UM | Key Players

The key players involved in the University of Miami Hurricanes NCAA investigation

mnavarro@MiamiHerald.comOctober 23, 2013 


07.07.2006 -- John VanBeekum/Miami Herald Staff -- University of Miami President Donna E. Shalala interview with Noah Bierman in her office Friday on the Coral Gables campus.

JOHN VANBEEKUM — Herald File Photo, 2006

  • 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.”

A few individuals have been key players throughout the 23-month NCAA investigation into the University of Miami:


• The former University of Miami Hurricanes booster at the center of the NCAA’s investigation. He is imprisoned for orchestrating a $900 million-plus Ponzi scheme. Shapiro said he engaged in rampant NCAA violations from 2002 to 2010 by providing cash, entertainment and other gifts to dozens of former players and recruits while also being a partner in a sports agency that was trying to sign UM players.


• The 72-year-old has been UM’s president since 2001, and in one of the more infamous photographs in the case, Shalala is seen posing with Shapiro and Miami basketball coach Frank Haith while receiving a $50,000 check from Shapiro in 2008. She stood firm against the NCAA, publicly criticizing the investigation last February. Tuesday, she said the NCAA's sanctions were “fair.’’


Now at the University of Missouri, Haith was Miami’s men’s basketball coach from 2004 to 2011. Nevin Shapiro claims Haith “acknowledged” that Miami assistant basketball coach Jake Morton received $10,000 from the former booster to recruit DeQuan Jones. Haith, 46, has said any allegations against him “are not an accurate portrayal” of his character. On Tuesday, the NCAA announced that Haith would be suspended for five games.


• In his third season as UM's football coach, Golden denied a Yahoo! Sports story that he violated NCAA rules. Yahoo alleged that Golden, shortly after being hired, used Sean Allen to circumvent rules in recruiting several Miami-area athletes. Golden not receive any penalties and was not mentioned in the NCAA's report.


• A UM graduate who worked on the equipment staff for the football team, Allen also served as the personal assistant to Shapiro and employee for Axcess Sports, an agency which signed a few Hurricanes. In October, Allen spoke with the Miami Herald and detailed much of his exploits while he and Shapiro allegedly broke NCAA rules. But Allen’s statements were tossed because the NCAA deemed the information was gathered improperly. He received no penalties from the NCAA.


• Former UM defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator Clint Hurtt, now with Louisville, was alleged to have accepted money from Shapiro to take recruits to a Miami Beach restaurant. Shapiro also claimed that he gave Hurtt a $5,000 interest-free loan — which is an NCAA violation — and that Hurtt brought recruits to his Miami Beach mansion. Hurtt was accused of providing the NCAA with misleading information during its investigation, breaking Rule 10.1 based on ethical conduct. He received a two-year, show-cause penalty, in essence a probationary period during which any university that employs him has to appear before the NCAA Committee on Infractions and show cause for hiring him, then restrict his duties to comply with the punishment. Louisville said Tuesday it would keep Hurtt on staff despite the restrictions.


• Now the head coach at Carol City High, Hill was accused of providing the NCAA with misleading information during its investigation, breaking Rule 10.1 based on ethical conduct. The wide receivers coach spent three years at UM before leaving for Florida, where he stepped down before the start of the 2012 season. Like Hurtt, he received a two-year, show-cause penalty.


A former Miami assistant basketball coach, Morton allegedly engaged in recruiting violations. Shapiro said he accompanied him to nightclubs and ate dinner with him “a number of times.” The NCAA alleges that Morton accepted “supplemental income” of “at least $6,000”’ from Shapiro. Morton is the only one of the five accused assistant coaches to come away without any penalty.


• A former Hurricanes basketball assistant, Fernandez allegedly engaged in bringing an AAU coach to Shapiro’s home and being on hand when the booster paid for the coach to be entertained at Dolce Ultra Lounge in October 2008. Fernandez was accused of providing the NCAA with misleading information during its investigation, breaking Rule 10.1 based on ethical conduct. He received a two-year, show-cause penalty.

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