It’s Not What You Know But It’s Also Who You Know ….

It’s Not What You Know But It’s Also Who You Know ….

I must admit that few things to my mind have really changed since I lived in South Florida and was a frequent attendee to football games played by the Miami Hurricanes . Having moved from South Florida up to the central part of the state, I try when I can to attend a few scheduled games of the program. Not since the heydays of Howard Schnellenberger , Dennis Erickson , Jimmy Johnson and Larry Coker when the football program was winning national titles and lauded as being one the premiere college teams in the nation ___ has there really been much to laud concerning the the Miami Hurricanes . However in the last few years the program has seen a decline in its attendance , the loss of Randy Shannon because it was deemed he wasn’t high profiled enough to lead the team.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Slide show for your perusal .

With that fall from grace has come criticism from former players who are now lauded within the NFL or who have entered into the Hall of Fame but who still see the school as their fraternity of brothers . Players such as Michael Irvin , Ray Lewis and Clinton Portis have all been pretty vocal as to what they see as the way that things have been done wrong by the school. What no one can deny is the mere fact that the Miami Hurricanes has always been the center of controversy and some might say the school simply courted incidents merely to gain even more notoriety . Now comes word that the NCAA is conducting an investigation into the school and the fact that a now indicted felon Nevin Shapiro , who conducted a multi-million dollar Ponzi Scheme , is said to have lavished members of the football team with monetary gifts , invites to numerous sporting events whereby they attended per-gratis. It is also being alleged that Shapiro for his part made sure that students were aided in aided obtaining none specific off campus work for which it is unclear how the players were being compensated .

Courtesy of The Boston Herald

NCAA visiting University of Miami regarding allegations

By Barry Jackson and Susan Miller Degnan / McClatchy Newspapers

MIAMI — The NCAA is investigating claims that convicted Ponzi schemer Nevin Shapiro gave gifts and services — such as use of a yacht — to Hurricane football players while they were attending the University of Miami, according to a source with knowledge of the investigation and Shapiro’s attorney, Maria Elena Perez.

Perez said Monday she has been in contact with the NCAA, on Shapiro’s behalf, for several months and has conveyed Shapiro’s claims that more than a dozen former or current Hurricanes players have received gifts and other benefits that would constitute a violation of NCAA rules. Shapiro also has spoken to the NCAA directly, she said.

Perez said the NCAA informed her that it would visit the Coral Gables, Fla., university on Monday. When reached by phone Monday night, University spokeswoman Margot Winick said, “My understanding is the NCAA was on site, but we’re not prepared to comment now until we know what they’re looking into.”

Though there is a four-year statute of limitations on NCAA violations, Perez said some of the incidents occurred within the past four years, while others occurred before that.

“It’s not about giving money — it’s about giving favors,” Perez said of Shapiro’s allegations. “It’s giving suits, giving jewelry, paying for entertainment, letting them use his boat twice a week.”

Perez said she has not tabulated the monetary value of gifts and benefits that Shapiro said he gave players, but “it’s well over thousands of dollars. It took $2,000 just to fuel up the gas tank of the yacht at Riviera Club.”


Click on the link to read this article in its entirety .


Somehow in the midst of this latest mea culpa that has embroiled the University of Miami , the school’s president former cabinet member Donna Shalala , now has to try allay the fears of the fans and public in general that the school isn’t once again embroiled in a mess of its own making . What I would like to know in all of this , is how is it that a school can allow either boosters or for that matter any individual full access to the campus merely to heighten their presence amongst the student athletes ? It is clear that problems will always continue to arise when such an incident as is now being reported concerning the actions of Nevin Shapiro ___ his interaction with the school. There is a great deal that we have yet to be made aware of concerning the ongoing investigation by the NCAA but it is now becoming clear that there were errors in judgment not simply by school but also the lack of accountability from within the school’s own system.

And this upcoming season coach Al Golden not only has to deal with these allegations now surfacing but he and his coaching staff will now have to how to get the very best out of a football team that very much underperformed (7-6) last year within the ACC .

If there’s one thing that has become abundantly clear with the college coaches be it within basketball or football it is that they are self serving and think of themselves above the law. In a recent symposium that was hosted by ESPN to which they had a number of well known coaches , college sport’s analysts participate in this panel. It became clear that Nick Saban , Mike Bellotti , Bob Stoops feel that they are not answerable for the actions of their respective coaching staffs or even where they may well have stepped into a gray area as it relates to the NCAA regulations .

Stoops, Saban and Bellotti stated that nothing gives them greater pleasure than meeting a potential athlete in the parents’ home and discussing their future . And as altruistic as that may well seem we all know what lies beneath the maneuvering that is made by these coaches. It certainly has nothing to do with the players actually gaining an education but more to do with how the school can gain financially from acquiring that athlete if they are especially talented in their chosen sport. I am not about to suggest that the antics of Nick Saban , Mike Bellotti or Bob Stoops are untoward , but it does beg the question when Nick Saban begins to state that the real issues facing the underlying collegiate athletics , is the mere fact that agents are ruining college sports through their illicit acts . I might hasten to add nowhere has Saban sought to question the actions of one of his former peers in Jim Tressel and his culture of deceit and likes while coach of Ohio State and the school’s football program. If nothing else Treseel’s actions were culpable and the inaction by university president E Gordon Gee and school AD Gene Smith left a great deal to be desired . And in the midst of this all has been the inaction of the NCAA and their complete lack of action when necessary .

At some point I would like to know when it is that coaches such as Stoops , Saban and Bellotti will choose to question either their own inaction or for that matter the lack of action by a compliance officer or an athletics director when they choose not to act appropriately in the case of their lack of not wanting to do the right thing ? If cases such of Ohio State and the ongoing investigation of Auburn as it relates to the Cam Newton’s eligibility status while attending the school . Gene Chizik the school’s football coach has denied culpability in any action that might have violated any NCAA rules. Chizik in a recent confrontation with a senior official of the NCAA had been quite vocal in asking why the body was still investigating the school , in the aftermath of Auburn’s own internal investigation. That official stated the NCAA wasn’t of the belief that the school’s own investigation was as thorough as they were led to believe and that was in light of further allegations that have since arised .

So the Bernie Machen the president of the university of Florida has let it be known that the SEC for the time being will remain a conference of twelve schools . As we know this is simply a university president posturing for the public at large . Machen knows that sooner or later the conference will have to be enlarged if it is to compete with the other major conferences bowl or otherwise as they seek to a greater source of the monetary pie courtesy of the nation’s sports broadcasters. The Texas A&M Aggies are being courted and a move into the ACC or but moreover the SEC would be highly profitable for the school. With the school’s highly publicized and successful athletics program it would prove to be a great coup for any conference acquiring the school. And it has to be said that the SEC would deem it more of a triumph than perhaps the ACC.

The SEC already boasting a plethora of top notch schools that have made the BCS national championship its own fiefdom over the past few years , they would welcome Texas A&M with open arms. But such a maneuver has to be achieved in a way that it doesn’t create a backlash against either the school or conference itself. Inasmuch as we have seen recent realignments of number of conferences , anyone who believes that it is being done for altruistic motives clearly can’t see the overall big picture. These moves aren’t being done to create a more competitive balance within collegiate athletics but merely to create an even bigger cash windfall for the schools and conferences in question. Collegiate athletics is simply no longer about the apparent education or producing more productive citizens but a way and means of garnering talent as production for the schools themselves and then on to the professional level for the students in their chosen sporting endeavors.

There’s a great deal of money to be made but on the face of it one at times has to question the motives of the schools when one tends to see little if anything that is tangible coming out as a bye product of the activities in question. So much so that now instead of the landscape being about competitive athletic prowess much of the dialogue surrounds alleged acts of malfeasance not only the part of the student athletes but in some cases the AD’s , coaches and compliance officers of the very schools themselves. And in the midst of this cesspool of deceit and corrupt action stands the NCAA at times playing Pontius Pilate one minute and then meting out punishment like Judge Roy Bean the next.

Mark Emmert as president of the NCAA, either has to act swiftly and corral the activities of the schools or he can simply keep the status quo as is , by looking the other way and then choosing to punish with impunity as he sees fit merely to create the perception that he and his esteemed body are not without power . But in reality we know that the NCAA has already aligned itself with the Devil , in this case their paymasters , the broadcast and cable networks who pay out hundreds of millions of dollars each year for the broadcast rights for collegiate sports. As to the money trail and where much of those funds actually ends up, is anyone’s guess at this juncture , even if we are being assured that is to benefit the schools and student athletes as a whole . We can only those establishments at their word but in reality in this day and age what can we actually believe ? It is not as if a university president or athletic director isn’t above being culpable in an act of stupidity or simply being naive to begin with ! Simply look at the actions of E Gordon Gee , Gene Smith, Jim Tressel , Butch Davis and Dick Baddour of the former athletics director of UNC and ask yourself who can you really trust to tell the truth ?



Picture gallery for your perusal .

Are you at all surprised by the alleged improprieties that has now further tarnished the image of the University of Miami ? And what actions if any do you believe appropriate for the school if the allegations are found to be true ? Also in light of the statements of Nick Saban and some of his peers who were participants in that recently sponsored ESPN symposium do you feel that the NCAA really should have the power as to how a school goes about recruiting a potential college athlete beyond the measures already in place ? Leave a comment as to your thoughts on this topic and anything else you believe to be salient as to the points raised within this piece.

Alan aka tophatal …………

Picture and slide show details .


(1) FILE – This Feb. 2, 2011 , file photo shows Miami head coach Al Golden during an interview in Coral Gables, Fla. Golden says some of his player may have made mistakes that prompted an NCAA investigation into convicted Ponzi schemer Nevin Shapiro’s role with the program. AP Photo/Alan Diaz ……

(2) Ex President Bill Clinton is greeted by university President Donna Shalala of the University of Miami . The former cabinet minister has held the post as president of the college since 2001. She now has to deal with the current controversy concerning members of the football team receiving gratuities from now indicted felon Nevin Shapiro . The school itself is also expected to conduct its own internal investigations as what improprieties took place in lieu of the NCAA’s own inquiry into the matter . Courtesy of AP Photo / Miami Herald / Hector Guttierrez …………

(3) In picture Paul Fishman the US attorney in the state of New Jersey whose indictment of Nevin Shapiro the former co founder of Capitol Investments USA Inc . who was indicted on grand larceny and creating a Ponzi Scheme said to have defrauded clients out of $ 800 million . Shapiro is also embroiled in the latest controversy surrounding the University of Miami and the fact that he’s said to have lavished gifts upon current and former players of the Canes’ football team. The NCAA as well as the school are now conducting separate investigations concerning the matter . The Star Ledger (N.J) / Mitsu Yasukawa …………

(4) Nick Saban standing addresses Jay Bilas (right), and ESPN College Football analyst Robert Smith during a symposium conducted by the broadcast outlet on the state of college sports and in particular on College Football . Courtesy of ESPN Jay Faraoni ……

(5) Bernie Machen president of the University of Florida has been somewhat adamant that the SEC will not be seeking to increase the number of schools within the conference in spite there being rumors that Texas A&M was said to being courted by the SEC and ACC to make the jump from the Big 12 . Sooner rather than later the the Aggies may well make the jump if it proves to be financially advantageous for the school. Getty Images / Michael Sprouse ……


Contact — tophatal via these social media devices


Miami Hurricanes Official website

Link provided here to the Miami Herald’s own coverage of this ongoing story . NCAA visiting University of Miami regarding allegations

Author: tophatal ...........

An avid sports' fans that's all !!!!!

23 thoughts on “It’s Not What You Know But It’s Also Who You Know ….”

  1. Donna Shalala has been presiding over a sinking ship known as the Miami Hurricanes for the past decade and all they’ve got to show for it is one national title in that time . Now this ?

    I can only surmise that current and former players of the football team were well taken care of and it was all worth it in the end !

    If Ray Lewis and Michael Irvin are being somewhat critical of the malfeasance that has allegedly gone on at Miami then there has to be something wrong because we all know those two have never cast any dispersion on the program while they attended the University of Miami ? LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

    As for Stoops , Saban and Bellotti and their rhetoric about wanting to assist a kid they seek to have enroll at their respective schools ………. gimme’ a break …….. nothing speaks to their conniving bull_hit than that crap !

    Bernie Machen wake up smell the god-damn coffee there’s money to be made ………..stop it with the bs !

    tophatal ……..


  2. Donna you’s got some ‘xplainin’ to do darlin’ ? How’s it that Shapiro was given cart-blanch to all areas of the campus of the ‘U’ …… not only there but also various areas that are said to also off limits to the public in general ? Now you’re trying to suggest that nothing untoward took place even though we’re now finding out that several of the clients defrauded by Nevin Shapiro are said to be wealthy boosters of the Canes as well as the social elite of Miami Dade , Broward and Palm Beach counties . And it’s also said that clients outside of the state but primarily along the East Coast are amongst those defrauded by the former investment guru . How quaint ! LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

    tophatal …………………….


    1. Chris Humpherys

      They’re saying that this whole shebang bordered on sheer ineptitude and that much of Shapiro’s actions were so widespread and rampant across the board that in involved not just the football team but also the basketball team and several others as well .

      If either Al Golden or Jim Larranaga (basketball) are implicated in any of this then they should both lose their jobs as well .

      I know that the SMU Mustangs were given the ” death sentence” but I’m not saying the Canes warrant such action but if Donna Shalala , AD Shawn Eichorst and the senior compliance officer David Reed allowed Nevin Shapiro such access then they ought to be banished from all collegiate activities as they used poor judgment and were completely negligent ! All three of those senior Miami employees should be relieved of their duties immediately !

      The only reason Shapiro is now doing this is so that he’s looking to have time shaved off his multi year sentence by the court system and the Justice Department because of his cooperation .

      tophatal ………….


  3. Good article man. I can’t say I’m surprised by this but the magnitude of the allegations is shocking for sure. I read all of Whitlock’s pieces and he is always talking about how this kind of stuff goes on everywhere but the NCAA is simply blind to it. It’ll be interesting to see what the repercussions are for Miami and what this means for other big time programs in the NCAA.


    1. Chris Ross

      The NCAA are as toothless as a room filled with octogenarians suffering from , irritable bowel syndrome , dementia and Alzheimer’s ! They simply choose to punish with impunity merely because they’re not so sure as to what the f_#k they’re doing !

      As to Shalala , Reed and Eichorst they should immediately step down from their positions without explanation because they were culpable in the creation of this mess without Nev Shapiro’s antics coming to light !

      At Miami it’s been business as usual for years and this has been going on since Erickson was the football coach and got even worse with Jimmy Johnson .

      tophatal …………………….


  4. Chris Ross

    After the departure of Schnellenberger from the program this school simply plummeted in terms of its integrity and sportsmanship ! They didn’t care as long as they were winning national championships and gaining even more notoriety . Now come full circle and in spite of the alleged changes promised by Shalala in her decade long tenure absolutely nothing at all has changed !

    The university of Miami has always been very good to me ! Next question . Drew Rosenhaus

    Drew Rosenhaus comes unto that campus and acts as if it’s his second home . And and so too have countless other agents that have been aided and abetted by the coaching staff , compliance officers and even the damn AD . Never mind the alleged actions of the boosters and now a convicted felon like Nev Shapiro .

    Let’s hope that the NCAA has the balls to throw the book at the school rather than cowering in a corner like a dog that’s about to be beaten !

    tophatal …….


  5. Actually, this doesn’t surprise me one bit. I am also convinced that there are many other schools which are doing the same thing, but they just aren’t getting caught yet. If this guy can throw orgies and give money away left and right to recruits and players this long without getting caught, who knows what kinda dirt you can uncover in other major programs. I am concerned the fact that we just hired Miami’s AD Kiby Hocutt and that he allowed Shapiro on the sidelines for Miami game and reserves spots for him at major booster organizations, so he can get a fast access to his check book. Curious to see how all of this pans out.


    1. jgome

      Me neither ! But at the same it just goes to show you can’t pick a flea or a tick of the back of a rabid dog ! And that’s essentially what the Canes have always been about ! At no time over the course of its history with the exception of Schnellenberger has this program ever been clean .

      Now this shit has surfaced again and all Golden can say is …….” mistakes were made “. Either this guy is that much of a friggin’ asshole or he just simply didn’t care what was going on just as long as he was gettin’ his cut . Now Shalala as university president has to try and allay the fears of the fans booster and its patrons alike after this latest fiasco . This shit stinks to high heavens and the city of Miami with all of the political corruption and intrigue is simply seen as portraying a way of life by the actions that have taken place on the campus of the university .

      Shawn Eichorst , David Reed , Shalala and Golden if at all implicated in any way in the allegations, then they each should step down immediately .
      Why have individuals keep their jobs when it was through their sheer ineptitude all of this was allowed to happen ?

      tophatal …………


    2. jgome

      Kirby Hocutt …….. another f_cking joke ! LOL,LOL,LOL !!! You’d have been better off hiring a damn axe murderer or serial killer for all it’s worth ! What did he or didn’t he know while AD at Miami as some these actions also took place under his watch ?

      ‘I can categorically deny ever seeing an athlete on the campus of the university of Miami walking around with their pockets filled with cash or there being academic fraud being committed ” ! Kirby Hocutt current AD of Texas Tech .

      I can at times be naive but I’m not stupid , Hocutt is full of sh_t if he thinks anyone is going to believe what he’s saying !

      Now he’s claiming he was unaware as to what was taking place ? If you believe that bullsh_t then you have to be naive .

      tophatal ………….

      tophatal ……………….


        1. jgome

          ESPN would , wouldn’t they ! This is the same sports broadcast outlet that continues to make a damn mockery of the system as it relates to the collegiate sports landscape ! I wonder what might happen should the event ever take place where the Longhorns should ever come under investigation given the ties that the two institutions now have from a commercial standpoint ?

          I’d dare that impartiality would definitely go out the window as they look to cover not only their ass but also that of the Longhorns as well !

          Nothing now surprises me as to the mess that’s now being uncovered ! We’ve a local high school football coach (Robert Weiner of Plant High School) whose school has been nationally ranked that is now embroiled in this mess as several of his players are known to have met with agents and boosters known personally to Nevin Shapiro . He denies it all even light of a local news network uncovering information as to those meetings . The blowback from this like cow manure being thrown up against a white brick wall. Something is going to stick and not all of it is going to be colorful ! Shapiro , himself has begun to name names of Weiners is one of them and now also the lawyer dealing with the liquidation of felon’s investment company is said to be issuing subpoenas that seeks the return of monies given to such players as Robert Marve and Pats’ player Vince Wilfork who attended Miami .

          See this link concerning Wilfork’s apparent involvement . ….. Whistle-blower finger Vince Wilfork …..

          tophatal ………….


  6. What do you expect. NCAA football is a professional legaue. it is a farm league for the NFL. Where does all the money go the NCAA getsd from ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, and ESPN. That’s the real story. Coaches make millions off of these kids. That’s the story. You have the liars on ESPN saying the rule book needs to be changed yet its the pricks who make millions off of 19-22 years olds Give me a freakin break.


    1. Bobby Gee

      I’ve never expected anything at all from the NCAA ! They’ve essentially been a toothless lapdog for the entire collegiate athletics system merely meting out punishment when they deem it fit but not reining in the improper conduct of the coaches , or the AD’s for that matter. At the same they’re enabled because of the money thrown not only at that establishment but the schools , conferences by the broadcast outlets ( ABC/ESPN, Fox , CBS & NBC ) and major Fortune 500 corporations across the nation. The system has become so corrupt , and completely devoid of integrity , character and that even covers the parochial schools as well . Because they’re not above the fray when it comes to any form of impropriety at all !

      What has happened at Miami has been enabled by the actions of Jimmy Johnson , Dennis Erickson and the slew of coaches down the years that have succeeded that duo ! It certainly shouldn’t surprise anyone that the likes of Nev Shapiro and Drew Rosenhaus are given free access to the campus never mind the deeds of the boosters within the Canes’ organization .

      If any of these allegations are substantiated then Golden , Donna Shalala , Shawn Eichorst and David Reed should immediately step down . This has happened primarily under university president’s (Shalala – her tenure has been a decade of complete ineptitude) watch and if anything she’s equally to blame in not making sure that the NCAA rules are adhered to by making sure that all related departments abide by those very statutes.

      Now initiating any type of inhouse investigation is simply asinine ! What are they going to find that would prove to be any different from the NCAA’s own ongoing investigation into the matter ? Perhaps that one athlete only took a $500-00 gift rather than the $550-00 being reported ? What fu_king difference will that ultimately make ? The fact of the matter will be that these actions took place and that a number of high ranking officials within the university system may well have been aware as to what has happening but they choose to turn a blind eye to the numerous incidents that took place . In other words they simply condoned the actions .

      tophatal …………………..


  7. Chris Humpherys

    Now we’ve got local Plant High School football coach Robert Weiner implicated in this mess but he’s denying any involvement at all in spite of the on camera interview given to WTSP’s —- Mike Deeson . However Shapiro has named him (Weiner) in a statement that has yet to be corroborated but he also says he’s got pictures of Weiner attending numerous events that he organized where the coach brought along some of his players . The FHSAA says they see no rules that have been broken by the coach . That’s utter bullshit and a cop out by the Florida High Schools Athletics Association !

    Mike Deeson of WTSP (Channel 10) Tampa – St Pete’

    I’m more inclined to believe an Emmy award winning investigative journalist like Deeson rather than a lying sack of shit like Robert Weiner of Plant High !

    Read the link in terms of Deeson’s article . Plant Coach Robert Weiner named in scandal involving University Of Miami Football .

    tophatal …………


    1. chappy

      I think that there’ll be interest because of the seriousness of the allegations and the period of time that these actions have been going on . It’s been far longer than those that took place within the domain of USC . And not only that the school has been previously sanctioned before by the NCAA . It ought to be very fascinating to find out the length and depth of the actions that took place and what punishment is liable to be meted out by the NCAA . Either they go the whole hog and shut ’em down like they did with the SMU Mustangs or they take away multiple scholarships the chance of postseason play with regards to football or any other sport as they deem fit concerning the program .

      tophatal …………..


  8. Donna Shalala will now try to do her best in not bringing down the school and its reputation further into disrepute . How’s she going to do that you might ask ? She says that she’ll run across the campus grounds unclothed hoping to distract the attention of the nations’ press into the ongoing investigation into the school . Good luck with that Donna !

    tophatal ………


  9. Donna Shalala running across the campus grounds unclothed? The horror!! No thanks…but it begs the question: Would you rather see Donna, Janet Reno or Janet Napolitano nude?


    1. Drew

      Given the choice between Shalala , Reno and Napolitano , I’d rather slit my throat or better yet subject myself to the degradation of being sexually abused by a nubile buxom sex starved 21 year old female or someone like Amber Heard ! (See pic below) Ain’t nothing wrong in that is there ? LOL,LOL,LOL !!! What’s now unfolding concerning the Canes is of their own making because they’ve been consistently lacking in judgment over the years ! And it has been idiots such as ex players that have fomented the crap that the school was actually changing its ways when that was clearly not the case !

      There’s more that’s about to rear its ugly head concerning this whole sordid episode of which none of campus staff can really ignore as to their own lack of response . It’s far too late for the likes of Eichorst or Reed wanting to conduct their own internal investigation when the shit is already lying on the floor stinking up the joint and there now being fresh allegations concerning current and former players . That’s like trying to reconstruct a theft knowing full well the guilty parties have not only flown the coop but they’ve already spent the god-damn money .

      The NCAA ought to have a field day but knowing those idiots they’ll either find a way fuc#ing up the investigation and then not do anything or they’ll actually throw the book and punish the school severely !

      I definitely could get my swerve on with Amber !


      tophatal …………..


  10. When the dust settles there will be blood on the streets. They brought this on themselves al all the rest. NCAA is a joke anymore


    1. al clements

      There’s a rotting carcass laying strewn across the campus of the University of Miami . It’s been that way for for almost two decades ! . And not once has any AD past or present actually tried to clean up the mess ! It’s a joke to see them now all running for cover and making excuses for their own lame ass frailties and lack of judgment !

      The football coach Al Golden says … ” that mistakes were made “ that’s akin to saying I handed the kid a loaded gun but I didn’t expect him to use it ! Well the shots have been fired and all of the targets have been successfully hit . Now what ?

      tophatal ………….


Leave a Reply & notification by e-mail

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.