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That's Gonna Leave A Mark

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Charles Robinson had been teasing a huge story for a while, and somehow this thing managed to go way beyond all expectations. Here are some choice excerpts, but the whole article is worth a read. Nevin Shapiro provided an astounding variety of improper benefits to Miami recruits and players. (If you were wondering, the improprieties began a year after Butch Davis left Coral Gables.)

Yahoo! Sports has detailed Shapiro’s specific allegations involving 73 players (Shapiro claims he gave impermissible benefits to 72), seven coaches and three support staff members who he said either received illicit benefits, witnessed the booster giving them, or played some role in his improper activity.

Among those coaches: Frank Haith and assistants currently working at Alabama, Florida, and Louisville. The article includes two pictures of Shapiro with Frank Haith.

The booster said his role went one step farther with the basketball program, when he paid $10,000 to help secure the commitment of recruit DeQuan Jones. Shapiro said the transaction was set up by assistant coach Jake Morton in 2007 who acted as the conduit for the funds, and was later acknowledged by head coach Frank Haith in a one-on-one conversation.

You have to say this for Haith: the man has great timing. Got himself out of Miami before this blew up in his face.

The booster told Yahoo! Sports he had a number of individual payouts for "hit of the game" and "big plays." He also put bounties on specific players, including Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow and a three-year standing bounty on Seminoles quarterback Chris Rix from 2002 to 2004, offering $5,000 to any player who knocked him out of a game.

"We pounded the (expletive) out of that kid," Shapiro said of Rix. "Watch the tape of those games. You’ll see so many big hits on him. Guys were all going after that $5,000 in cash. [Jon] Vilma tried to kill him – just crushed him – a couple of times trying to get that $5,000. And he almost got it, too."