The U shitstorm

20 08 2011

That’s an appropriate title given the depth of NCAA rules broken by the University of Miami football program during most of the ’00s. The amount of information provided by Dan Wetzel and Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports on those penalties is astounding. Booster/fraudster Nevin Shapiro is a weasel and surely any other unsavory name designated to him. He’s a crook.

The players who accepted the dinners, jewelery, prostitutes and other benefits which Shapiro gave them can be viewed as greedy; they can also be viewed as representations of what most people would accept in those players’ situations. Those guys – ages 18-22 – were being given everything when many of them came from nothing.

I’ve started altering my thought process on college athletes getting paid. I used to think a scholarship was enough for them. But I see these college administrators and others who make money off college athletics with their hands out, and I become more emotionally invested in what the players are getting. In this case, it’s being sold out by The U’s administration and coaches, many of whom claim naivety at the presence of Shapiro.

It’s amazing how unaware these administrators can make themselves out to be when caught between a rock and a hard place. In this case, it’s between a pile of cash and a massive controversy. Shapiro gave them both. While The U’s athletic and academic higher-ups embraced the hundreds of thousands of dollars Shapiro gave the athletic program as a booster, they never thought – or didn’t want – to investigate Shapiro. Maybe they did investigate him and didn’t want to reveal his shady background. They wanted his money, though. And they can’t blame for the players for wanting a piece of that pie.

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