UM Scandal

UM and at least four of its coaches file motions to dismiss NCAA’s Shapiro case

The University of Miami and at least four former Hurricanes coaches who received NCAA Notices of Allegations in the case involving former booster Nevin Shapiro filed motions with the NCAA on Friday to dismiss the case, multiple sources told The Miami Herald.

Three of the coaches were former basketball assistants Jorge Fernandez and Jake Morton and former football assistant Aubrey Hill, according to multiple people involved with the case.

Friday was the deadline set forth by the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions chair to file any motions pertaining to procedural errors or issues stemming from Shapiro lawyer Maria Elena Perez’s involvement with the governing body of college athletics.

Perez worked with the NCAA to use bankruptcy subpoenas to initiate depositions from witnesses who had otherwise refused to cooperate with the NCAA. It was later discovered she was paid by the NCAA for her work, which, in turn, prompted the NCAA to hire a law firm to investigate the NCAA’s enforcement tactics in the case.

Meanwhile, The Associated Press, citing an unnamed source, reported Friday that the NCAA asserted in its Notice of Allegations sent to UM last month, that, “When put on notice of potential issues with Shapiro’s involvement … the institution failed to limit Shapiro’s access or implement any additional monitoring related to Shapiro. This lack of oversight created an environment in which Shapiro was able to have impermissible contact.”

One person who wasn’t identified told the AP that the NCAA asked UM “as part of its response to the allegations to detail whether or not it hired a private investigator to look into Shapiro’s business dealings between 2002 and 2005, records of a meeting between at least one athletics department official and Shapiro in 2003, and the findings of a study the school conducted with regard to Shapiro in 2006. Miami has also been asked to provide copies of certain email exchanges that were about Shapiro, including one from 2008 that was sent to at least one member of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s staff.”

The university has 90 days from when it received its Notice of Allegations (Feb. 19) to craft a response. As previously reported, the Notice of Allegations has charged UM with lack of institutional control.

UM spokeswoman Margot Winick declined comment on behalf of the university when asked if UM failed to limit Shapiro’s access or implement any additional monitoring related to Shapiro.

Former UM associate athletic director for compliance David Reed and Shapiro got into a verbal altercation during UM’s final football game at the Orange Bowl on Nov. 10, 2007, Yahoo! Sports reported on Aug. 16, 2011. According to the report, “Shapiro said an athletic department official told him that after the confrontation Reed investigated Shapiro and discovered his troubling ties to athletes, coaches and his part ownership in a professional sports agency.”

Shapiro told Yahoo! Sports he “was never questioned by Miami though and never limited in his activities until April 2010, when he was charged with running a $930 million Ponzi scheme.” Shapiro is serving a 20-year federal prison sentence.

UM’s hearing with the NCAA Committee on Infractions is scheduled to begin June 14.

Miami Herald sportswriter Barry Jackson contributed to this report.

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