A recent Yahoo! Sports report shed light on the dark side of college sports, at least at the University of Miami. In a jailhouse interview, Nevin Shapiro, a former University of Miami sports booster, described the thousands of banned benefits he provided to at least 72 athletes between 2002 and 2010.
NCAA is investigating Shapiro’s rampant rule breaking during this period which included cash, prostitutes, bounties for on-field play, nightclubs and on one occasion, an abortion, according to Yahoo! Sports.
Former University of Miami players and coaches from all over the NFL are reacting to Shapiro’s claims, according to The Huffington Post. Some of those former Miami players are right here in Colorado, now playing for the Denver Broncos.
Three Denver Broncos played for the University of Miami during Shapiro’s booster years and Shapiro named two of them: Willis McGahee and D.J. Williams. The third is right tackle Orlando Franklin. Williams and Franklin had no comment when pressed about the allegations while practicing at Dove Valley. McGahee has adamantly denied the allegations that he is involved with any of Shapiro’s wrongdoing and took to Twitter to do so, 9News reports. However, as 9News also points out, there are photos of McGahee and Shapiro together. But, proximity does not necessarily mean guilt.
According to 7News, when McGahee was approached by journalists on the Broncos’ practice field Wednesday, McGahee dodged the questions saying:
I ain’t taking about Miami. I’m out of Miami. You want to talk about the Broncos?
Former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow was also named by Shapiro as well. In the Yahoo! Sports report, Shapiro claims he offered a $5,000 bounty on Tebow if a Hurricanes player knocked him out of a game.
In 2008, a year after Tebow won the Heisman trophy, his Gators played the Hurricanes. Tebow threw for 256 yards and two TDs and ran 13 times for 55 yards in Florida's 26-3 win over Miami on Sept. 6, 2008, the only time he faced the Hurricanes, according to the Associated Press.
Tebow went on to say to the Associated Press that he doesn't remember any unnecessarily rough hits from Miami during that game nor did he know about the alleged bounty on him until the Yahoo! report surfaced. The Denver Post’s First and Orange spoke with Tebow about the alleged bounty and he simply laughed off the rumors. Tebow said that he had friends on the Miami Hurricanes at the time of their 2008 game and didn’t think any of them would have taken such an offer seriously enough to go after him on the field.