MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – The college football world is still reeling from the sheer dearth of allegations Nevin Shapiro leveled against the University of Miami’s football and basketball programs.
But, several athletes and Shapiro’s reported sports agency partner are trying to put as much distance as they can from the growing scandal.
In Yahoo! Sports’ in-depth article that revealed the depth of the scandal, it was reported that Shapiro was co-owner of a sports agency called Axcess Sports & Entertainment. His reported partner in Axcess is the current UFL commissioner Michael Huyghue.
Huyghue issued the following statement on his role with Nevin Shapiro:
“Nevin Shapiro made an unsolicited approach more than a decade ago with regard to investing in my sports company Axcess Sports & Entertainment. At no time did he or other individual investors in Axcess Sports hold a management role and neither were they involved in the day-to-day business operations of the company. There is no substance to the story and these allegations, and during a seven-year time period, Axcess Sports only signed three players from the University of Miami.”
New Orleans Saints star linebacker Jonathan Vilma was one of the 72 players named. He took to Twitter to criticize Yahoo!’s story, but never denied the contents of the story.
“Thank u guys for your continued support, I kno its so easy to jump to conclusions but please remember this is a 1 sided story #highroad,” Vilma tweeted.
Carolina Panthers tight end Jeremy Shockey wasn’t named in the story, but threw his weight behind trying to discredit Shapiro’s claims.
“People will do anything to sell a book and make $$$ It’s a proven fact this guy is a #criminal,” Shockey tweeted. “Wow what a shame another loser (Nevin Shapiro) trying to make money after a $930 million Ponzi scheme. I just don’t get it. GOD rest his soul.”
Meantime, the University of Miami has not made any players available to the press since the scandal broke. The most high-profile current player named by Yahoo! is starting quarterback Jacory Harris. A total of 12 current players are named.