University of Miami ‘Booster’ Scandal: Get Real & Pay NCAA Athletes

August 24, 2011  |  

By Joshua L. Lazard

Almost anyone with basic knowledge of college sports rules knows that financial incentives are illegal.  But, college sports fans can’t make it through one year without hearing about some scandal, big or small, involving some high profile player receiving compensation.  From the likes of the SAT scandal of Derrick Rose, to the Cam Newton fiasco, to USC’s Reggie Bush situation and even former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel resigning for NCAA rules violations — these incidents are not taken lightly in the sports world. The most shocking NCAA scandals also make juicy mainstream media coverage.

Such as this: According to news reports, a booster to the University of Miami football program by the name of Nevin Shapiro is singing jailhouse confessions about giving money, gifts and prostitutes to numerous football players at Miami — and claims that coaches were aware of this activity.  Up to 73 players have been identified along with coaches and support staff.  According to Shapiro, University of Miami officials looked the other way while this was happening.

So what else is new? The press is going crazy over this, reporting it as “the craziest scandal in NCAA history.” Please. It’s not so much that this latest incident happened — it’s that it happened on such a large scale.  It’s more shocking that folks are so shocked.

Honestly, most fans know this type of recruiting activity starts at the high school level for high profile players and it continues well into college until said person makes it to the professional leagues.  But bloggers, reporters and pundits alike are throwing around the phrase “death penalty” with regards to levels of possible sanctions to be imposed on Miami as punishment for paying players to play.  Everyone knows yanking Miami’s football program would have major ripple effects and most people are confident the NCAA doesn’t want to back itself into a corner by setting this precedent.

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