Shapiros high school buddy, Levinson, said the UM booster invited a half-dozen players, including Taylor, the star defensive back, to the lawyers bachelor party at a Miami Beach hotel in 2002. Levinson said there were prostitutes at the party, but he did not recall whether any of the UM athletes used their services.
Huyghue, the high-profile sports agent who founded Axcess Sports and Entertainment in late 2001 and met Shapiro the following year through a mutual friend, denied the now-defunct agency pursued UM players as part of an overall business strategy.
In a court deposition, Huyghue, a former United Football League commissioner based in Jacksonville, said he sought Shapiro as a partner for his money not as a means to tap into UMs vast supply of potential NFL players. He said in the deposition, taken a year ago in Shapiros bankruptcy case, that the booster did not help Axcess recruit UM players.
Sean Allens role
But Levinson, who advised Shapiro on his Axcess investment, was directly asked in his deposition whether Nevin was involved in trying to recruit UM players. Levinsons response: Thats right.
In his deposition, Huyghue said he hired Shapiros friend, Sean Allen, a 2005 UM graduate and former assistant equipment manager for the football team. He said Allen assisted in recruiting Canes players.
This fall, Allen told The Miami Herald that while he worked for Axcess he gave some of his own money to potential NFL draft picks at UM while still hanging out on the Canes sidelines at games and practices. UM athletic department employees knew he worked for Axcess and did nothing to stop him, said Allen, who has been questioned extensively by NCAA investigators.
Allen told The Herald that Axcess paid for some vacation getaways for some of the teams top players. The NCAA asked Allen about at least two trips that Allen claims he, Huyghue and UM quarterback Kyle Wright took to the Bahamas and, on another occasion, to Detroit for a Snoop Dogg concert in 2005 when Wright was a sophomore.
Internal company documents obtained by The Miami Herald show that Axcess was actively pursuing UM players, including Wright, immediately after Shapiro invested in Huyghues company.
The documents show the agencys first UM client was Wilfork, the defensive tackle who signed in the first round with the New England Patriots in April 2004. Huyghue said he came to know Wilfork through his then-girlfriend, Bianca Farinas, who is now his wife.
Wilfork, who paid Axcess $100,000 for its representation, eventually dropped the agency at the end of 2004.
In a Dec. 8, 2004, email, Huyghue wrote Shapiro about the loss of the agencys first major UM client. Bianca has gotten in the middle of our relationship [for a variety of reasons]. Just like she turned on you on that phone conversation she has done the same.
Of course we are helping Vince on the side with [personal matters] but it is what it is, Huyghue wrote Shapiro. Probably better to just move on.
In the Yahoo! Sports story, Shapiro said that on behalf of Axcess, he gave $50,000 to Wilfork during his junior season at UM as a recruiting tool. (That figure dwarfed Shapiros typical handouts of $50 or $1000 to other players.) Shapiro also said he personally bought Wilfork and his future wife, Bianca, a pair of $50,000 Cadillac Escalades shortly after the lineman declared for the 2004 NFL draft.