Two people close to the NCAA case involving former University of Miami booster Nevin Shapiro told The Miami Herald on Saturday that they, and others as well, were told to be available near their phones Monday to discuss allegations against them in the case.
“The beginning of the end” of the long ordeal, as one person put it, is about to unfold at UM.
Another source would only say, “It’s imminent,” regarding Miami receiving its notice of allegations.
This March will mark two years since the NCAA launched its investigation into Shapiro’s relationship with the school and more than 100 former athletes — most of them football players — to whom he said he provided thousands of impermissible benefits from 2002 through 2010.
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Several former football and basketball assistants were also implicated by Shapiro, now serving a 20-year prison sentence for a $930 million Ponzi scheme.
Shapiro said that among the impermissible benefits he provided were cash, prostitutes, entertainment in his multimillion-dollar homes and yacht, paid trips to expensive restaurants and nightclubs, jewelry, bounties for on-field play and travel to athletes — all first documented in a Yahoo! Sports report in August 2011.
Shapiro submitted to the NCAA a list of 114 UM players, including stars such as Vince Wilfork, Kellen Winslow, Jon Vilma, Willis McGahee, Devin Hester — and dozens more.
Before the 2011 season, eight football players were suspended for receiving benefits from Shapiro. The men’s basketball team also suspended players before they were cleared and allowed to return.
The complete notice of allegations will go to the university, and individuals who are alleged with committing NCAA violations will receive their own notices pertaining to their specific allegations.
The notice of allegations, according to the NCAA, outlines the rules that the institution is alleged to have broken and describes the facts of the case.
UM, being a private school, is not required to make public the NCAA’s findings. It is possible, however, that the university could reveal parts or all of the allegations.
“We just want to receive the notice,” UM football coach Al Golden told The Associated Press in a recent interview. “The day we do that is the day we take a big step forward. I don’t think there’s any question that will be a release. And the good thing there is we don’t anticipate any shock or any surprise.”
Once it receives the allegations, UM will have up to 90 days to respond in writing. Extensions are sometimes provided.
After the 90 days, a hearing is set for the NCAA Committee on Infractions.
The NCAA usually reports its findings and any sanctions eight to 12 weeks after the hearing. Miami already self-imposed two consecutive postseason bans for football, sitting out bowl games after the 2011 and 2012 seasons, as well as missing the 2012 Atlantic Coast Conference championship game.
Miami Herald sportswriter Manny Navarro contributed to this report.