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.

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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. (Read more Ponzi scheme stories.)

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