Following up on a report that surfaced very late Sunday night, the lawyer for former Miami booster and convicted Ponzi schemer Nevin Shapiro has gone on the record to confirm that the NCAA will visit the Coral Gables school Monday.
The purpose of the visit by the NCAA will be to investigate claims made by Shapiro that numerous former and, most importantly, current members of the Hurricanes football program had committed NCAA violations. Specifically, Shapiro has alleged that he, the Miami Herald writes, “gave gifts and services – such as use of a yacht – to former Hurricane football players while they were attending UM.”
“It’s not about giving money – it’s about giving favors,” Shapiro’s attorney, Maria Elena Perez, told the Herald. “It’s giving suits, giving jewelry, paying for entertainment, letting them use his boat twice a week.”
Perez told the paper that she has yet to total the amount of gifts and services her client allegedly gave to the players, although she said it’s “well over thousands of dollars.” For example, Perez stated that it cost $2,000 just to fuel the yacht referred to earlier.
Perez also confirmed that her client has spoken to the NCAA and provided them with a list of players he allegedly provided impermissible benefits to; the list of players contained “well over a dozen but less than 100” names. Additionally, Perez provided the NCAA with documentation — which may include “photos, phone records, credit card statements and bills” — to verify her client’s claims.
“Nevin agreed to cooperate with the federal government [before and after sentencing],” Perez said. “He had to cooperate with the bankruptcy trustee, and they investigated where the investor money went. A lot of the misconduct involved UM. He’s trying to make his victims whole and he has to explain where the money went.”
Shapiro was convicted of running a $930 million Ponzi scheme that left upwards of 60 victims with losses totaling over $80 million. He was sentenced in June to 20 years in federal prison, and has been ordered to repay $82.7 million, which is partly the reason why he’s writing a book concerning the allegations he’s made against The U football program.
After Shapiro donated nearly $150,000 to the university, an athletics lounge was named in his honor at the school. Upon his arrest in April of 2010, however, Shapiro’s name was stripped from the lounge and the university returned just over $130,000 of his donation.