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Miami Allegations Coming Into Focus

As a private institution not subject to open records laws, details about the NCAA case against Miami will not be a matter of public record as quickly and as easily as in other recent cases. With no legal obligation to release the Notice of Allegations and Miami not intending to any time soon, we are left with waiting for leaks and reading between the lines on the available information.

The Associated Press is reporting that the NCAA is alleging that Nevin Shaprio provided $170,000 in impermissible benefits to student-athletes, recruits, and their families. Compare that with what Shapiro told Miami:

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.”

That should not be surprising at this point. When the NCAA started its work corroborating Shaprio’s accusations, it was always more likely that they would have less in the case, rather than more. The enforcement staff’s misconduct in the case also likely affected some of the bigger accusations, given what appears to be missing from some of the coaches’ notices.

While the total value of the benefits is lower, the number of involved individuals is even higher. Yahoo! found 72 athletes involved, while the NCAA had 72 current (at the time) student-athletes, three recruits, and 12 friends and family members of athletes. So in total the case looks like it includes almost 90 individuals, $170,000 in benefits, multiple unethical conduct charges, failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance for a former head coach and a lack of institutional control charge for the university.

Another important detail from the AP report is that the majority of the benefits, $90,000, were spent by Shapiro on two athletes he was trying to recruit to his fledgling sports agency. Rather than recruiting violations, these are more akin to the amateurism violations involved in the Reggie Bush case. A huge chunk of the case is better framed as more akin to Southern California rather than this generation’s Southern Methodist.

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