NCAA: Booster provided $170,000 in benefits

CORAL GABLES, Fla. — The NCAA is alleging that former Miami booster Nevin Shapiro was responsible for providing about $170,000 in impermissible benefits to Hurricanes athletes, recruits, coaches and others between 2002 and 2010.

Shapiro allegedly spent more than half that amount — at least $90,000 — in an effort to get NFL players Vince Wilfork and Antrel Rolle to sign with a sports agency he was involved with, said the person, who spoke to The Associated Press Wednesday on condition of anonymity because neither Miami nor the NCAA has publicly released the allegations.

Also included in the allegations: That Shapiro spent at least another $56,000 on “meals, entertainment, clothing, jewelry, travel, lodging and cash” on football players, recruits and others. The NCAA alleged that Shapiro spent that on 72 then-players, three recruits and 12 “friends and family members” of those either on the team or being recruited by the school.

Virtually all of the Hurricane players listed as receiving some sort of extra benefit from Shapiro left the program several years ago.

The figures that the NCAA’s enforcement staff cited in the notice of allegations add up to a significantly lower total than what Shapiro told Yahoo Sports in 2011, when he estimated his extra-benefit spending spree as going into the “millions of dollars.”

If true, the NCAA only listed a sliver of that in the allegations. The figures that were sent to Miami also were described as “approximate total values.”

The NCAA said Shapiro also provided extra benefits in the forms of impermissible supplemental compensation to at least three former Miami assistant coaches, along with travel benefits and other items.

Miami received its notice of allegations, ones that included a lack of institutional control for failing to properly monitor Shapiro’s activities as a booster, last week. It also includes charges that three former assistant coaches broke what’s known as the NCAA’s Rule 10.1 — governing ethical conduct — by misleading the investigation. Two of those former assistants have asked that their cases be thrown out because of problems the NCAA acknowledged with the way it conducted the probe.

The NCAA’s Committee on Infractions wants to hear the case in June.

The Hurricanes have already self-imposed several sanctions, including sitting out two bowl games and a conference football championship game. Miami President Donna Shalala said on two occasions last week that she believes those punishments should be enough, and on Wednesday, the Hurricanes’ athletic director echoed those sentiments.

“I would say I agree with everything that was in the two statements by President Shalala,” Blake James, Miami’s athletic director, told The AP. “I think she was right on in her comments and was very reflective of the general feel of our institution and those involved in this case.”

Shapiro is serving a 20-year prison term for masterminding a $930 million Ponzi scheme.

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