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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The bankruptcy trustee targets UM for hundreds of thousands of dollars that Shapiro donated to the school.
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.
Shapiro is charged in federal court in New Jersey with running a $900 million Ponzi scheme. He is held in federal custody without bond.
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.
UM, after reading the Herald article, contacts Shapiro, but he is unwilling to share information.
Shapiro pleads guilty to securities fraud and money laundering in connection with his Ponzi scheme.
Shapiro decides against writing a book and begins working jointly with Yahoo! Sports.
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.
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).
UM, with a 6-5 record at the time, announces it is self-imposing a bowl ban.
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.
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.
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.
The NCAA’s infractions committee declines UM’s request to dismiss the case before a scheduled hearing.
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.