College football players might be just as talented as the men playing in the NFL, but they need to wait until they are signed by one of those NFL teams before they receive any compensation for their time on the field. But sometimes, that’s just not the way it works, with teams offering college players special perks such as lots of cash, trips on boats and yachts, prostitutes and — even abortion? All of these things are offered, all to keep good players at good schools, even though they’re not officially being paid. The problem? It’s against the rules; and in the case of the Miami Hurricanes, should you get caught, a major scandal will ensue.
The football team at the University of Miami is now dealing with this very type of scandal, in which Hurricanes program support, Nevin Shapiro, spent millions of dollars keeping the football players happy. And it’s Shapiro himself who has fully admitted to the illegal incentives, citing fancy restaurants, jewelry, and even cash for injuring players on the opposing teams. After offering all the goods over the course of his 8-year tenure with the team, Shapiro finally blew the whistle on himself and the team, reporting it all to Yahoo! Sports earlier this week.
So what’s the response from the school? They’re disappointed, and very sad to see it happen. The school’s president, Donna Shalala, said yesterday, “I am upset, disheartened and saddened by the recent allegations.” This statement came a full day after news of the allegations broke, and many think that the apology was too little, too late. Many are disgusted not only at the incredibly short statement, but also that Shalala couldn’t be bothered to offer apologies to the new basketball and football coach, coaches that had never met Shapiro but still must deal with his actions.
Along with the former football and basketball coaches being fired before new coaches were hired, Shapiro is currently serving time for also participating in a $930 million Ponzi scheme, from which several players benefited. In addition to Shapiro’s own punishment, there is currently talk of the Hurricanes being given the “death penalty,” which means the program could be suspended for a year or more.