Hurtt and Hill, facing allegations of receiving and providing impermissible benefits and the dreaded 10.1 rule of unethical conduct for providing false and misleading information during the 23-month investigation, did not comment on the hearings as they left. But as they were leaving, one of their attorneys was overhead telling another in the hallway: “I want to keep them away from 10.1.”
Can’t discuss case
A source said Friday it was not a pleasant experience for the parties on trial. Another source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, described it as “a very humbling experience.”
Despite admitted mistakes by the NCAA enforcement staff that led to 20 percent of the case being tossed out by an external review committee (nearly all of those were football charges pertaining to Kyle Wright and former assistant equipment manager Sean “Pee Wee” Allen, according to a source), the infractions committee went hard on the other 80 percent of the case.
Because of the amount of leaks involved in the case and high volume of news reports that have come out about it, a source said everyone allowed into the hearings not only had to wear a special blue wrist band to get through the doors but also had to sign an agreement that they wouldn’t discuss the case or face severe consequences.
UM’s Notice of Allegations, received Feb. 19, reportedly said Shapiro — now serving a 20-year sentence for his role in a $930 million Ponzi scheme — provided $170,000 in benefits to players, recruits, coaches and others between 2002 and 2010, according to The Associated Press. About $90,000 of that was used to get former UM defensive tackle Vince Wilfork and cornerback Antrel Rolle to sign with Shapiro’s sports agency, Axcess Sports.
The AP also reported that the NOA mentioned that 48 players received VIP access and beverage service from Shapiro at Miami nightclubs; 38 were entertained at Shapiro’s home; 18 received invites to bowling alley events; and seven dined with Shapiro at Benihana.
Haith, now the coach at Missouri, was charged with a failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance during his time at UM. The NCAA also alleged that Haith’s former UM assistant, Jake Morton, aided Shapiro in violating NCAA rules in the recruitment of three players, including 2010 NBA No. 1 overall draft pick John Wall. The NCAA also alleges that Jorge Fernandez, another former UM assistant under Haith, provided impermissible inducements in the form of transportation and entertainment to individuals associated with those same prospective student-athletes.
A source confirmed that Hill, Hurtt and Fernandez are the only three coaches facing 10.1 infractions for unethical conduct.
UM, which said again Friday it will not comment on the hearings, has self-imposed postseason bans the past two years, including sitting out the ACC championship game in 2012.
The school has also said it has trimmed football scholarships, but hasn’t detailed how many.
In other news, the Florida Bar’s Grievance Committee has contacted the NCAA in regards to Shapiro’s attorney, Maria Elena Perez, and the subpoena power she abused to help college sports’ governing body interview key witnesses during its investigation of UM, a source has confirmed.
The Grievance Committee is trying to determine whether there is enough evidence to move forward against Perez and if she should be disciplined, the source said.
The complaint was first filed back in January and the entire process – from Bar investigation, Grievance Committee investigation, and finding, filing of formal complaint and disciplined ordered – can take up to a year.
Perez was paid $19,000 by the NCAA for her services in what was ruled to be an improper relationship, according to an external review committee hired by the NCAA back in January. The committee decided to toss out about 20 percent of the enforcement staff’s case against Miami and other parties involved because the information was improperly obtained by Perez and the NCAA enforcement staff.
If probable cause is found by the Grievance Committee, a formal complaint could be filed against Perez in state supreme court.