Woes Continue for University of Miami Following Scandal

August 23, 2011

University of Miami president Donna Shalala released a nearly six-minute video Monday directed to students and the University community following the recent scandals that have rocked the Florida based University.

The most significant news included in her address: the  Miami athletic compliance staff and NCAA, through their joint effort, are reviewing the eligibility of 15 student-athletes – two more than originally thought.

Shalala also said UM has “retained outside counsel which specializes in NCAA cases” to help UM with “all aspects” of the investigation.

Shalala continued: “With the season fast-approaching, I know our coaches, players and fans are eager to know the results. The process, however, must be deliberate and thorough to ensure its integrity.”

The Hurricanes’ world was rocked last week when it was reported that NCAA investigators were on campus last week conducting interviews regarding the relationships between football players and former booster Nevin Shapiro. But that world was sent into an absolute frenzy by next night after Yahoo! Sports reported that convicted Ponzi schemer Shapiro provided thousands of impermissible benefits to at least 72 athletes from 2002 through 2010 from dinners to yacht cruises to jewelry to prostitutes.

The current football players recently reported by Yahoo! Sports as being under investigation are Jacory Harris, Marcus Forston, Dyron Dye, Travis Benjamin, Ray-Ray Armstrong, Adewale Ojomo, Olivier Vernon, Vaughn Telemaque, Sean Spence, Marcus Robinson, JoJo Nicolas and Aldarius Johnson.

The current basketball player is DeQuan Jones.

“I was notified that the NCAA would be on campus on Aug. 15 to investigate potential violations,’’ she said. “I insisted on complete and honest cooperation by every member of the  Miamiathletic department, including administrators, coaches, staff and student-athletes.’’

Shalala also mentioned football coach Al Golden, basketball coach Jim Larranaga and the rest of UM’s coaches. “Their insistence in integrity in their programs will help us move forward,’’ she said.