Miami NCAA violations


Only way to save Miami

football is to destroy it.


 An infamous football program made the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1995. The headline was “Why the University of Miami Should Drop Football.”

  The more things change, the more nothing changes in Coral Gables.


The only way to make Miami behave is a long timeout. No more football, smoke and parties for a couple of years. Nothing else has a chance of ending the culture of corruption that is The U.


 I hate to jump on the Death Wagon, but holy Luther Campbell. After reading Yahoo’s bombshell expose, it’s obvious the school has a terminal case “It’s a Cane Thing.”


 The slogan evolved with the program. It means pride, bravado and the rules don’t apply. The mindset started when Jimmy Johnson swaggered into town. Even Miami’s critics would have to admit the era has been wildly entertaining in an NC-17 way.


 But at some point you’d think Miami would learn that parties, payoffs and prostitutes are not acceptable parts of an athletic program. Instead, administrators have been happily oblivious while the fan base reveled in the Cane Thing image.


 Exhibit A—Nevin Shapiro.


 “I did it because I could,” he said. “And because nobody stepped in to stop me.”

 He is the uber-booster now providing all the dirt to Yahoo and NCAA investigators. He’s also doing 20 years for fraud, which automatically renders him a fraud to the Canes crowd.

  There’s no doubt Shapiro is a conniving, pathetic jock-sniffer. He admits as much by saying the reason he’s squealing is because he’s mad that all those players he sucked up to didn’t return his affection.


 But jails are full of people convicted by stool-pigeon testimony. The Yahoo story is extensively documented, and nobody at UM is even trying to spin that it’s false.


 The school’s best defense is Everybody Does It! That’s almost complete malarkey.

  Some of the sleaziness goes on at most big-time schools. Miami does it on an industrial scale.


 Its fans point to scandals at Ohio State, USC and Auburn as proof corruption exists and that the Canes are just part of “a broken system.” Ohio State’s tattoo scandal involved a handful of players and one rogue coach.

  USC was Reggie Bush and O.J. Mayo. Auburn was Cam Newton and his auctioneering father.

 Miami is 73 players over a decade and its coaches allegedly in the know. It’s one where the program’s biggest benefactors provide money, meals, booze, jewelry and sex parties to largely underage “student-athletes.”

  Shapiro even got to run out of the smoke tunnel at a couple of games. That’s like Terrelle Pryor’s sugar daddy dotting the “i” as the band plays “Script Ohio.”


 How fitting is it that the players’ lounge was once named after Shapiro? After Campbell was run off the sideline, the 5-foot-5 Shapiro became “Little Luke,” paying bounties when Canes would knock opposing players out of games.

  One thing led to another, and eventually he was allegedly paying hookers to entertain players on his yacht.


 “From the start I wasn’t really challenged,” Shapiro said. “And once I got going it just got bigger and bigger.”

  There have been attempts to clean up the program over the years. But the well-intentioned reformers were ignored, got caught up in The Canes Thing or were threatened with a punch in the nose.

  Shapiro tried to attack the school’s compliance director at halftime of the Virginia Tech game in 2007. His beloved Canes were losing by 31-0 and Shapiro didn’t like how the director, David Reed, was establishing stricter procedure to keep boosters and players apart.


 Can you imagine T. Boone Pickens attacking the compliance director at Oklahoma State? Can you imagine any self-respecting university allowing such a clown continued access and privileges?


 Shapiro rented a luxury suite just down from school president Donna Shalala’s skybox at what was then Land Shark Stadium. With all the booze and gambling and bare-backed escorts, it could have been the set for “The Hangover.”


 About the only thing missing was Mike Tyson’s tiger. But Shalala reportedly would drop by, as would recruits, players, coaches and parents.


 “I had an architect try to put a stripper pole in the suite,” Shapiro said. “Aesthetically, it wouldn’t work.”


 Investigators have hit the campus this week. USC’s payola scandal cost the school 30 scholarships and two years probation.


If half of what Shapiro alleges is true, how can the NCAA not strap UM into the electric chair? Nothing else has rooted out the Canes Thing over the past quarter century.

  Miami is essentially the Ben Tre of college football. American forces wiped out the village to get rid of the Viet Cong, prompting a timeless explanation from the U.S. commander:

  “It became necessary to destroy the town to save it.”

  The only way to save Miami is to destroy it, stripper pole and all.



Photo: AP Photo