Blog Entry

Twelve current Miami players named in report

Posted on: August 16, 2011 10:04 pm
Edited on: August 16, 2011 11:51 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson

The college football world was rocked on Tuesday with Yahoo! report regarding former Miami booster Nevin Shapiro providing "thousands of impermissible benefits to at least 72 athletes" between 2002 and 2010. While the long-term damage of this report will likely not be settled anytime soon, there are some potential eligibility issues facing the 2011 Hurricanes.

Twelve current Miami players were listed in the report with varying levels of involvement with Shapiro. Among them include quarterback Jacory Harris and three members of the Preseason All-ACC Team. The school has no comment, and the NCAA is already on campus in Coral Gables, so all we can do is look at the players involved and their alleged associations with NCAA violations.

S Ray-Ray Armstrong, Jr., Sanford, Fla.
Projected 2011 Role: Armstrong finished 2010 as a 2nd Team All-ACC defensive back, and is expected to start at safety along with Vaugh Telamaque. He was named to the Preseason All-ACC Team and should be a vital piece of the Hurricanes defense.
Allegations: Armstrong, Andre Debose, and Dyron Dye were brought to Shaprio's $6 million mansion on a Friday night for a recruiting pitch that included a tour of the home and a ride in Shapiro's Mercedes. The booster then gave an equipment manager "approximately $2,000 to $3,000 in cash" to show the trio a good time. Booster said he paid for food, drinks, and entertainment for the group on a Sunday, and gave Armstrong one of Sean Taylor's game-worn Miami jerseys.

WR Travis Benjamin, Sr., Belle Glade, Fla.
Projected 2011 Role: As the leading returning receiver, Benjamin is just one of the players looking to step up into Leonard Hankerson's role (1156 yards, 13 TDs) as the go-to Hurricanes receiver. Benjamin pulled in 43 catches for 743 yards and 3 touchdowns in 2010.
Allegations: Shapiro told federal agents on the record that he provided "benefits to an array of Miami players from 2002 to 2010." Benjamin was one of the players named, with Shapiro claiming that the wide receiver visited his home "25 times or more" and received cash "more than one time."

DE/LB Dyron Dye, rSoph., Sanford, Fla.
Projected 2011 Role: Backup defensive end. Saw six games of action as a redshirt freshman in 2010. Al Golden had recently asked Dye to switch to tight end because of depth concerns.
Allegations: Dye was a part of the recruiting pitch with Armstrong and Debose. Shapiro said he came to the house several times, but never received cash or saw the yacht. Only that he received drinks and VIP access at nightclubs with Shapiro.

DT Marcus Forston, Jr., Miami, Fla.
Projected 2011 Role: The anchor of the defensive line. Forston has received praise from teammates and coaches for his effective and speedy recovery after a spring knee injury threatened the start of his 2011 season. When healthy Forston is a force to be reckoned with in the trenches, and was named to the Preseason All-ACC team.
Allegations: Shapiro alleges Forston and several other Miami players received a dinner at Japanese steakhouse Benihana in 2008, which was followed by drinks, VIP access, and entertainment at The Cheetah strip club.

QB Jacory Harris, Sr., Miami, Fla.
Projected 2011 Role: Where to begin here? Considered a potential Heisman candidate earlier in his career, Harris could have been the face of this rejuvenated Miami team. There was no guarantee he would, in fact he still has to beat out Stephen Morris for the starting quarterback job. Harris' main criticism on the field is his decision making (15 INTs in 2010), and it might end up being his biggest off-field criticism as well.
Allegations: Harris was also named in Shapiro's interviews with federal agents. He alleges Harris came by the house "a number of times" and played in pool tournaments for cash. He also claims Harris benefited from drinks and VIP access at nightclubs on a handful of occasions.

Miami report fallout

WR Aldarius Johnson, Sr., Miami, Fla.
Projected 2011 Role: Johnson's best season at Miami was his freshman year in 2008, pulling in 31 catches for 332 yards and 3 touchdowns. Johnson has been outspoken about using his senior year to recapture that kind of performance. Johnson was limited during spring practice by injury and passed over on the depth chart by LaRon Byrd, but was still hoping to reclaim his spot as a primary member of the Hurricanes receiving corps.
Allegations: Johnson was one of the players involved in the aforementioned evening at Benihana's and The Cheetah strip club, as well as the pool tournaments for cash. Shapiro claims he gifted Johnson money "at least 10 times" ranging from $50 to $300-$400. "I'd say he took a couple grand from me over the course of time," Shapiro told Yahoo! Sports.

CB JoJo Nicolas, Sr., Homestead, Fla.
Projected 2011 Role: After 10 starts and 36 tackles in 2010, Nicolas has changed positions and is expected to be the starting cornerback heading into the season. Miami has several talented youngsters in the secondary, but Nicolas has received praise for adapting to the team's needs in the offseason.
Allegations: Nicolas does not play a big role in Shapiro's allegations, with the booster claiming the defensive back benefited from drinks and VIP access at nightclubs on multiple occasions and was in the booster's mansion "anywhere from 15, 20, 25 times."

DE Adewale Ojomo, rJr., Homestead, Fla.
Projected 2011 Role: Expected to be a reserve defensive lineman this season. Recorded 38 tackles and finished third on the team in sacks (5) in 2010.
Allegations: Shapiro lists Ojomo as another player that benefited from food, drinks, and VIP treatment at clubs as well as a visitor at the booster's home. He also recounted one specific time when Ojomo and a female companion met Shapiro a dinner at Smith & Wollensky, which was provided.

DE/LB Marcus Robinson, Sr., Homestead, Fla.
Projected 2011 Role: Robinson suffered an injury during spring practice, and was also asked to move positions this fall. Robinson was moved from the defensive line (19 tackles, 2.5 sacks in 2010) to linebacker.
Allegations: According to Shapiro, Robinson was also present for the evening at Benihana and The Cheetah strip club. Not considered as close to the booster as others, but Shapiro did say he was in the mansion "once or twice"

LB Sean Spence, Sr., Miami, Fla.
Projected 2011 Role: Spence was 1st Team All-ACC in 2010, and was also named to the Preseason All-ACC team this week. Head coach Al Golden has frequently complimented the leadership of the seniors, and nearly every time he makes a point to mention Sean's name. Of all the players listed in the report, Spence is arguably one of the most valuable to the 2011 roster.
Allegations: Spence was also listed as a player for the Benihana-to-The Cheetah evening. However, Shapiro listed Spence as "one of the regular guys at my house." He also says the all-conference linebacker took part in bowling outings, where Shaprio "gave him some money."

S Vaughn Telemaque, rJr., Long Beach, Calif.
Projected 2011 Role: Telemaque started 13 games for the Hurricanes in 2010, and is the third leading tackler returning for 2011. Expected to start and play a major role in the Miami defense this season.
Allegations: Shapiro called the one out-of-state product in this group a "laid back" and "chill dude." Telemaque allegedly came by the house and to the clubs "a number of times" and took part in pool games for money.

DE Oliver Vernon, Jr., Miami, Fla.
Projected 2011 Role: The 2010 sack leader among returnees was expected to start on the defensive line. Vernon started 11 games last season, totaling 39 tackles and 6 sacks.
Allegations: In addition to many of the same food, drinks, and entertainment allegations, Shaprio alleges he played a significant role in Vernon's recruitment. The booster claims he hosted Vernon and his parents in his luxury suite for the Miami-FSU game in 2008. Shapiro also made a $1,000 donation to the booster club of Vernon's high school at the solicitation of Vernon's father.

Details of the allegations levied against all current and former Miami student-athletes and staff can be found here, courtesy of Yahoo! Sports

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Since: Nov 17, 2010
Posted on: September 1, 2011 2:15 pm

Twelve current Miami players named in report

SWIHawk, looks like they are going to get oodles of playing time.  Only suspended one game.

Since: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: August 28, 2011 7:05 am

Twelve current Miami players named in report

I happened to catch Bob Ryan on PTI the other night saying that this has been going on longer than any of 'us' care to remember, and he citied some college basketball team who had just met the new additions to the team and were given a ton of money to go and 'kit' the rookies out with Armani, et al stuff as they looked like 'country bumpkins'! Ryan I think felt ashamed as he and his fellow reporters just accepted this as the norm. Mike Ditka commented the other night that to see who is on the take just take a look at the parking lot when these kids are at practice. College Football Live the other night who interviwed some Jnr Lineman from OSU and he was driving a top of the range Toyota 4x4 pick-up truck! Rich parents or.................................


Since: Jul 15, 2011
Posted on: August 25, 2011 9:42 am

Twelve current Miami players named in report

Don't count on any of the Miami DIRTY DOZEN to see much playing time soon, unless it's in the NFL.

Since: Nov 17, 2010
Posted on: August 24, 2011 11:33 am

Twelve current Miami players named in report

Re: Nitrobuck

With respect to the booster issue, the question is whether the university knew what was going on.  For example, with the Ohio State situation, Coach Tressel knew what was going on and kept that information to himself.  Here, we do not yet know if anyone at the University of Miami knew that the players were receiving all of these ALLEGED benefits.  I stress the word alleged because as far reaching as these allegations are, just about everyone implicated has emphatically denied any wrongdoing (so far) and all people who are now at other programs are being cleared to play at their current schools (which is odd if all of the allegations are true).  If however, the allegations are true and the university did not know, then the program itself should not be punished - but the players could be.

As far as we know, these players were going out with a booster on their own.  There has been nothing (yet) in the media which shows that the University or its officials were aware of the extracurricular activities.  So, in that sense, the rules violations (as currently being alleged) and the crimes I referenced, both regard activities that the athletes do on their own.

My comparison about the crimes and the violations is not an obfuscation, nor is it a comparison of apples to door knobs as you have suggested.  Rather, it is a comparison of rotten green apples to rotten red apples.  The NCAA has decided that it would rather throw out the rotten green apples (players that receive benefits) as opposed to throwing out rotten red apples (players that commit crimes).  Either throw out both types of bad apples or none at all. 

But my own personal opinion is that the red apples are worse than the green.

Since: Jan 17, 2008
Posted on: August 22, 2011 5:30 pm

Twelve current Miami players named in report

My point is that Miami is now caught between a rock and a hard place. They have no choice but to hold these players out whether they think there's any validity to this investigation or not. The NCAA runs their business contrary to our American Judicial system. Players and teams are guilty until proven innocent rather than the other way around.

You make a good point, Glenn.  One would think that after investigating the issues for the past 5 months, which has no doubt resulted in discussions between Miami and the NCAA, that there would be some sort of instructions from the NCAA as to how & when to handle any suspensions.  As a Buckeye, it is my hope that all of these guys are available to play when OSU visits Miami.

Since: Jan 17, 2008
Posted on: August 22, 2011 4:51 pm

Twelve current Miami players named in report

So far this year, I can count 39 NCAA football arrests with no consequences by the NCAA.  9 times out of 10, these players are "suspended indefinitely" by their coaches, the NCAA does nothing, and then the player is back on the team in a couple of weeks.  However, when players go out and have drinks at a nightclub, get a free meal at a restaurant, get some tail at a stripper bar, or go out on a boat they are suddenly put on the chopping block.  If that is rulebreaking, then the rule needs to be changed.

I have purposely avoided making much commentary on this Miami mess, but I will step in here.  Grash73, you are obfiscating the issue by comparing apples to door knobs.  Yes, lots of players in the NCAA get into trouble with the law, but they generally do it on their own.  To be specific, I can't think of any of the arrested players who had a booster involved in the crime.  The current Miami players involved in this mess received impermissable benefits from a booster, which typically is classified as a major violation.  Some of these kids were on recruiting visits, which brings on another level of major violations.  The NCAA has no say when it comes to players breaking the law.  Dealing with lawbreakers is up to the schools and coaches, and is generally a punishment to befit the crime deal.  When it comes to boosters passing along impermissible benefits and being involved in recruiting violations, the NCAA has plenty to say, and rightfully so. 

Furthermore, when you say "get some tail at a stripper bar", you are glossing over the issue in an epic manner.  If the kids go to a stripper bar and "get some" on their own, it is not a rules violation.  When a booster hires hookers to boof the boys, it is a major problem.  And when that same booster pays to get one of the hookers an abortion, it falls to an all new level of depravity.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or