MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – As the University of Miami scandal moves from the front pages to the sports pages; a growing question has become how can many of the players named by Nevin Shapiro at other schools remain eligible to play?
According to CBSSports.com, the NCAA’s enforcement staff has the ability to grant “limited immunity” to get information from a player “when such an individual otherwise might be declared ineligible for intercollegiate competition.”
It would work in the same way that a prosecutor could grant immunity to a defendant in order to flip the defendant on the other parties involved. This could be a big tool for the NCAA to prove the allegations made by Shapiro against the U.
In the Yahoo! Sports report that blew the doors open on the scandal at the University of Miami, a total of 72 players were named as taking parts in activities that were against NCAA rules. Most of the players are in the NFL, but there are 12 current Hurricanes named and several players at other schools.
One player mentioned by the Yahoo! Sports report was Robert Marve. He was a former four-star prospect who played at Miami. He had one season of eligibility left when the Yahoo! Sports report came out.
He was named as having taken a cash gift, given access to VIP nightclubs and treated to two dinners at a Miami Beach steakhouse. The allegations would have been enough to sit Marve for at least 2 games, if not four or the entire season.
Yet the day after the scandal broke, Purdue issued a press release saying that Marve had no “eligibility issues” from the NCAA.
No one at the NCAA would go on the record to confirm that limited immunity was used in this case. But, CBSSports.com said a source told them that “apparently they (the NCAA) chose to give these guys limited immunity…which means they’re all eligible.”
NCAA vice-president of enforcement Julie Roe Lach said about limited immunity in the UM case, “You can draw your own conclusions based on what I share.”
Roe Lach said a player can’t transfer to avoid penalties, which could be how the NCAA is getting information about Shapiro’s claims.
Former UM linebacker Arthur Brown, now playing at Kansas State, is alleged to have received $2,000 worth of benefits, meals, drinks, hotel rooms, and a strip club visit while enrolled at UM. K-State said they “no concerns” about the eligibility of Brown.
Brown’s father, Arthur Brown, Sr., said he “wasn’t at liberty” to say whether his sons had been interviewed by the NCAA. He did say that he had not been interviewed by the NCAA.
All of it is adding to the swirling scandal wrapping itself around the troubled athletic department at the University of Miami.