The folks in Chapel Hill are bound to be thrilled by the scandal in Miami because it is going to knock them off the front pages all over the country.Â Miami is now Scandal Central.Â And while most of it's football related, Frank Haith may be in very serious trouble as well.
The main player in this new mess, former booster Nevin Shapiro, directly implicated Haith in a Yahoo exposÃ©.Â There's more, but the center of it comes down to this:Â Haith and his Miami staff stand accused of paying DaQuan Jones $10,000.
There are some pretty specific allegations, among them that former assistant Jake Morton got the money from Shapiro to Jones.
For his part, Haith issued this statement:
"In response to a recent news article, I can confirm that the NCAA has asked to speak with me regarding the time I spent at the University of Miami. I am more than happy to cooperate with the national office on this issue and look forward to a quick resolution. The NCAA has instructed me not to comment further at this time in order to protect the integrity of their review, so I appreciate your understanding in this matter. The reports questioning my personal interactions with Mr. Shapiro are not an accurate portrayal of my character and per the above I am unable to comment further."
He will soon enough.
The allegations for both sports but primarily football hold that ShapiroÂ âprovided thousands of impermissible benefits to at least 72 athletes from 2002 through 2010,â that included cash, prostitutes, entertainment in his multimillion-dollar homes and yacht, paid trips to expensive restaurants and nightclubs, jewelry, bounties for on-field play, travel and, on one occasion, an abortion.â
The benefits, not all cash certainly, may have amounted to millions, according to Shapiro.
He also claims to have arranged for 39 players to have been entertained by prostitutes.
Shapiro is in prison for a 20 year haul after a nearly billion dollar Ponzi scheme collapsed.
Among the people affected by his corruption: first-year Miami football coach Al Golden, who appears to be completely innocent, and former A.D. Paul Dees, whose judgement has been called into question.Â More critically perhaps is Mizzou A.D. Mike Alden, who endured a firestorm when he hired Haith this past spring.Â It was a highly unpopular decision, but Haith had begun to win people over.Â That's almost certainly over and before this is over, both men may lose their jobs.
By the way, since Ponzi schemes are all the rage lately, it's interesting to go back and look at who Charles Ponzi was and what he tried to pull off.
Basically he promised a 50% profit within 45 days or 100% profit in 90 by buying discounted postal coupons abroad and selling them at full face value in the U.S.
Obviously a Ponzi scheme is doomed to collapse, and the original was no exception.Â But he denied that it wasÂ scam until the end of his life, which came in Rio De Janeiro.
Near death, he confessed to a reporter: "Even if they never got anything for it, it was cheap at that price. Without malice aforethought I had given them the best show that was ever staged in their territory since the landing of the Pilgrims! It was easily worth fifteen million bucks to watch me put the thing over."
Our favorite part of the whole business, though, came when someone asked his wife about the scam, and she said "Charlie? Why, he couldn't mastermind a light bulb into a socket!"
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