Here’s a side of the Miami scandal that you haven’t heard yet. An AnonymousSource very close to the situation shares his experiences. In Nevin Shapiro he describes a man that was not only rubbing elbows with the heads of the University of Miami, but also elite public figures from a variety of professions. My Source’s comments lead one to believe that school officials were not only aware of the wrong doings but were enabling them.
I’d be careful with your criticism of THE U, Athletic Directors across the nation. Your school could be exposed next. I wonder how many more panel discussions and summits the NCAA will have before they actually do something to change their system? Can I get the over/under on that?
*For the record, I still stand by my belief that restructuring the education offered to student athletes will alleviate these issues as well as provide appropriate compensation for the athletes’ hard work and commitments, and for the revenue they generate.
Now to the interview…
Stephanie: Tell me about your experience of Nevin Shapiro.
Source: Amongst us, what we were doing then [in Miami], that was like the norm, that’s how it was supposed to be. But as far as how we got into that situation is a whole other story.
Stephanie: What do you mean, “how you got into it?”
Source: Just the way it was introduced to us. Nobody ever went looking for Nevin Shapiro. You know what I mean? Nobody ever went looking to do the things that we were getting ourselves into. It was more or less a guy that was everywhere. And I think a lot of that has to lie on the University’s hands at some point.
Stephanie: Nevin Shapiro was everywhere?
Source: Yes, he was on the sidelines of every game; he was at every banquet.
Stephanie: What was your relationship with Nevin Shapiro?
Source: We would always see Nevin Shapiro out at clubs and there would always be University of Miami guys with him. And there would also be professional athletes with him at times and they weren’t just UM guys. He would get our information [UM guys] and we would get his. The next time we hung out he called us and asked if we wanted to come on his boat and ride jet skis. You’re 18 or 19 years old, in Miami beach, someone asks if you wanna come ride jet skis, who’s gonna say no? I’m 18 years old, we go on his yacht and I remember the first thing we see on the back of his yacht in the living room area is a picture of him and Joe Montana. And I remember us all thinking, as young men like “oh shit.”
Stephanie: How did seeing that picture of him and Joe Montana make you feel?
Source: It felt safe. It felt like ok here’s one of the greatest players to have ever played football sitting with this man, ok he must know a lot of people. This must be the way it is. This must be the reality of collegiate athletics; this is how it is.
Stephanie: What was it like on the boat?
Source: There was always alcohol, never drugs. There was always women.
Source: No one ever knew that those girls were prostitutes. That’s what Nevin is saying now, but I never thought that those girls were prostitutes. To me they were just like girls that you would see at the club… I never took a penny from Nevin Shapiro. I never knew of a guy taking a penny from Nevin Shapiro.
Stephanie: So you’re saying that you did not know of anyone accepting money from Nevin Shapiro?
Source: I didn’t. But, Nevin was very private. Nevin was the kind of guy that if he saw a guy he would say, “hey let me talk to you in the back.”
Stephanie: Did you see him as a guy that wanted to be around athletes and around sports in order to put himself into that environment?
Source: Yes, and during this time no one really knew what Nevin Shapiro really did. At the time we just saw this guy that wanted to be cool and wanted to be one of the guys. But then there’s a loophole with that. Because then we saw him co-founding Axcess Sports and I remember thinking there was an ulterior motive there.
Stephanie: At the time did you feel that by being on the boat with him, and partying with him that you were doing something that was against the rules?
Source: Not really. Had any one of us read an NCAA rulebook? No.
Stephanie: The whole time that you were hanging out with this guy, did you really feel that the University knew and that they must be OK with it?
Source: I’m 100% positive; I mean they had to know. Maybe not right out in plain sight on campus but around the athletic facilities…he was always on the sidelines at the games. Nevin Shapiro was so flashy and so boisterous; it would be very hard for me to believe that people didn’t know what was going on. I mean we thought the University must think it’s cool. The University must be OK with it. Why’s this guy on the sidelines? Why is this guy at all the banquets? Why is this guy at all the charity functions? The University must be OK with it, everybody must know. We just gotta shut up. We just gotta keep our mouths closed. And now someone starts talking about it and everyone wants to point fingers at the athletes. I think the bigger picture here is with the University. Why was this man permitted to be so close to the athletes? It’s one thing to allow him to be a booster but why was he allowed to be so close, outside the tunnel at games, at all the banquets.
Stephanie: When you look back on this situation what do you see?
Source: I see a man that was preying on the youth. I see a man that had ulterior motives that was essentially trying to create an empire. He knew at the time that the University of Miami was producing some of the top talent in the country. So if he could get close to these players, if he could get very, very close to these players and he could essentially be their funnel of fun, of money, of having a good time. Because he’s thinking, these guys are projected to go top 10 in the NFL draft, so I already know that they’re going to be millionaires very shortly. So let me just give them what they need, not necessarily what they want because I never heard of anybody wanting or asking for something. It was more of a thing of “if he’s gonna do it then he’s gonna do it, I’m not gonna say no.” Those two, three years were like a movie, like a real movie. It almost seemed like it was fake, like how could this be happening. How could a University, such a highly touted University let this man get so close and then pretty much let him do whatever the hell he wanted. It was like a real life version of “He Got Game.”
Stephanie: In your opinion do you think it’s possible to regulate a situation like this? Do you think it’s possible to keep guys like Nevin Shapiro away from athletes?
Source: I don’t think the Universities will ever really be able to really monitor it because you can’t follow guys everywhere they go. Unless you had people chaperon them all over the place. Over the years there have obviously been good boosters. But it’s the University’s fault if they aren’t monitoring it closely. This guy had his own personal agenda. He was making money through an illegitimate business that nobody knew about. I don’t know how the interview process goes but how come the University didn’t know that he was running an illegitimate business? How come the University didn’t know Nevin Shapiro’s past?
Stephanie: What would you say to someone saying, “These athletes should have known what they were involved in was wrong and they shouldn’t have been there”?
Source: Yeah but how do they know? You’ve got pro athletes that make these mistakes all the time. And in the pros they implement the Rookie Symposium, a week long symposium teaching young men how to become grown men, how to become professionals and what to look out for. So why aren’t they implementing this at the college level, implementing things like symposiums. If you’re telling me that people coming into the league at 22 about to make a ton of money can’t make good decisions, how do you expect a kid coming in at 18 as a freshman to make the right decisions with no real information on what he should do?