I hope you weren’t thinking we could all start talking about football at some point this month. Obviously that’s just not going to happen. Sure Expansionpalooza 2011 has diverted everyone’s attention from the gridiron, but it’s also stolen airtime away from our Summer of Scandals. And let’s face it, the world was talking more about scandals than football when the Texas A&M chatter started.
Well, now we can talk about both. Expansion and scandals! ‘Cause nobody wants to talk football, right?
Yahoo! Sports has just wrapped up what it calls an 11-month investigation into University of Miami booster Nevin Shapiro. Shapiro — in jail because of his involvement in a $930 million Ponzi scheme — claims to have provided thousands of impermissible benefits to at least 72 athletes from 2002 through 2010. That’s one reason the NCAA is digging into Miami athletics right now.
But all of the athletes involved with Shapiro weren’t Miami Hurricanes. Try these names on for size:
Bryce Brown — former Tennessee running back
Orson Charles — current Georgia tight end
Andre Debose — current Florida wide receiver
Matt Patchan — current Florida offensive lineman
Also, Florida assistant coach Aubrey Hill and former Auburn and Ole Miss assistant Joe Pannunzio have been implicated in taking part in Shapiro-backed schemes to land recruits while at Miami. Pannunzio is the director of football operations at Alabama currently.
Alabama offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland has also been accused of illegal recruiting practices while at Miami.
The lengthy — and I do mean lengthy — report can be found right here. Take a look. And then be ready to hear much more about this one in the days and weeks to come.
On a personal note, I’m really, really tired of having to write about and summarize scandals. Clearly it’s time for the NCAA to just start lopping heads. If a coach is implicated in a cheating scandal, give him a lifetime ban. If a player takes a $50 bill, end his career.
At this point, I see nothing short of death penalty-type punishments curtailing this never-ending nightmare of violations, infractions and scandals.