CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- The NCAA will be at the University of Miami Monday to question people involved with knowledge of potential violations regarding impermissible benefits.
Multiple sources confirmed to InsideTheU Sunday that the NCAA is looking into comments made by former UM booster Nevin Shapiro regarding his involvement in NCAA violations.
The NCAA will be meeting with “a number” of people Monday to try to gain more knowledge of the situation and a possible wrongdoing.
Shapiro, who contributed $150,000 to the UM athletic program, pled guilty in June for running a $930 million Ponzi scheme and was given a 20-year sentence. He stated in April 2010 that he plans on writing a “tell-all book” about his involvement with former UM players.
His involvement with UM dates back to 2001 during the Larry Coker and Randy Shannon-coached teams.
"Larry Coker was blissfully ignorant (to Shapiro) and Randy Shannon hated that guy and didn't want anything to do with him," one source said.
During his time around the program, many players were suspicious of Shapiro.
“Obviously with a guy like that driving around, pulling up in an Escalade or a Range Rover, you ask questions, ‘who is it’. ‘Oh he’s a booster’. ‘What does he do?’ ‘I don’t really know, I think he’s a jeweler or something’,” one former player told InsideTheU. “You would get a different story every time.”
The player continued: “Nobody ever knew what he did. We heard he was in imports or exports. But we heard he had like 15 different jobs. We never got a straight answer.”
Shapiro, or “Lil’ Luke, or Lil’ Dookie“, nicknames the players gave him, is making theses allegations, “because he’s trying to pay back whoever he can,” a source said. “That’s the type of dude he was. He had like a Napoleon complex. He had to be on top of the world all of the time. I didn’t know him personally, but that’s how he carried himself. I have met a few times on the sidelines and stuff, but he was always, ‘I’m a man’ and he swears up and down that he changed everybody’s lives, which definitely doesn’t go for everybody.”
NFL players Tavares Gooden, Devin Hester, Jon Beason, and Randy Phillips are mentioned by sources as being mentioned with Shapiro as well as “other household names” and former quarterback Kyle Wright.
When Shapiro was arrested in connection for the Ponzi scheme for being the owner of a bogus wholesale-grocery distribution, the players were a bit surprised.
“We were surprised of the magnitude,” one player said. “Everyone knew he was up to something, but didn’t know how bad it is and for him to be involved in the second-largest Ponzi scheme within the last 10 years, it really caught everybody off-guard.”
Sources told InsideTheU that they believe there will not be any documentation linking Shapiro to any former players. The NCAA has a four-year statute of limitations regarding violations, which means if UM is found of any wrongdoing, this ruling could be a factor.
“I’m definitely confident UM will be okay,” a source said. “It will raise a lot of eyebrows, but at the end of the day, he’s sitting behind bars and he owes $900 million.”
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