There is a huge investigation underway concerning convicted criminal, one Nevin Shapiro, and his role as a University of Miami (FL) athletic "booster." This one has the potential to make the recent scandal at Ohio State look like child's play. We are talking about cash payments, trips, hookers, booze; the whole nine yards. It will be far reaching before it is all said and done with a trip to the booty house perhaps in the future for the unlucky. The whole thing is disturbing indeed but not really, I suppose, all that unexpected. We probably just should not be surprised frankly.
Now Miami, or at least parts of the area, is the new Hollywood. It is flashy, affluent, and trendy. The place to be for young folk so drawn to the bright lights. The area has a lot of old money and took off like a rocket with the nouveau riche and the advent of the drug trade. With new money and the flash of the drug business, the area has boomed. I myself recall many trips to Miami while in the service of the nation and remember being quite impressed. Ah youth!! At that time it was just taking off as the "place to be" and of course the the area was fueled by dope money. Parts of the area were built with said money. It would not be the same place now had huge sums of tainted money not been awash. The area then attracted other big money that goes hand in glove with the illicit drug business.
Why should the area not have its' fair share of Nevin Shapiro types. The wealthy, flashy, criminality is a good fit in this small area. Unfortunately a major college sports program, one that has the potential to be a collegiate power, is right in the neighborhood. It just makes sense that some of the young, impressionable athletes would be attracted to the flash. They have a chance to become instant "stars" and may even get the chance to hang with celebs, have good walking around money, gratuitous sex, and all the trappings of faux power. Sad popular culture fuels this fire with Miami Beach and surrounding areas being featured in "hip hop" videos, etc. etc.
It is easy to impress and corrupt the impressionable. Some of these college "student" athletes, coaches, trainers, equipment boys, and others will be faced with some tough questions directly. Where will it lead? It may be as deep and corrupt as the SMU scandal of the early 80's. Perhaps even more so.
One of my favorite coaches has been Larry Coker. He is now the HC of the UTSA Roadrunner program which will begin its' inaugural season in a few weeks. I applauded this decision to hire Coker to get the program off the ground. I am now not so sure. It appears that Coker is not at this time implicated in wrong doing while the HC at Miami, but a good bit of the problem seems to have been taking place on his watch. Some hard questions need to be asked.
Randy Shannon is not to be forgotten. The scandal is far reaching and includes his entire tenure as HC. He should certainly be grilled under the hot lights. It is noted that he is not implicated at this time however.
Donna Shalala was (and is) University of Miami president during the time in question and one has to wonder what knowledge, if any, she had in the affair. At this time she apparently is not implicated in this brewing scandal although, like Coker and Shannon, she needs to answer some very tough questions. Very tough questions indeed.
Al Golden may end up wishing he had stayed at Temple.
source Yahoo Sports.