MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Saturday’s win against South Florida made the Miami Hurricanes eligible for a post-season bowl, but those brief hopes were dashed Sunday afternoon when the University said it would not let the team be considered for a bowl game, a response to the ongoing NCAA probe of the football program.
“We understand and share the disappointment that our student-athletes, coaches, staff, supporters and fans are feeling,” the University said in an unattributed statement released late Sunday afternoon, “but after lengthy discussions among University leaders, athletic administrators and outside counsel, it is a necessary step for our University.”
This means the team’s final game of the troubled 2011 season will be held next Friday against Boston College at Sun Life Stadium.
The University’s statement said the team was informed earlier Sunday.
“We will be more vigilant in our compliance efforts and continue to work cooperatively with the NCAA on the joint inquiry to determine the true facts,” the statement said.
Just days before the start of the 2011 season, former UM booster and federal prison inmate Nevin Shapiro said he had been giving players money, gifts, and even trips to strip clubs, in apparent violation of NCAA rules.
The extent of the claims was so large, and involved so many players, that current players touched by the scandal were suspended for the start of the season as the NCAA investigated.
Shapiro claimed the University looked the other way at things that violated NCAA rules because of the donations he was making to the program. He spoke to CBS4 in August..
“The University, because of the desire to put money first, I was given carte blanche to do things I shouldn’t have been able to do,” Shapiro told CBS4. “I led the team out of the tunnel twice in the Orange Bowl.”
Shapiro’s funds came from a Ponzi scheme, which used the money paid by one investor to repay another. When the scheme collapsed under it’s own weight, Shapiro was arrested and sentenced to a term in federal prison.
He spoke out because he felt the team had treated poorly after his troubles became known. He believes he knows what will happen to the Hurricanes football program when the NCAA completes its investigation.
“I can tell you what I think will happen,” Shapiro told CBS4, “Death penalty.”
Because of the ongoing investigation, UM said it would have no further comment.