Timeline of events leading to the NCAA sanctions against the Miami Hurricanes

bjackson@MiamiHerald.comOctober 23, 2013 

Nevin Shapiro, left, and Sean "Pee Wee" Allen.


  • UM reaction to NCAA sanctions •  UM president Donna Shalala: “The Committee on Infractions report closes a challenging chapter in the history of the University of Miami. I am grateful to our coaches, staff and student-athletes for their dedication to the University and to intercollegiate athletics. … I also want to thank Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John Swofford for his steadfast support. Finally, I want to apologize to the Hurricane family, as we have asked for your patience, faith and support during a difficult time. Thank you for standing with us.” •  Football coach Al Golden: “I want to sincerely thank our student-athletes and their families who not only stood with the University of Miami during this unprecedented challenge, but subsequently volunteered for the mission. … They shouldered the burden, exhibited class and exemplified perseverance for Hurricanes everywhere. Further, I would like to express heartfelt appreciation to our staff and families who did not subscribe to this challenge three years ago, yet courageously adopted it as their own. … They have brought the utmost professionalism, resiliency and integrity to our program. More importantly, they continue to recruit and represent our world-class institution with class and dignity in unprecedented circumstance. Lastly, it is with gratitude and humility that I say thank you to our administration, U Family everywhere and the entire South Florida community for their unyielding support of our young men and program over the last 28 months.” •  Basketball coach Jim Larrañaga: “I am a big believer that success is based on attitude. We continually remind our players that life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react to it. We will continue to approach our work with a positive attitude as we march towards being the best we can be. I am grateful to our administration and counsel for leading us through this difficult journey and I want to thank everyone who loves this University and who has supported the young men who proudly wear the Miami uniform. We are excited about the upcoming season and we are all moving forward.” •  Director of Athletics Blake James: “Our honest and committed efforts to address these allegations have made us stronger. We have already taken many proactive steps to ameliorate any concerns, and we will continue to improve in all areas. Now it is time we look ahead and work diligently to support our student-athletes.”

•  2001: Miami Beach resident Nevin Shapiro pays $12,000 to become a University of Miami booster. He also becomes a “living scholar” for then seldom-used running back Willis McGahee.

•  December 2001: Shapiro meets Vince Wilfork and Andrew Williams at the football team’s awards banquet. Following that season — which culminated in a national championship — Shapiro allegedly gives Williams gifts, including Miami Heat tickets and a big-screen television. That begins an eight-year period in which Shapiro claims he gave improper benefits to 114 players.

•  2002: Shapiro pays Michael Huyghue $1.5 million for a 30 percent stake in Axcess Sports, and the firm begins to recruit UM players over the next several years. In the meantime, Shapiro cultivates relationships with dozens of UM players, claiming he buys them dinners, prostitutes, jewelry and invites them aboard his yacht to party.

•  2005: Sean Allen, who would later become a UM assistant equipment manager, joins Axcess as a player recruiter. Allen and Huyghue allegedly take UM quarterback Kyle Wright to Detroit for a concert and to the Bahamas for junkets to lure him into their sports agency.

•  2007: At halftime of UM’s final game at the Orange Bowl (a blowout loss to Virginia), an inebriated Shapiro confronts Dave Reed, UM’s then-head of compliance, cursing him and trying to draw him into a fight. Shapiro blamed Reed, among several others, for UM’s decline.

•  2008: Shapiro donates $50,000 to the basketball program during an event at Lucky Strikes bowling alley on Miami Beach. A widely-distributed photo is taken of Shapiro with coach Frank Haith and UM president Donna Shalala, who are both smiling.

•  Early 2009: Then-UM equipment manager Bobby Revilla, at the behest of an unnamed athletic department administrator, asks Allen to write a letter to Shapiro to smooth things over with him after a falling out in their relationship. Revilla doesn’t say exactly why.

•  November 2009: Shapiro’s investors in his $900 million Ponzi scheme file a lawsuit forcing his company, Capitol Investments, into bankruptcy. They are seeking upward of $83 million in losses.

•  May 2009: The bankruptcy trustee targets UM for hundreds of thousands of dollars that Shapiro donated to the school.

•  July/August 2009: UM settles with the trustee, paying back the money that Shapiro donated for a student-athlete lounge and to the basketball team. The settlement does not mention Shapiro’s direct cash payments and other gifts to the football and basketball players.

•  April 2010: Shapiro is charged in federal court in New Jersey with running a $900 million Ponzi scheme. He is held in federal custody without bond.

•  August 2010: Shapiro, from prison, tells the Miami Herald that he intends to write a book alleging he gave cash and other gifts to some Canes’ football players.

•  August 2010: UM, after reading the Herald article, contacts Shapiro, but he is unwilling to share information.

•  September 2010: Shapiro pleads guilty to securities fraud and money laundering in connection with his Ponzi scheme.

•  December 2010: Shapiro decides against writing a book and begins working jointly with Yahoo! Sports.

•  March 2011: Shapiro informs the NCAA for first time of his claims that he gave gifts and cash payments to UM players and coaches. The NCAA launches an investigation.

•  June 2011: Shapiro is sentenced to 20 years in prison for a Ponzi scheme.

•  Second week of August 2011: UM is informed that it is being investigated.

•  Aug. 15, 2011: NCAA investigators visit UM’s campus for the first time since Shapiro made his allegations.

•  Aug. 16, 2011: Yahoo reports Shapiro gave improper benefits to 72 players and several coaches.

•  Aug. 30, 2011: The NCAA suspends eight players for taking benefits from Shapiro: Olivier Vernon (six games); Ray-Ray Armstrong and Dyron Dye (four each); and Travis Benjamin, Marcus Forston, Jacory Harris, Adewale Ojomo and Sean Spence (one game each).

•  November 2011: UM, with a 6-5 record at the time, announces it is self-imposing a bowl ban.

•  December 2011: Allen gives a deposition in Shapiro’s bankruptcy case to the convicted schemer’s attorney, Maria Elena Perez. Allen says he tells the truth because he knows he is under oath. NCAA officials learn of his deposition, discovering that it is strikingly different from his statements to investigators. Allen later meets again with the NCAA, saying he will come clean on everything.

•  December 2011: UM agrees to pay $83,000 to Shapiro’s bankruptcy trustee to ensure that the trustee does not try to recoup money from any current or former Hurricanes athletes.

•  Feb. 22, 2012: UM basketball player Reggie Johnson is suspended one game because former assistant coach Jorge Fernandez used his frequent flyer miles to pay for a plane ticket for Johnson’s mother.

•  March 14, 2012: UM basketball player Durand Scott is suspended for six games for receiving impermissible travel benefits from a former member of Frank Haith’s staff.

•  Nov. 11, 2012: The NCAA mails a letter to numerous former players telling them they have a Nov. 23 deadline to speak to the NCAA, and if they do not, the NCAA will conclude that they have committed violations. Several players agree to speak; many others do not.

•  Nov. 19, 2012: UM announces it is self-imposing a bowl ban for the second consecutive season.

•  Jan. 23, 2013: The NCAA announces that former NCAA enforcement staff members worked with Shapiro’s attorney to improperly obtain information for the purposes of the NCAA investigation. The NCAA says it will commission an external review of the enforcement program and won’t deliver UM’s notice of allegations until it is completed.

•  Feb. 18, 2013: The NCAA says the case involving UM will continue — but without about 20 percent of the information it deemed tainted because of its own “improper conduct” during the investigation.

•  Feb. 19, 2013: UM receives its Notice of Allegations from the NCAA. UM is charged with lack of institutional control and receiving more than $170,000 in benefits from Shapiro.

•  March 29, 2013: UM submits a motion to dismiss the case, accusing the NCAA of “impermissible conduct” and “overall mismanagement” of the investigation and alleging that the enforcement staff failed to corroborate at least 20 allegations that were made by Shapiro.

•  May 2013: The NCAA enforcement staff claims that the majority of UM’s assertions in its motion to dismiss “are largely based on assumptions, false accusations, misleading statements and meritless claims.” But the enforcement staff agrees to toss out testimony from Wright because of UM’s assertion that it should have been removed from evidence.

•  May 2013: The NCAA’s infractions committee declines UM’s request to dismiss the case before a scheduled hearing.

•  June 13-14: UM officials and former UM coaches accused of wrongdoing make their case before the NCAA infractions committee.

•  Oct. 22, 2013: The NCAA announces UM will be placed on three years probation and will be docked a total of nine football scholarships and three basketball scholarships over the next three years.

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