Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Miami and the Dreaded Death Penalty

There have been comments made about how the recent University of Miami allegations are comparable to those of the SMU Mustangs.  Really?!  Let's have a closer look at the two scenarios.  SMU was accused of setting up a "slush fund," a physical account that existed and could be traced, in which players were paid directly, or "off the books."  They had been placed on probation prior to this slush fund incident who knows how many times before, but enough times to be labeled the most sanctioned team in the NCAA-- and of all time.  Some former athletes admitted to receiving upwards of $25,000 to sign with the Stangs.  It can be assumed that SMU received the harsh penalties because they were repeat offenders.  They agreed to the NCAA to follow the rules, but were continually found in violation.  The difference here is that there was physical evidence of an account.  These boosters were credible.  And worst of all, these payments to players and recruits were approved by the University.

As for Miami, there is no clear-cut evidence linking any of these players to the violations beyond pretty photographs and old account statements.  Shapiro claims to have on record the charges for some of the dinners he bought players and hotel stays, but it is impossible to link any of these players to old receipts.  This is merely my word vs. your word. 

Who else thinks it is ironic that Shapiro suddenly scrapped his plans to write a tell-all book describing all of these incidents?  Why would a man who is required to pay back millions of dollars to his victims suddenly not want to publish a book?  This is merely rumor, but some have gone as far to claim that Yahoo perhaps agreed to pay this swine in exchange for his interviews.  Something isn't right with this whole situation.  Yahoo fails in every way possible of revealing any evidence whatsoever. 

There was no slush fund set up for players, just some low-life implying that he routinely dropped thousands of dollars of cash into these players palms.  Like their cohorts at ESPN, Yahoo is out to break a big story.  They fail to bring anything to the table.  You simply cannot be found guilty by showing a series of 8 year old receipts.  Is it a crime to go on a yacht with a friend?  No.  Is it a crime to hang out at strip clubs with a friend (although not in my taste)?  No.  Is it a crime to crash on a friends couch?  I think not.  We are certainly in store for some kind of punishment, that goes without saying, but to be compared to the SMU Mustangs--Come on!