Miami Scandal Will Hit Home

Nevin Shapiro with Miami coaches Frank Haith and Jake Morton, who's now at WKU PHOTO: Yahoo Sports

The official U of L bio on Recruiting Coordinator Clint Hurtt doesn’t mention the new scandal at the University of Miami, in which a weaselly former booster (now in jail for 20 years for his role in a Ponzi scheme) decided he’d get revenge on the school by telling Yahoo Sports! the juiciest details in history about rules-breaking and despicable behavior among college athletes.

Hurtt, who was on the Miami staff for three years before coming to Louisville last year, is among those implicated for breaking NCAA rules. U of L released a statement late yesterday saying it would cooperate in the NCAA investigation into the matter.  The Miami basketball staff, at the time, included Jake Morton, who later left Miami  for a job at Western Kentucky. Morton is accused of helping Nevin Shapiro set up a $10,000 payment to a hoops recruit. WKU president Gary Ransdell also released a statement yesterday, saying the school will stand by its man, for now.

But both Hurtt and Morton are unlikely to survive the scandal. It’s hard to imagine either U of L or Western keeping coaches on staff who have committed NCAA infractions of this magnitude.  Both are heavily involved in recruiting, and neither can make the negative press go away. Mothers of recruits will read about the scandals, and the schools recruiting against U of L and WKU will use the information against them.

Neither Hurtt or Morton are involved in the juiciest details to come from Shapiro’s allegations. Those would be the volume of prostitutes, and the number of players involved on the receiving end. It’s one thing to give players cash and TVs, but supplying prostitutes to 39 players — that’s a whole new level of impropriety. The booster also alleges that he paid for an abortion that was the result of one of his parties.

Maybe there is one aspect of the scandal that is even worse.  Miami players were especially vicious in attacking Florida State QB Chris Rix and Florida’s Tim Tebow, and for good reason. Shapiro had put a $5K bounty out for any ‘Cane player who could knock the QB out of a game.

Read the piece on Yahoo Sports!  The writer, Charles Robinson, left a newspaper job to work for Yahoo. He started working on the story a year ago, and did a mountainous volume of reporting — 100 interviews, reams of paperwork.  It’s an excellent piece of journalism that reads like a novel, one that you can’t put down.

And the story isn’t over. It’s chock full of anonymous sources who say they fear reprisals from players if their identity is revealed. The NCAA is likely to discover even more than Shapiro made public. And with Hurtt and Morton involved, we’ll hear plenty about it around here.