The Dubgate Turns Up the Schadenfreude

By Jason Priestas on September 22, 2012 at 7:00a
39 Comments
Al Golden's reign in Miami may be short

It's been 13 months since Yahoo's Charles Robinson took the scalp of Miami's football program when he published a story dealing an 11-month investigation into booster Nevin Shapiro and his claim of "thousands of impermissible benefits to at least 72 Miami athletes."

The NCAA is still working the case—when they'll arrive at punishment is anyone's guess—but more details have been added thanks to an interview CBS' Bruce Feldman conducted with Shapiro's runner Sean Allen, who also happens to be a former staffer in the Miami equipment room.

While a lot of the details add texture to what is already known about the scandal, there are a few new revelations.

For one, current head coach Al Golden, who claimed to have been blindsided by the scandal, used Allen on the recruiting front. Nothing completely nefarious, but enough to add a few more sparks to a pretty large fire:

Allen testified that on Dec. 17, 2010, less than a week after Golden was hired as UM's coach, he attended a dinner at Dan Marino's restaurant. Allen had been asked by a Miami staffer to bring Teddy Bridgewater -- then a blue-chip high school recruit who had been previously committed to Miami -- to the restaurant, where Golden was eating.

Someone at the table suggested Bridgewater, who was there on an unofficial visit, should order some food, but Allen says, "Golden then turned to me and said, 'That's probably not a good idea. Just feed him on your way home.'

To his credit, former coach Randy Shannon told his players to steer clear from Shapiro:

Allen did say former UM head coach Randy Shannon did try to warn people, both players and staff, about Shapiro: "Randy would say, 'You guys better not be hanging around this guy. He's bad news,'" Allen recalls. "Randy hated Nevin. He told me to stay away from him, but I ignored it. I'd shake my head, 'Yes, uh-huh,' and then go ahead and make more bad decisions."

Feldman's story also sheds some light on the NCAA's case against Miami, particularly why things are moving so slowly:

It is a complicated case, where he says there are many details that are tough to sort out when you're hearing so many different accounts of stories. It also didn't help that two of the three NCAA investigators that Allen initially met with have left the organization.

The best quote from Allen may be this one, however:

Allen says Shapiro wasn't trying to buy recruits. According to Allen, there was a five-star defensive back recruit in the class of 2003 who Shapiro told him he'd spent a lot of money on. The kid ended up signing with another school. "I'm not doing that anymore," Allen recalled Shapiro saying. "We can't outbid these [expletive] SEC schools."

I have this dream and in it, all of the SEC dirt from the past decade will eventually spill out and the six-straight BCS Championships that Mike Slive is so proud of will eventually be viewed as college football's steroid era.


The game kicks off at noon today – we'll be live-blogging it up starting at 11:45am – but in other games, it's looking like a pretty meh afternoon before some fireworks at night.

The Big Ten has a real chance of going 8-2 or better, so that should clue you in as far as the competition the league's teams will face today. If Michigan can top Notre Dame and Minnesota can remain unbeaten with a home win over Syracuse, 10-0 is a real possibility, though Illinois giving just 2.5 points to Louisiana Tech is kind of telling in terms of how far the conference has fallen.

Cal at USC will get the evening started but it's on the Pac-12 Network, so you, nor anyone you know will be able to watch it. Still, it will be interesting to see how USC bounces back from their loss to Stanford and whether the show Cal put on in the Horseshoe last weekend was an indictor of things to come or just a sorry team teeing off on a bad defense.

LSU will then murder Auburn, cranking up the heat on Gene Chizik, before Michigan and Notre Dame kickoff from South Bend. Kansas State at Oklahoma and Clemson at Florida State will give us two top-15 matchups in primetime, which is always a good thing™. Finally, Arizona will face Oregon in your nightcap. All in for RichRod!

The full lineup of today's games of note:

Time GAME TV INTERNET FAVORITE
12:00pm Maryland at #7 West Virginia FX -- WVU (-26)
12:00pm Kentucky at #13 Florida ESPN (Regional) ESPN3 UF (-23.5)
12:00pm Virginia at #17 TCU ESPN WatchESPN TCU (-18.5)
12:00pm UTEP at Wisconsin ESPN2 WatchESPN WISC (-18)
12:00pm Central Michigan at Iowa BTN BTN2GO IOWA (-14.5)
3:00pm Miami (FL) at Georgia Tech -- ESPN3 GT (-14)
3:30pm Missouri at #9 South Carolina CBS -- SC (-10.5)
3:30pm Oregon State at #18 UCLA ABC (Map) WatchESPN UCLA (-7.5)
3:30pm Eastern Michigan at #22 Michigan State BTN BTN2GO MSU (-32)
3:30pm Idaho State at Nebraska BTN BTN2GO --
3:30pm South Dakota at #23 Northwestern BTN BTN2GO --
3:30pm Temple at Penn State ABC (Map) WatchESPN --
6:00pm Cal at #16 USC Pac-12 Network -- PSU (-7)
7:00pm #2 LSU at Auburn ESPN WatchESPN LSU (-20.5)
7:30pm #21 Michigan at #11 Notre Dame NBC -- ND (-6)
7:45pm Vanderbilt at #4 Georgia ESPN2 WatchESPN UGA (-15)
7:50pm #14 Kansas State at #6 Oklahoma FOX -- OU (-15)
8:00pm #10 Clemson at #5 Florida State ABC -- FSU (-14)
8:00pm Syracuse at Minnesota BTN BTN2GO SYR (-1)
8:00pm Louisiana Tech at Illinois BTN BTN2GO ILL (-2.5)
10:30pm #20 Arizona at #3 Oregon ESPN WatchESPN UO (-22.5)

 

39 Comments

Comments

cplunk's picture

My favorite quote: "we can't outbid these (expletive) SEC schools."
I'm sure the NCAA will follow-up on that, ASAP.
Riiiigggghhhhtttttt
I share your dream. It will happen, but not until a few non-SEC teams win titles. The NCAA isn't going to poop where it's food is made.

MuraliPatel's picture

The thing that breaks my heart is that during this SEC run, the Big Ten is slowly turning into the Ivy League at best, the Big East at worst. We're simply not able to compete with the SEC (or even the Pac 12 it would seem), and it's painfully obvious.

johnblairgobucks's picture

 BCS Champions- Oklahoma- players suspended for no-show jobs, OSU- Tat-gate/wins vacated, Miami Fla.- current investigation, USC- Bush/wins vacated, Florida State- rampant cheating/wins vacated.
Seems odd that Tennessee(Fulmer Cup), Auburn ($cam), Florida, Alabama (every top recruit wants to go there now, it seems), LSU (some of those guys cant really be academically eligible), and Texas (old boy network with deep pockets, if there ever was one) are the only possible Championship programs the NCAA thinks are doing it by the books.
The NCAA window dressing on SEC violations has only T-Rex armed the likes of South Carolina and Miss. State, by lightly brushing them.
Florida State, Miami and even Central Florida have been put under the NCAA thumb, but Florida is straight. OSU and USC were yearly canidates for BCS champ birth, they are put under thumbs and then we suddenly have 2 SEC teams in the BCS Champ game.  Oklahoma was going to what 3 or 4 BCS champ games, until NCAA puts them in the cross hairs......then Texas steps up, but they are doing it right?
Say what you will, but you could say you smelled a conspiracy theory.

Catch 5's picture

I'm sorry, but your post just exposes your ignorance. Bama has been hit with sanctions twice in the last 20 years - losing much more than 9 scholarships and one bowl game. In fact, this year marks the first time since 2002 (1995 when you consider the 5-year window) that they have been off probation. Being under the thumb of the NCAA had changed the mindset there. As for the rest of the SEC, South Carolina is under investigation, and Auburn and Miss St are being investigated.
Just what it's it you want Alabama, Florida, Texas, and Tennessee(?) Hung up for?

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Maybe where you and I differ is that, after several major SEC schools got slapped in the 90s/early 00s, you believe that they cleaned up their acts (or at least Bama did), whereas I believe they got smarter about it.
The many stories of "smoke" are on my side of the argument, but that lack of official fires of late are on your side.
Obviously, if I'm right, it's hard to cite evidence/examples, so I wish I could take your position for sake of logical simplicity, etc. I just don't believe it. Sorry.
I do know quite a few very serious Bama fans who are really good people. And I secretly kind of like both Saban and the nice town of Tuscaloosa, as much as I hate to admit it. But old dogs learn new tricks faster than they give 'em up entirely. 

johnblairgobucks's picture

 Seems like if a program needed sanctions once every 10 years, and they, on the heels of this, pull in top 5 recruiting classes every year, you may wonder how.  Just because you suffer NCAA punishment, doesn't mean you go cold turkey, and follow the rules...... evidence Miami Fla.   
BTW, Catch 5, my post wasn't trying to be brilliant or revolutionary, just throwing things out there.  I have my beliefs, you can have yours. 
Do you think Cam Newton at Auburn was without NCAA infractions? 
Do you think Tennessee was doing things by the book?  They at one point had 20 players arrested in a 16 month span.
LSU  from 1966 to 2000 they had 2 top 10 finishes in the polls, since 2000 they have had 7.  Great coaching sure, but this a dramatic shift, which hypothesers often hypothesize cause and effect.
A little consistency from the NCAA on targets and depth of investigations is all I'm asking for.
 

Squirrel Master's picture

I think the point Johnblair and fido are making is that it seems like there has been a heavier hand over the past 12 years (since 2000) on programs outside of the SEC. No conspiracy or anything, just seems to be that way for whatever reason. 
I wouldn't be surprised if a few SEC teams are playing dirty. I don't think Bama is as far as buying recruits and paying players, because I don't think they need to. Winning is a big draw for recruits so Bama doesn't need to spend the money. I do think Bama cheats in other respects. But other teams out there are most likely doing it trying to find a way to compete with the likes of Bama and LSU. and maybe at one time Bama and LSU were dirty but it was probably a while ago and they don't need to be now. 
I truly believe the only clean programs right now are the ones currently under sanctions. I reallly think programs are buying recruits and paying players to a point. I personally have no problem with paying players, buying recruits is a bit BS though. Its just not fair play. Players should get paid, after they are on a team. Not before.
sorry, meant this to go under Catch's post. 

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

Catch 5's picture

I got no possible with this, though I'm curious what you mean by Bama cheating in other ways.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Squirrel Master's picture

I think Bama does practice some recruiting tactics that are less than legal, that is all. There are other ways to cheat than just pay recruits. 
sounds Catch like you are specifically defending Bama and not so much the SEC as a whole. Not sure why. If you take the attitude that pretty much every football program does skirt the rules here and there, it is not without possibilities. Even your points of Bama getting caught previously and being under probation shows they are not above it. 
Again, the point that is being made above is that there is a perception and lately it has become more and more plausible, the NCAA for whatever reason seems to be heavier with the sanctions with teams not in the SEC. I don't see that as hard to believe, since the SEC is the current cash cow. I don't think it is a conspiracy, it makes pure sense. Protect your best investment. Many major organizations tend to do that. 
Really, the whole house is tumbling down and the NCAA is trying to find anyway they can get the most out of what money they are making. The NCAA is about to face a serious problem with: growing recruiting violations, increase support to pay players, BCS failures, concern with conference alignment and much more. They are looking at a huge change coming and they are afraid of what it will mean. The NIT at one point was the king of its league, then the NCAA took over. What is to say another organization won't take that over. It is plausible that the NFL could take over operations of college football. They have the power, just not the desire yet. If the NCAA does run into big trouble, the desire might become a reality. So the NCAA does have a motive to support the best conference in its domain. It is far fetched, but it is plausible. 

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

Catch 5's picture

I'll admit that Saban will skirt every recruitung rule he can, but my opinion is that he won't break them. Yes, they have a few secondary violations like every one else, but not out of the ordinary.

I am a Bama fan so I understandably phrase my point of view with them in mind, and I'm more familiar with their operations. I think they have straightened out compliance there - as does the NCAA per their recent statements*, but to deny that cheating could be going on in the SEC would be silly. I guess it is the other point you make about the NCAA being light on the SEC that I disagree with. There are/have been plenty of actions against the SEC in the past and present to suggest otherwise.

*On top of the latest "major violation" Bama self-reported, they declared Julio Jones and Mark Ingram ineligible before the 2009 season because they went fishing with a guy. The next year, Marcel Darius was also declared ineligable because of a party he went to that had agents present (you may recall Saban's "changes are pimps" speech). Darius was given a lesser suspension sure to his cooperation - that and the fact he left when he realized what was going on. South Carolina is going to get slapped for their housing violations, and Auburn is being looked at closely right now in connection with a commit's grades being altered - and you better believe the NCAA is dying to find something on them. If they do, the hammer will fall I assure you.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Catch 5's picture

You kinda answer yourself. No, Bama's mindset didn't change overnight. It took a couple rounds of harsh penalties and being told they almost got the death penalty to change the attitude. The latest round of sanctions was a result of something the university discovered on their own and self-reported (the text-book fiasco). Even then, they were hit much harder than other programs with similar violations. They could have stopped it and swept it under the rug quite easily, but did things the right way.
Can Newton? That sinks to high heaven, but they had no evidence that Auburn did anything wrong. I don't believe AU is clean on that deal any more than you do, but I don't see how they do anything without any evidence. How Cam wasn't declared ineligible however is unexplainable, and I won't argue that with you.
Tennessee? Having players arrested isn't against NCAA rules. If it were, may I remind you, your new coach would be facing several questions about his record at Florida.
LSU? LSU since 2002 and Bama have one, key ingredient in common, and there is no evidence that cheating has played any rule in his success. The dude can coach and recruit.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Bucksfan's picture

Catch, the recent scandal at South Carolina is about 10X worse than what happened at Ohio State.  Yet, they're still allowed to go to a bowl, they're still allowed to be a top-10 team, and they're still allowed to affect the SOS of every SEC team that they play.
They didn't have any evidence in the Auburn case because they didn't look very hard.  The investigations into USC and Miami took years.  The investigation into Ohio State took months, and that was with the school (not Tressel) being as cooperative as possible.
The investigation into Auburn's pay-for-play system took about a week.
There is a double standard afoot. 

Catch 5's picture

I will agree that the SC accusations are worse, but not that much. I'm not fully aware of their situation, but I don't think SC are repeat offenders - as OSU was if I'm not mistaken. That does make a difference as my Bama experience will attest to as well. The big difference is that they haven't finished the instigation yet. You complain that Auburn was wrapped up too quickly, then complain that SC hadn't been punished yet. They will be.

The Auburn investigation went on for a long time, but there was noone willing to talk, and they eventually closed it - though they said they would open it again if more evidence were to come out. They are now being looked at for some other things, and I think they are coming after Auburn until they find something that will stick.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

spqr2008's picture

The $cam newton stuff got glossed over because a large majority of the people in the know in the small town where Newton's dad took money from Auburn boosters to rebuild his church either go to that church or benefit from that church's influence in the community.  Plus, to most southerners, a northern investigator is just a carpetbagger.

Buckeyeneer's picture

Hey, Catch. Not flamebait, but just curious . . . I kept hearing about the Alabama players and a local suit shop last year. As its not my team, I haven't stayed on top of it. Is the investivation wrapped up on that or ongoing? If it is wrapped what were the findings?

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes

THE Ohio State University

Catch 5's picture

To my knowledge, there was nothing to that story. A local men's wear store had several signed items displayed in his store, along with pictures of the players in the store. The items were not for sale (though I recognize that everything is) and the players were not paid or given discounts, or other merchandise that was not available to any other student. Officially, the guy it's a collector and local businessman and has never been a booster of the program. Even so, the University asked him to no longer display the items and I seem to remember they also took away his access to season tickets. That's my understanding of it, but I haven't heard anything of it in over a year now so I may be off a bit on some details. I don't know if the NCAA looked into it or not, but the University did and never felt that any player had been compromised and didn't report any violations as they did the previous years with Dareus, Ingram, and Jones.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Bucksfan's picture

No, Catch, SC has already been given their final punishment.  Some scholly reductions and probation....big frickin' deal.

Catch 5's picture

I stand corrected. Loss of 6 scholarships over two years (OSU has 9 over 3) but no bowl ban. While I agree the value of benefits received was higher at SC, OSU's repeat offender status, combined with Tressel lying to them rightfully makes their punishment higher. I know the bowl ban sucks, but your scholarship reductions aren't that bad, and that is where they can really hurt the program (and, you were able top bring in a great coach which will lessen the effect further)

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Haybucks's picture

OSU being repeat offenders boils me.  The Jim O'Brien $6k debacle wasn't handed out expeditiously and the ruling came down late enough to put OSU in that time frame for this repeat offender ruling. Just another reason to be disgusted with the NCAA.

You've got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your grandfather was. - Irish proverb

 

Run_Fido_Run's picture

As much as I hate the NCAA clowncar posse, I doubt they're engaged in a deliberate conspiracy to protect SEC shenanigans.
Rather, it's harder to catch schools that have made a determined, sophisticated effort to cheat - and have honed ways to cover their tracks over the decades - compared to other "football factories" that are actually trying to play by the rules and frequently self-report their own violations, etc.
(USC getting caught was probably an exception to this "rule," but that case was thrown into the NCAA's lap, if I remember correctly because of Reggie Bush; they did manage to stockpile 5-star recruits for like five years before the s--- hit the fan).
Now, when schools like Ohio State - which are trying to comply with the rules - have incidents, they become relatively easy targets on which the NCAA can pretend to flex its muscles.

Catch 5's picture

Fido, I honestly respect everything you write, but that last sentance made me laugh. Fan bias at its finest. I don't mind accusations from people who think everyone is cheating, our who apply scrutiny evenly, but to believe your team is above it all while everyone else is cheating is a little much-and frankly part of what got Penn St in trouble.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Is it Saturday Yet's picture

I have this dream and in it, all of the SEC dirt from the past decade will eventually spill out and the six-straight BCS Championships that Mike Slive is so proud of will eventually be viewed as college football's steroid era.

People felt that way about Ohio State's success.  Some feel like OSU got away with a lot and there was a huge cover up.  I'm tired of the dominance of Alabama and LSU, but they field some great teams and have 2 great coaches, surrounded by great assistant coaches and land really talented kids.  Ohio State will be back to that upper tier again soon, and the hate will be worse than before.

Poison nuts's picture

Saturday Yet - This is a great viewpoint...I dislike the SEC as much as any decent OSU fan, but to assume they are all cheats is akin to all the hate we felt not too long ago. Now - I will say that oversigning has helped some teams in the SEC have great depth, but to say that Bama & LSU are cheats just because they win often is kind of haterish IMHO.
 

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

Squirrel Master's picture

I think the cheating is worst with the other programs and not so much with Bama and LSU. Like you say, they don't have a huge need to cheat because of their winning. The others do. 

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

FROMTHE18's picture

Nothing will happen to the SEC.

Boom777's picture

I feel bad for Al Golden. A good young coach finally gets a chance at a big time school and gets gut checked.

Wherever you are, there you be!

OSUNeedles's picture

Nothing will change in CFB until the NCAA wants to change it. They encourage a system of deception & cheating. If they actually wanted things cleaned up, they would rotate investigators through schools & actively look for issues. They would also have some way of decreasing punishment for schools who cooperate with investigations. Set up the NCAA like JCAHO for hospitals & cheating would decrease because people would get caught instead of waiting for ESPN or yahoo to drop a story in their lap.

Squirrel Master's picture

Gee, be proactive? That makes too much sense!

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

LouGroza's picture

How many stories in the last year alone made mention in some way of SEC schools and money to recruits? As I have said before, one day the power and greed to stay on top of this mighty conference will end it all. The wrong person or people will be dissed or a school will take a ridiculous risk and the barn doors will open. It will happen at some point.

The Vest-er's picture

Total tin foil hat moment for me:
 
Nothing will happen to LSU or UA while Mark Emmert is president of the NCAA. He was the LSU president when Saban won the mnc in 2003. He loves Saban. He even credited him for cleaning up the mess Gerry Dinardo left. That "mess" was LSU graduating more players than previous LSU regimes. This led Dinardo to take to twitter a few months back to defend himself.
When it comes to those two schools, Mark Emmert is a douchebag fanboy.
 
/removes tin foil hat

Fundamentals are a crutch for the talentless.

buckeye76BHop's picture

This little interview and testimony changed my mind on how this will pan out.  I thought UM would not get much...I say they get two years no bowl and some schollies now.  Too bad for Golden but he should've known better with how "hot" that program was after he took over.  It's on him and the university...we'll see what they get by this years end I'd say.  
As far as tSEC...it will never happen.  Everyone makes too much money off them now...uhhmmhmm (espn and every other network) and I can't see the dirt coming out unless they become as strong as tB1G is at this point.  Only then will it come out but it will be too late...

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."

"I love football. I think it is most wonderful game in world and I despise to lose."

Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987 

Catch 5's picture

I agree. At least two years bowl ban and probably 30 scholarships (over 3 years) is what I'm thinking.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

MuraliPatel's picture

IMO, the only way the SEC falls is if the Justice Department blows it up after some idiot who's bankrolled buying recruits ends up pissing off the other SEC, and sings to save his own ass.

GODOFWARBUCKEYE's picture

I dont want the s.e.c. to get sanctions and go on to make excuses why everyone is kicking their asses... I want to beat them on the field of play I want L.A. to get a team and Saban says adios oh! And btw it will happen (the ass kickings by TOSU) next year when we start playing vandy next year and are bowl eligible....

"GIMMIE THAT BEAT FOOL!!! IT'S A FULL TIME JACK MOVE" Ice Cube jack for beats..

Bucks43201's picture

Allen says Shapiro wasn't trying to buy recruits. According to Allen, there was a five-star defensive back recruit in the class of 2003 who Shapiro told him he'd spent a lot of money on. The kid ended up signing with another school. "I'm not doing that anymore," Allen recalled Shapiro saying. "We can't outbid these [expletive] SEC schools."

 
hahahahahahaaaa hilarious

"You win with people." - Woody Hayes

ih8rolltyde's picture

Don't mean to thread jack, but don't know where else to put this where it will be seen (and from my phone.)

On the eSECpn crawl last night during the ulmonroe v baylor game, while discussing NFL injuries it said,

Will Play : Blaine Gabbert (buttocks)

Funniest damn thing I've ever read on a crawl. Dude IS butthurt.

Also, anyone else notice we have no buckeye leaves on the helmets yet?

****igan smells like old water that hot dogs were boiled in.  FACT

Jason Priestas's picture

No problem. But in the future, when you don't know where to put something, put it in the forum ---->

MuraliPatel's picture

Frankly, nobody outside of Braxton has played well enough to earn Buckeye Leaves yet.

Haybucks's picture

I agree, but I'm sorry.  Even Hall had leaves before he stepped on the field against Cal.
Does anyone know why the left side of the greatest helmet in football is stickered before the right? 

You've got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your grandfather was. - Irish proverb