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Miami losing Football, Hoops scholarships

10:41 AM, Oct 22, 2013   |    comments
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Rachel Axon, USA TODAY Sports

The University of Miami lacked institutional control in its monitoring of former booster Nevin Shapiro, but the school avoided any further postseason football bans when the Committee on Infractions released its report on Tuesday.

Among the sanctions issued by the committee were three years probation, a reduction of nine scholarships in football and three men's basketball over the next three seasons and recruiting restrictions.

Former UM basketball coach Frank Haith, now at Missouri, will serve a five-game suspension for failing to monitor the activities of his assistant coaches and attempting "to cover up the booster's threats to disclose incriminating information," according to the NCAA press release.

RELATED: Ex-booster at heart of Miami case takes shots at NCAA

Former assistant football coaches Clint Hurtt and Aubrey Hill and former assistant basketball coach Jorge Fernandez were given two-year show cause orders, effectively keeping them from working at the collegiate level.

Hurtt is currently an assistant at Louisville and was placed on administrative leave in March. According to the NCAA release, Louisville has already imposed penalties on him.

The university previously self-imposed a two-year bowl ban and reduced the number of official visits, fall evaluations and available contact days in 2012-13.

The committee found UM lacked institutional control in monitoring Shapiro's activities as the booster gave $500,000 to the athletic department from 2001 to 2008.

Shapiro's visible position at UM, where an athlete lounge bore his name, gave him access to coaches and athletes. The NCAA was able to corroborate allegations that Shapiro entertained UM athletes and recruits at his home, on his yacht and at local restaurants. It also showed Shapiro provided cash and gifts to athletes, hotel lodging for recruits and airline tickets.

Shapiro invested in Axcess Sports, which the NCAA showed paid $50,000 to sign a former UM athlete, believed to be defensive tackle Vince Wolfork.

UM did not dispute many of the violations, which included 18 allegations of misconduct and 79 issues within those. The investigation included 118 interviews with 81 people.

The case included several former football assistant coaches, three men's basketball coaches and two athletics department staffers.

"These staff members had a poor understanding of NCAA rules or felt comfortable breaking them," the release stated. "Furthermore, some of the coaches provided false information during the enforcement staff and university's investigation."

When Shapiro began to have financial trouble, he turned to Haith for a loan or to have a $50,000 donation returned. Haith balked at the request, according to the release, but Hernandez gave Shapiro a $7,000 which he repaid.

Shapiro was incarcerated in 2010, after which he began to threaten Haith and demand money, the report said.

"The committee determined the former head men's basketball coach and the former assistant men's basketball coach worked together to make sure the booster received $10,000 to end the booster's threats," the release stated.

In a case that was one of the most salacious in recent years, with Shapiro alleging he provided everything from cash to prostitutes to UM players over an eight-year period, the NCAA's admitted mishandling allowed Miami to go on the offensive.

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NCAA president Mark Emmert commissioned an internal review in January that revealed the enforcement staff used investigative tactics that went against the limits of its investigative powers. Certain NCAA staffers worked with Shapiro's attorney to obtain testimony through the bankruptcy process that would have been otherwise unavailable to the association.

Before receiving the Notice of Allegations in February, UM president Donna Shalala said, "We have been wronged in this investigation, and we believe that this process must come to a swift resolution, which includes no additional punitive measures beyond those already self-imposed.''

UM officials went before the committee for two days in June and had hoped to receive a decision before the start of the season. More than four months later and halfway through the season, Miami is 6-0 and ranked six in the USA TODAY Coaches' Poll and seventh in the BCS standings.

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