldn’t have lasted two minutes under me’”
  1. teke184 says: Aug 17, 2011 9:42 PM

    I guess she forgot there’s a picture out there of her getting a $50,000 check publicly presented by Shapiro.

    I’m curious as to whether the picture took place before or after he took a swing at the school’s compliance officer for tightening enforcement on booster activity, which resulted in the school performing a background check on him.

  2. chachooga says: Aug 17, 2011 10:07 PM

    Did Yahoo pay Shapiro for the story?

    They had a huge headline for more than 24 hours, had to shut down the comment/post/question links, were all over the national scene ESPN and even Fox News with Shep Smith.

    As it unfolds this is a unique story, because you usually have accusations with no one talking. This time you have a scorn felon talking about everything before the accusations go public….or at the same time.

    I know the story is super flashy, but there is not much more than hearsay and anonymous accusation. When you look at what doesn’t fit in that category, the incidents are a decade ago and not major violations.

  3. tomosbornesretirementcostjoepaatitle says: Aug 17, 2011 10:25 PM


    Did you read the article? There are current players named. There are former players, a coach, assistants and members of the general public that have corroborated parts of this guys story. I highly doubt there is anyone that can tell the whole story other than the guy who has.

  4. bender4700 says: Aug 17, 2011 10:31 PM

    Most people who deny the story didn’t actually read it.

    Ignorance is bliss.

    Shalala needs to be fired. What a moron. IT DID HAPPEN UNDER YOU!

  5. chachooga says: Aug 17, 2011 10:33 PM

    Seriously Tom-

    Yes I read it, and like I said if you get past the hype and sensationalism that this Shapiro guy put out, you will understand what I am saying.

    Randy Shannon was a hard nose. This guy acted alone. He was a jock sniffer on steroids who took advantage of teenagers for his own personal ego…or lack of self confidence. He is a CONVICTED FELON who duped smart rich people out of nearly a billion dollars… point, a good liar.

    Do you not think he realizes he needs to include current players for this to be relevant. Do you not realize all the sensational stuff of prostitutes, mansions, strip clubs, abortions, etc…, does not include current players. The accusations against current players are based on Shapiro’s word, happened four years ago if they did, and were wrong if they happened, but minor offenses.

    Did Yahoo pay for this article? Do you know or have you read anywhere if they have?

  6. bender4700 says: Aug 17, 2011 10:38 PM

    Yahoo has no business relationships with college programs. ESPN does.

    Him being a convicted felon doesn’t mean he’s making up such an elaborate story that several people CONFIRMED!!

    When former players confirm what he said, it really adds to the credibility of the story.

    Miami hired a booster that was a felon. So why no blame for that?

    Did you read the part where they have evidence of him helping out Jacory Harris?

    What the heck is wrong with people. Flat out deny stuff just because they don’t want to believe it. Despite the overwhelming evidence.

  7. bender4700 says: Aug 17, 2011 10:56 PM

    They’ve got 1000’s of photos. Plenty of EYE witness testimony to the money.

    They have a damn picture of the guy with Kellen Winslow Jr IN THE STRIP CLUB!

    How much evidence do you NEED?!!?

    My God! People who just want to pretend this isn’t real are just fooling themselves.

    Go back to the story, check all the new information posted. Theres TOO MUCH for you to just blame on a convicted felon.

    The guy tried to beat up the compliance director in the sky boxes for crying out loud!!!

    Who, WHO is dumb enough to look at this and say “I don’t know, not enough evidence”.

    What, do you need the former players to tell you to your face? Not good enough that they told a 3rd party person who has no rooting interest in this situation?

    WHY would former players confirm this if it were a lie? Knowing what they will face as a result of saying something, if it were a lie, why would they do that just to hurt Miami?!

    Miami is screwed, and they did it to themselves.

  8. bender4700 says: Aug 17, 2011 10:59 PM

    Here ya go CHA:;_ylt=AhM7UWEBgqaCXc3taQJHfd1QMuB_?slug=ys-jacory_harris_allegations

    Jacory Harris.

    Receipts for you. Phone records for ya.

    CURRENT player. With DOCUMENTED evidence. of AT least contact. And check out that receipt.

  9. bender4700 says: Aug 17, 2011 11:03 PM

    “Lil Luther” Luther meaning LUTHER CAMBELL, ya know, the guy who got caught doing what Nevin did.

  10. bender4700 says: Aug 17, 2011 11:06 PM

    One thing about big time former athletes, they LOVE letting free loaders hang around them.

    If Cha is right, they let Nevin hang out and he DID NOTHING but free load.

    Cha, get your head out of the dirt. REALLY read the story, don’t just claim ya did. You bring up CURRENT players, he talks about CURRENT players in the story. Come on. Read it. You’ll love it, it’s like a movie!

  11. bender4700 says: Aug 17, 2011 11:09 PM

    Did you see the video of him wearing Antre Rolle’s jersey as they walked out of the tunnel? He ran out onto the field!!

    Did you hear Antrel Rolle? He didn’t deny it, he just kept dodging the question.

    Part of Nevin’s deal with the Government is that he has to come clean ABOUT EVERYTHING n life.

    Everyone says it’s “unfortunate”. No one says “didn’t happen”.

    Vilma and Rolle keep saying “they’ve moved on”, well yeah, they have their own cash now.

  12. bender4700 says: Aug 17, 2011 11:12 PM

    “Thanks for the love”

    He must mean thanks for the hugs! Yeah…

    Miami didn’t find out a booster was an owner of a player agency!!! They only had to GOOGLE the name and they would find he was part owner!! No WAY is that acceptable for a Booster to ALSO own a sports agency group.

    The evidence is so far beyond deniable. It’s just too clear and right there.

  13. chachooga says: Aug 17, 2011 11:26 PM


    You don’t get it. I am not saying nothing happened. He was a legitimate booster. Contact was not illegal, his initial involvement with players was sanctioned by the NCAA. He apparently called and nagged everyone on phone/text in the program often at all hours.

    There is a bill from a restaurant where he says so and so were there. Even if true. For Jacory Harris it is a minor infraction.

    Like I said, which you obviously don’t understand, is this is one guy, a convicted felon, a great liar ($1bil ponzy scheme) and he has a bone to pick. With the flash gone from the story, there are current players who MAY HAVE committed minor individual infractions.

    The death penalty is lame hype. All you haters got too excited about the U going down.

    Did yahoo pay the guy? I didn’t ask about their relationship with NCAA programs….DID THEY PAY HIM FOR INTERVIEWS ETC…??? Does anyone know?

    Does no one else see why that is important. This is such a unique case for the NCAA because in this case someone is telling everything in the public. A convicted Felon from jail.

    Fun times for the media & UM haters for sure.

  14. chachooga says: Aug 17, 2011 11:28 PM


    You are a moron. Luther Campbell never got caught or convicted of doing anything at UM. There were tons of accusations that amounted to nothing.

    UM’s problem in the 90’s was from a Pell Grant scandal.

  15. chachooga says: Aug 17, 2011 11:31 PM


    Your not following things man?!?!?

    My head is not in the sand. This is a jock sniffer on steroids that took advantage of teenage kids so he could be close to them and feel like he was part of it. HE TOOK ADVANTAGE OF THEM, sure if they took things they are guilty of NCAA violations, but he was the adult here, praying on these kids for his own personal fantasy.

    Get your head out of this Nevin guys pile of dooky he has laid on UM haters like you.

  16. chachooga says: Aug 17, 2011 11:33 PM


    Seriously about Rolle & Vilma??!?!

    Not sure if you noticed that Rolle walked right by Shapiro when he was standing there like a little boy in the jersey….he didn’t even acknowledge him.


  17. bender4700 says: Aug 17, 2011 11:41 PM

    Denial ain’t just a River in Africa!

    Foolish. Pure homer rosey colored glasses.

    yeah, just deny. That works.


  18. chachooga says: Aug 17, 2011 11:46 PM


    The guy was a booster. He got an autograph from a player with the name he called himself.

    How can you not see how lame this guy is…..he is a 5’4″ jock sniffer that called himself “Lil’ Luke”

    I AM NOT SAYING NOTHING HAPPENED. He obviously gave guys stuff.

    But this was not an institutional problem, or there is not evidence of it other than this guy saying it.

    He had no chance with Randy Shannon. Shannon ran a tight ship.

    There will be consequences clearly for UM. I just am annoyed by the Death Penalty talk.

    The word of a convicted felon from prison is not sufficient to destroy a program. The NCAA has been involved.

    Five guys mentioned Arthur Brown, Marve, three others at other schools have already been cleared according to NBC.

    Hopefully the same goes for current UM players.

    If NCAA wants to go beyond the Statued of Limitations that is there perogative. But this Shapiro guy is SCUM.

    It is UM’s fault he was around players. That doesn’t mean they knew what he was doing.

  19. jaggedmark says: Aug 18, 2011 12:41 AM

    Shut up Donna!

  20. ihateannouncers says: Aug 18, 2011 2:26 AM

    Lack of institutional control?? She is photographed taking a “donation” from this jackass in a bowling alley at some university charity event. Claiming ignorance wont be a viable option. Although she did work in the Clinton administration…..maybe some sort of definition of “is” defense or I did not have financial relations with that man. This is going to be painful for the Miami fans.

  21. ernestbynershands says: Aug 18, 2011 6:09 AM

    As a staff level employee and student intern/employee in college athletics over the past 18 years, I find this situation sickening. The sad thing is that it is real and is VERY widespread. Not every school has a Miami like cesspool for an athletic department. But to an extent, EVERY school has improprieties in it’s athletics department. It ranges from the tutors and stipends and the ‘legal’ benefits received by athletes to the illegal benefits we are hearing about in the numerous recent investigations. Regular students who pay tuition don’t receive the same treatment.
    The athletes receive tuition, lodging, books, and food in exchange for their services as ’employees’ of their schools. Not to mention the free use of the athletic facilities. Those facilities often are state of the art, even at many mid-major level schools.
    The contention of the athletes that they are pieces of meat may be true. But it is at best misplaced and often downright delusional. Many athletes scoff at the notion of a free, perk-laden education as pay. Most college students must work real jobs and borrow to pay for the same education, without the tutors, hookers, etc. Most college students need to join a frat to experience the party life these athletes are given. I know my employers during college used my labor to make alot of money. I know the athletic departments I worked in used my cheap labor to grease the wheels of the machine.
    I don’t entirely blame the kids. The adults let it happen. The adults make up the rules and refuse to change the system. The adults ride the kids to further their own coaching or administrative careers. When a kid signs a contact to play at a college, the kid should be held accountable for lying and cheating on that contract. The administrators, coaches and ‘mentors’ should also be held personally responsible. Many of these scandals occur at state schools where public funds are somewhere in the equation. Public employees found engaging in corruption are held responsible legally and professionally. Why not in college athletics?
    That being said, scrap the system, let the kids choose to go pro out of high school. Anyone can choose to wait tables, pound nails or join the military. In those cases, we are left to sink or swim. But in college athletics, we are too concerned about the kids to let them fail? The adults are too worried about preserving their own gravy train. Coaches, administrators and other hangers-on can’t profit from waiters, carpenters and soldiers.
    Let kids decide if they want to earn a living or earn a scholarship. Either is fine. But change things and stop pretending the system is something it is not, fair, equitable and honest.

  22. ernestbynershands says: Aug 18, 2011 6:16 AM

    A couple more thoughts…
    1. This culture is often created in high school athletics.
    2. Isn’t interesting to hear about the outrage over the greed and cheating in college athletics on the same networks that are reaping huge revenues from covering and televising college athletics? NBC, ABC, CBS, ESPN, etc.

  23. blastfurnaceknows says: Aug 18, 2011 8:15 AM

    Shalala is a greedy and hypocritical jagged little pill.

  24. lionsrawr says: Aug 18, 2011 9:56 AM


    Miami won’t get the death penalty, but you can’t just sit there and say “this was just one booster…”

    First off, it’s up to the institutions to police/control their own boosters. Secondly, 70+ players have been named that took something, taking anything, hell look at tOSU and Pryor selling your stuff, is against NCAA rules.

    I know you claim he’s a great liar, but man there are pictures, there’s no way to dispute those thousands of picture. There’s no way to dispute cell phone records, etc.

    Miami’s not going to get the death penalty, the NCAA has said several times since SMU’s penalty that they would never likely do that again, but Miami is going to get hit pretty hard. Probably major scholarship reductions, tv and postseason bans, etc.

  25. jpiro says: Aug 18, 2011 10:01 AM

    Chachooga, take off the blinders and pay attention.

    Is he a despicable human being with a bone to pick? Absolutely, but he has eyewitnesses (including former UM players) and an enormous stack of checks, receipts and photographs that back up what he’s saying.

    The Yahoo! reporters who’ve been scouring through all the documentation and conducting over 100 interviews with Shapiro over the past year said yesterday that they went into this assuming that everything he said was a complete lie, and only accepted each point once he had backed it up with hard evidence. He did—for 70+ athletes (which is less than the 100+ he claims to have provided benefits to).

    That includes paying $10K for a basketball recruit with the knowledge of the basketball staff, which is anything but a “minor” violation.

    UM is going to burn.

  26. shea801 says: Aug 18, 2011 10:28 AM


    Can we drop the “kids” title from your argument? I agree with a lot of what you say, but they’re not kids. They’re adults. College isn’t an extension of high school (at least, it’s not supposed to be). You’re supposed to conduct yourself as an adult when you go to college. That’s part of going to a University; the whole growing up thing.

    Also, I understand you want to bake a point about how much these people get for free, and the test have to work for it, but that’s misguided (at lest with big time sports). If there was a minor league or the chance to go straight into the pro’s, most would follow that path. The education isn’t the reason the majority play the sports in college. The ones that do, utilize the resources at their disposal because they can, and should. They make the schools an a$$ ton of money by playing a game, they SHOULD get the perks their bodies are allowing the University to afford.

  27. chachooga says: Aug 18, 2011 10:33 AM



    2. Isn’t interesting to hear about the outrage over the greed and cheating in college athletics on the same networks that are reaping huge revenues from covering and televising college athletics? NBC, ABC, CBS, ESPN, etc.

  28. chachooga says: Aug 18, 2011 10:36 AM

    Jpiro & Lions,

    If 70 is exaggerated. If only 8 of the 70 turn out to be true and all 12 current players (who just happen to be the best players on the team right now) had minor infractions. If all his pictures (mostly from 2005 and prior…none with current players) are just pictures. If he didn’t contact coaches, like only he claims. If the NCAA decides not to go beyond the Statute of Limitations. If the relationship between Randy Shannon (HC) and Shapiro proves to be true. on and on and on. This is so much flashy hype, with bad but not major institutional problems!

    I am not saying nothing happened. I am saying it is an exaggerated hit piece. His horrible soap opera stuff happened ten years ago. Current players and coaches had to be mentioned for the story to be relevant….if he wanted the attention….and he wants attention.

    OBVIOUSLY SOMETHING HAPPENED. But like I said this is so rare to have someone “spill the beans” and then go from there. Usually it is accusations, then investigations trying to get someone to talk.

    Doesn’t anybody else see that a Convicted Felon serving 20 years in prison might have motive to lie?

    Did yahoo pay for the story?

    Before Tuesday night, nobody knew this guys name.

    I am a Canes fan and have followed the whole thing. I am hoping for scholarship reductions and no bowl ban or tv ban. We shall see.

    Nothing is more annoying that seeing ESPN guys calling for the guillotine! Especially Herbstriet telling Golden to sit these 12 current players (all starters!)…..considering UM plays Herbie’s Buckeyes second game of the season.

  29. dkhhuey says: Aug 18, 2011 11:30 AM

    I have to give large kudos to Yahoo Sports for the impressive investigative reporting its put out lately. I will admit that initially, given the nature of Yahoo’s image throughout its lifetime, I’ve never taken them all that serious when it comes to investigative reporting. I stand corrected! It is apparent that they have old school investigative journalistic work ethic to put in the time and effort to get the story – unlike ESpin and others that just toss anything out on the web without even the slightest verification of facts.

  30. jpiro says: Aug 18, 2011 11:33 AM

    Chachooga, you’re a Canes fan? Never would have guessed that.

    You can say “if” and whistle past the graveyard all you like, but assuming even 1/4 of what Shapiro said is true you got caught with your hand in the cookie jar in a major way at a time when the NCAA is very much in need of reestablishing its control over its institutions in order to maintain any sort of credibility at all.

    Couple that with Miami’s history of issues and the in-your-face brashness of these latest offenses and you’re going down…HARD.

  31. chachooga says: Aug 18, 2011 11:57 AM

    jpiro….you don’t like UM do you?

  32. hkv123 says: Aug 18, 2011 7:50 PM

    Dear Imbicile (i.e. Chachooga),

    Couple things you missed which apparently indicate a reading & comprehension deficit:

    1. “In an effort to substantiate the booster’s claims, Yahoo! Sports audited approximately 20,000 pages of financial and business records from his bankruptcy case, more than 5,000 pages of cell phone records, multiple interview summaries tied to his federal Ponzi case, and more than 1,000 photos. Nearly 100 interviews were also conducted with individuals living in six different states. In the process, documents, photos and 21 human sources – including nine former Miami players or recruits, and one former coach – corroborated multiple parts of Shapiro’s rule-breaking.”

    2. “Under bylaw 36.2.3, an investigation can expand beyond the statute if information reveals that an individual tied to a university has engaged in “a pattern of willful violations” over a sustained period beyond the previous four years.”

    3. Yahoo has denied making any payment to Nevin Shapiro for this story.

    Lastly, you might recognize and get well acquainted with some of these “symptoms”:

    1. Denial and Isolation.
    2. Anger.
    3. Bargaining.
    4. Depression.
    5. Acceptance.

  33. geetee52 says: Aug 19, 2011 11:30 AM

    This woman is bizarre. She had a coach that is on the record telling his staff and players to stay away from the creep Sharpiro…and then has the nerve to say it wouldn’t have happened under her. It’s obvious she has no shame, but to claim ignorance goes beyond insulting those with common sense.

  34. dukeearl says: Aug 20, 2011 1:30 PM

    Chachooga, I feel for you.
    Time to realize that the team you love has taken you for a ride…

    Miami has always ridden the line.
    Seems that they crossed over it big time.

  35. dukeearl says: Aug 20, 2011 1:36 PM

    hkv123, If you are going to chastise somebody for lack of reading comprehension you should get your spelling correct.

    The word is spelled imbecile, not imbicile.

    Other than that I agree with the content of your post.

  36. squackduckhawk says: Aug 21, 2011 4:59 PM

    I don’t know how or why anyone would be surprised that Miami recruits like this. I’m surprised nobody from Miami has tried whistleblowing FSU to divert the stench. Miami always has, and always will recruit like this. With all due respect, neither of these institutions are known for academics, and will probably not get an invitation to the Ivy League anytime soon. The object of the game down there is to make every recruiting visit feel like a rap video, or better yet the video from the movie Step Brothers: “Boats and Ho’s.”
    Chachooga, yes Shapiro was paid for the series of interviews. Yahoo points out right up front that Shapiro’s motivation is pure spite. But they also say that a lot of the source material is from sworn affidavits to the real SEC. Yahoo didn’t print anything that wasn’t confirmed by physical evidence, and at least one witness account. As a Ducks fan, I hate Yahoo Sports as much as the next guy(and probably more, unless you like The U), but this is iron-clad proof we are talking about, not heresay.

  37. qball59 says: Aug 22, 2011 10:45 AM

    Why is everyone bashing Shalala?

    When she said “improper benefits wouldn’t have lasted two minutes under me”, she was just telling the truth: the improper benefits didn’t last two minutes under her; rather, they lasted for eight years…

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