Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Down Goes Miami: Part 5

The probe into Miami athletics is growing, with the university looking into the eligibility of 15 athletes who may have accepted improper benefits from a rogue booster.

Miami President Donna Shalala did not reveal any names of the players under investigation as she released a video statement Monday. The booster, convicted Ponzi scheme architect Nevin Shapiro, told Yahoo Sports for an article published last week that 12 current football players and one men’s basketball player got money, gifts and other items from him.

The football players who were named by Shapiro in interviews with Yahoo Sports are Jacory Harris, Vaughn Telemaque, Ray Ray Armstrong, Travis Benjamin, Aldarius Johnson, Marcus Forston, Olivier Vernon, Marcus Robinson, Adewale Ojomo, Dyron Dye, JoJo Nicholas and Sean Spence. Shapiro also alleged to Yahoo Sports that he paid $10,000 to ensure that basketball player DeQuan Jones signed with the Hurricanes.

Most, if not all, the current football players Shapiro named would likely be major contributors if they get to take the field.

Citing the ongoing investigation, school officials would not say Monday if any of those players have been cleared to play, or who the additional names linked to the investigation are.

“The Miami athletic compliance staff, in a joint effort with the NCAA, is now beginning the process of reviewing the eligibility of 15 current student-athletes,” Shalala said. “With the season fast approaching I know our players, coaches and fans are eager to know the results. The process, however, must be deliberate and thorough to ensure its integrity.”

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