In one instance he gave $150 to a player and his girlfriend so she could buy a new dress and they could all go out on the town together. The player decided to keep the cash and they ditched Shapiro, which shows just how cynical those with their hands out became. I had hundreds of females in my company, all top-flight models and escorts; I had access to my own wealth ... unparalleled accessibility to every nightclub or restaurant in Miami Beach, Shapiro wrote in a recent letter to me. These UM kids were attracted to what I brought to the table not the other way around.
Young men falling to temptation you can see, but what is most damning in the report was the behavior of UM coaches. Shapiro was their buddy and facilitator. Assistant football coach and recruiting coordinator Clint Hurtt, often communicating with players on his private bat phone, arranged for prospects to visit Shapiros home. He and assistant Aubrey Hill helped players obtain gifts, meals, lodging and transportation, then later misled NCAA investigators.
Former basketball coach Frank Haith is portrayed as a liar who changed his story three times and a manipulator who let his assistants do the dirty work. Haith escaped Miami for a better job at Missouri as the scandal was unfolding. Because of his unethical conduct, he will be suspended the first five games of the season, but two UM assistants left holding the bag have been blackballed from coaching.
The most comical example of a coverup in the UM case occurred when Haith wrote three summer camp advance checks to his assistants, who promptly cashed them at the same time at the same bank. Then Jake Morton, leaving a cellphone trail, delivered the $10,000 to Shapiros mother in order to placate Shapiro, who had been making calls from prison, threatening to expose Haith and Mortons visit to a strip club and their $10,000 inducement care of Shapiro to a recruit. The assistants later lied to the NCAA about how they used the cash; one said it was for an air conditioner at his house.
Morton and Jorge Fernandez, out of ideas on how to entertain a prospects high school coaches, took them to Shapiros home one night confident he could impress them.
Our business is corrupt, Haith said when whining to NCAA investigators about the difficulty of getting five-star recruits to sign with UM.
UM president Donna Shalala and athletic director Blake James are talking now about the improvements in oversight and the change in culture at UM, where doing the right thing is the only thing and everyone is expected to be honest and vigilant.
What surprises me is that no one came forward or raised a red flag, James said. We have to make sure the lessons are not forgotten after the probation ends. We need people to understand we want to be compliant. We need eyes and ears. If you see it, tell us.
Nevin Shapiro was there for all to see, flaunting his influence, glowing like a neon sign on Collins Avenue. But no one said a word about the Great Corrupter of UM. Thats because the benefits were mutual.