Booster Says He Gave Cash, Prostitutes to Miami Players

Convicted ponzi schemer's allegations could doom football program

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 17, 2011 7:19 AM CDT | Updated Aug 17, 2011 7:56 AM CDT

(Newser) – A convicted Ponzi schemer and former University of Miami booster has come forward alleging that he gave millions in illicit benefits to Hurricanes players—including cash, prostitutes, jewelry, trips, and even an abortion. Nevin Shapiro, who is currently in prison for his role in a $930 million Ponzi scheme, detailed the abuses first to federal prosecutors and then to Yahoo! Sports in 100 hours of interviews from jail, and he named names—including NFL notables like Vince Wilfork, Andre Johnson, Devin Hester, Kellen Winslow, and Antrel Rolle, and at least 12 players still at Miami.

Shapiro also says that at least seven Miami football and basketball coaches either knew about or directly participated in the violations. Many of Shapiro’s beneficiaries eventually signed with the sports agency he co-owned. Shapiro says he’s talking now because the players refused to help him following his conviction. “Yeah, I’m guilty,” he said. “But I’m telling the truth … And you tell me, why should the University of Miami be exempt from the truth?” Yahoo! Sports says that after an exhaustive investigation it has “corroborated multiple parts” of Shapiro’s story. The University says it’s cooperating with the NCAA on a joint investigation. Click to read more on Yahoo! Sports' investigation.

Miami's mascot performs before the Orange Bowl in this October 13, 2007 file photo.   (Getty Images)
Kellen Winslow #81 of the Miami Hurricanes waits outside the huddle on the sidelines as the Canes defeated Syracuse 17-10 during NCAA football action on November 15, 2003 at the Orange Bowl.   (Getty Images)
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Hell yeah, I recruited a lot of kids for Miami. With access to the clubs, access to the strip joints. My house. My boat. We’re talking about high school football players. - Nevin Shapiro

Luther Campbell was the first uncle who took care of players before I got going. He was ‘Uncle Luke’, and I became ‘Little Luke.’ - Nevin Shapiro, referring to the man who notoriously provided cash to Miami players in the '80s and '90s.

Some of those players – a lot of those players – we used to say we were a family. Well, who do you go to for help when you need it? You go to your family. Why the hell wouldn’t I go to them? - Nevin Shapiro, on why he's bitter that players wouldn't help him

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