By now you’ve all heard about the sanctions (or coming sanctions) against the Ohio State, West Virginia, North Carolina, and USC collegiate football programs. “The U”, the University of Miami is called, has allegedly outdone them all. Combined.
Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports has interviewed former booster Nevin Shapiro for the last 11 months and has discovered jaw-dropping allegations against “The U”.
From the article:
In 100 hours of jailhouse interviews during Yahoo! Sports’ 11-month investigation, Hurricanes booster Nevin Shapiro described a sustained, eight-year run of rampant NCAA rule-breaking, some of it with the knowledge or direct participation of at least seven coaches from the Miami football and basketball programs. At a cost that Shapiro estimates in the millions of dollars, he said his benefits to athletes included but were not limited to cash, prostitutes, entertainment in his multimillion-dollar homes and yacht, paid trips to high-end restaurants and nightclubs, jewelry, bounties for on-field play (including bounties for injuring opposing players), travel and, on one occasion, an abortion.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Read the entire article here. That article is nearly a mile long so ensure you have time to read it.
Shapiro states that from 2001 to 2009, he not only provided impermissible benefits to Miami’s football program, but also to its basketball program. He also states that at least 7 different coaches knew about it and would sometimes participate in such activities with recruits as going to strip clubs, bars, and boat rides out into the ocean. He estimates that he spent millions on these players.
In addition to the bomb that Yahoo! dropped on the NCAA, UCF (University of Central Florida) was sent a Notice of Inquiry today regarding recruiting allegations involving both the football and basketball programs.
When will this end? It’s obvious to me that the NCAA’s rules are heavy-handed. So heavy-handed in fact, that schools are breaking the rules at almost all times. Just in the last few year between 10 to 20 schools (I’m estimating because I don’t have the time to actually go look it up) have been penalized, or will be, by the NCAA. A majority of the allegations are impermissible benefits for players, and I think that’s the major problem.
Per a different Yahoo article by Dan Wetzel:
The NCAA maintains a strict ideal of amateurism in an effort to avoid having to pay taxes or its players. The rulebook is worth billions to the universities, which don’t hesitate to pay major salaries and benefits to administrators and coaches. However, denying players an ability to earn extra money honestly actually makes them more susceptible to people such as Shapiro, who despite the open support of the school was a cutthroat thief and con man.
If I was a collegiate player, and was not able to earn money honestly, why wouldn’t I take gifts from boosters? It’s a no-brainer. Free money? Yes, I’ll have some.
The NCAA is a freaking joke. How they’ve been able to maintain their status as an amateur league while making billions of dollars per year is staggering. Change is needed. It’s definitely not fair to the players, who generate the income, to not benefit from it. Sure, they get a free college education and dorm, but they don’t get money with which to live. They need money to eat, buy school books, buy clothes, and for other random expenses.
Reform is needed. And while they’re at it they need to establish a real playoff system for football. The ranking system using a subjective coaches poll is ridiculous, unbalanced, and unsatisfying. Here’s hoping that someone sees the light.