Miami Accuses NCAA of Misleading Nevin Shapiro Investigation

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistApril 4, 2013

MIAMI - OCTOBER 14:  A male Miami Hurricanes cheerleader waves a giant flag while a female cheerleader performs during the game against the Florida International Panthers at the Orange Bowl on October 14, 2006 in Miami, Florida. Miami won 35-0.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
Marc Serota/Getty Images

In the wake of sanctions being levied against the school, the University of Miami is now accusing the NCAA of self-corroboration and misleading the investigation of former booster Nevin Shapiro, according to a letter obtained by ESPN.

The letter is from Miami to the NCAA's Committee on Infractions describing the fundamental issues with the decision. Per the letter:

Throughout the approximate 2.5-year investigation, the enforcement staff’s impermissible conduct, constant turnover, inexperienced investigators and overall mismanagement caused multiple unconscionable delays in a process which could have been concluded in much less time.

As already acknowledged by the NCAA, the intentional use of impermissible investigative tactics by members of the enforcement staff, with the approval of NCAA executives, including the compensation of an outside attorney to solicit information from witnesses, incredibly violated clear and defined policies and is further evidence of an all-out approach to prove the most salacious allegations rather than discover what actually transpired at the University.


The NCAA enforcement staff created the concept of “self-corroboration” as an appropriate evidentiary standard, as many of the allegations leveled against the University are based on the testimony of one man (a convicted felon) and were never supported by any other witness or documentation.

Perhaps most distressing and unconscionable, on multiple occasions, members of thee enforcement staff intentionally misled the University by withholding key information, failing to inform the University of scheduled interviews and, most egregiously, lying to the University and its outside counsel.

These allegations come after Miami had time to review the sanctions levied by the NCAA and after the investigators found that there was a “lack of institutional control” at the university involving Shapiro and improper benefits, according to ESPN.

The university received the sanctions on Feb. 19 (h/t ESPN), and the school investigated the findings itself. While it is not required for a program to release this information, ESPN still managed to acquire the letter asking to drop the case.

This is a major blow for the NCAA after the governing body’s concerted effort to try to clean up college sports with several harsh punishments for programs in violation.

The original sanctions levied against Miami were based on reports that the university was “not monitoring the conduct of a booster that provided thousands of dollars in cash, gifts and other items to football and men's basketball players,” per ESPN.

While there may have been a legitimate case against the school before, the reportedly questionable behavior of a few investigators has compromised the probing of Shapiro and the alleged improper benefits.

Not only could this call the entire case into question, but if the NCAA finds out members of the investigative team truly misled the school, then this case could also possibly be thrown out.

If there was any hope for a speedy resolution here, today’s developments could alter that considerably.