Posted by Will Brinson
Remember that whole story about the University of Miami and prostitutes and cash gifts to players? Yeah, that was really awkward for a while when NFL reporters had to ask former members of the Hurricanes football team that were named in Yahoo Sports' report about their involvement with Nevin Shapiro, the booster who made the claims while sitting in jail for running a Ponzi scheme.
It's about to get way worse, though, because the 72 named players in the report will be subpoenaed by the bankruptcy trustee in the Shapiro case, Joel Tabas, and requested to pay back the money that they reportedly received from Shapiro at Miami.
"They can't ignore it — it's a subpoena issued by a bankruptcy court," Tabas' attorney Gary Freedman said, per the Miami Herald. "If they ignore it, we will seek an order from the court to compel them to respond. If they don't respond, they will face a contempt order."
Now, things are absolutely going to get escalated for Miami's football program very quickly, as those players, if they answer the subpoena and pay back anything they received, will have admitted to a violation. (More or less anyway.) That's a potential death knell for Miami's football program.
It'll also be awkward for the players, many of whom are currently employed by NFL teams. For starters, they will either a) not answer the subpoena and face legal charges of contempt, b) answer the subpoena and provide information that they received no benefits, c) answer the subpoena and provide misinformation that they received no benefits and face perjury charges or d) answer the subpoena, provide information that they received benefits and admit to committing an NCAA violation.
"I am asking them to fill out an affidavit," Freedman said. "If an athlete gives misinformation, it would be considered perjury."
Does this mean that all the NFL players on the list that Yahoo published -- and there's a substantial number of them -- will be faced with potential discipline stemming from their actions as amateur athletes even though they lost that status a long time ago?
You wouldn't think so, but certain NFL punishments recently meted out hint at a sense of randomness.
And besides, the bigger issue may be any potential illicit activity that those players engaged in, and/or their willingness to return as much as $53,000 to a bankruptcy court for something that happened a long time ago.
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