In the days since news broke that Nevin Shapiro, a former University of Miami booster now serving time in prison for his part in a $930 million Ponzi scheme, had provided "thousands of improper benefits" to at least 72 players over an eight-year period, some former Hurricanes have come forward to speak about the allegations. On Wednesday, current Texans Andre Johnson and Eric Winston talked to the media.
Wednesday, Michael Irvin, one of the best players in "U" history, a three-time Super Bowl champ and an NFL Hall of Famer, also addressed the charges leveled by Shapiro.
Irvin, who redefines what it means to be passionated about something, joined ESPN Radio Los Angeles with Max Kellerman and Marcellus Wiley to talk about the latest scandal to hit his alma mater.
"I ain't never met [Shapiro]," Irvin said according to Sports Radio Interviews, before adding, "I said this too though and I’ll be honest with you, I would have fell to those aphrodisiacs that he was throwing around. I would have fallen into that. … Listen I wasn’t able to handle it at 19,18, 20. I wasn’t even able to handle it at 30. Thirty-five? I just got here at forty-five! … If you would have offered me boats, women, and my hands are up in the air."
Irvin's frankness was also tinged with anger when speaking about Shapiro's involvement in the Ponzi scheme that landed him behind bars.
"I called him a snake and rapist [on my radio show]," Irvin said, "because think about it this this way: he’s snaking people, but you are a rapist. How do you walk into someone’s home -- forget football, forget the University of Miami, I don’t care about it -- How do you walk into someone’s home and sit and eat dinner with them? Watch and look at their kids? Look at all the things in their home that they worked hard over the years to gather and then you take a check and then you go and blow away all of their savings? Man it doesn’t get any lower than this. ... You sit with people and you not only take money from these people and you go here and you rape these kids of their future.”
Irvin says he hopes "all things are considered as to where the source is and where it is coming from in all of it with the kids" before the NCAA punishes Miami. "I hope [the NCAA] … considers (recently hired) coach Al Golden. …Coach Golden went to Temple and build that program up. …He’s earned it through hard work. … He has earned it the hard way and here comes somebody who is a taker."
As it stands, any former Hurricanes player involved with Shapiro and guilty of wrongdoing, and now in the NFL won't face sanctions. The NCAA has no jurisdiction over them and the NFL doesn't have a mechanism in place for leveling punishments. But that's not from lack of trying on the part of league Commissioner Roger Goodell.
CBSSports.com's Mike Freemanwrote about just this issue Thursday.
On Wednesday, I wrote how the NFL would like to fine and suspend players who run afoul of NCAA rules. Then on Thursday came some stunning news: the NFL was going to allow Terrelle Pryor into the NFL's supplemental draft but suspended him for the first five games. Trust me: these two things are very closely related.We'll say it again (for the third time today): as part of the new CBA, the players agreed to let Goodell keep the absolute power that rubbed so many of them the wrong way in recent years. It didn't take long for Goodell to again wield that power. And given his history of haphazardly meting out punishments, we can't say that we're surprised.
What Roger Goodell did in suspending Pryor is get the NCAA's back. The NFL and NCAA both feel that players are breaking rules on the college level thinking they can use the NFL as an escape hatch. The NFL wants to stop that mentality.
What Goodell did was also send a message to the union. If you won't work with us on this, then I'll use the commissioner power to make the decisions myself.
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