Miami Hurricanes Scandal Brings Much Bigger Issue to Light: Fan’s Take

The investigation of Miami Hurricanes booster Nevin Shapiro has the potential to be one of the biggest scandals in NCAA history. Shapiro’s records show millions of thousands of dollars spent on restaurants, nightclubs, prostitutes and jewelry. What is going to happen to the University of Miami is currently uncertain, but this situation is certainly eye opening.

I think it is about time that someone came forward to try to expose all of the under the table dealings that go on with NCAA athletes. It is obvious that players on big name teams get special treatment both on campus and off. Shapiro’s benefits certainly qualify as off campus benefits. Putting aside the actual acts and items given, the situation appears quite dire for the university.

The “Death Penalty” has been thrown around as a possibility for Miami. The last time the death penalty was levied was against the SMU football team in the late 1980s. SMU had their 1987 season cancelled, were prohibited from playing home games in 1988 and was limited in recruiting and scholarships for a number of years. I don’t know if Miami deserves the death penalty, the real problem is that most of the players who received the benefits are in the NFL now and can’t really be punished.

NCAA sanctions frequently hinder the university and its current athletes, but the actual rule breakers walk free. If Miami’s administration was aware of the benefits offered by Shapiro, then the school should be punished. If not, then it is really unfortunate to the recently recruited players. I hope for their sake that they are able to transfer without any NCAA stipulations.

This whole situation raises the “pay for play” question again. There isn’t a good answer to that question and I don’t see this scandal to be a motivating factor for something to happen on that front. Instead, I expect deeper investigations of each potential NCAA violation. Nevin Shapiro is currently in jail for running a Ponzi scheme, so his NCAA booster indiscretions are hardly shocking. It is rather difficult to believe that no one was willing to come forward about this situation until now. I figure there would have been at least one unhappy player who could have been a whistleblower.

College football is a professional sport even if the NCAA claims otherwise. These kinds of scandals will continue to occur until a well-defined set of punishments is set forth. One can’t fault college students from taking a free meal, and until something is done to bridge the compensation gap between amateur and professional, these kinds of situations are sure to continue.

Source: Charles Robinson, Renegade Miami football booster spells out illicit benefits to players, Yahoo Sports

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