NCAA Confirms Miami Investigation; Source Tells AP Kirby Hocutt Approved Access for Booster
Less than a day after Yahoo! Sports broke the story about an 8-year long scandal at the University of Miami (FL), the NCAA confirmed their investigation of the Miami Hurricane athletic program to the Associated Press.
The NCAA said today it has been investigating the relationship between a Nevin Shapiro and the University of Miami for five months.
Former booster Nevin Shapiro, now serving 20 years in federal prison, claims he treated players with sex parties, nightclub outings, cars and other gifts. Shapiro told Yahoo! Sports he provided improper benefits to 72 football players and other athletes at Miami from 2002 to 2010.
"If the assertions are true, the alleged conduct at the University of Miami is an illustration of the need for serious and fundamental change in many critical aspects of college sports," NCAA president Mark Emmert said in a statement.
Current Texas Tech Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt was Miami's AD from February 2008 through March of this year, before joining Texas Tech. While Hocutt was not discussed in the Yahoo! Sports story from yesterday, an AP source brought up Hocutt today, when discussing the scandal:
A person familiar with the situation said much of Shapiro's access to Hurricane programs in recent years was approved by former athletic director Kirby Hocutt, who has since left the school for Texas Tech. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing joint investigation between the university and the NCAA.
Hocutt, the person said, allowed Shapiro on the sideline before football games at times during the 2008 season, plus invited him to select gatherings reserved for the athletic department's biggest donors.
"That's what Kirby did," the person said. "His No. 1 job was to raise money and this Nevin Shapiro guy was one of the few people Kirby could get to write checks."
Hocutt last night declined to make a public statement because of the ongoing NCAA investigation.
Right now, there is no timetable from the NCAA to announce any possible sanctions against the University of Miami.
Player pictured is former Miami RB Graig Cooper, who has been implicated in Yahoo!'s investigation