Following up their story that could lead to the death penalty for the University of Miami’s football and basketball programs, Yahoo! Sports released a list of the athletes from “The U” who are currently in the NFL and took benefits from booster Nevin Shapiro.
Among those two are current New York Giants starting safeties Antrel Rolle and Kenny Phillips.
What I will get into, however, are the details of what Rolle and Phillips allegedly received from Shapiro. For Phillips, the benefits were not as bad as some of the others, including his current teammate, but they were definitely illegal.
Phillips received “food, drinks and entertainment at two homes owned by Shapiro and one owned by Shapiro’s ex-girlfriend, meals at Miami-area restaurants, entertainment on Shapiro’s yacht,” according to the Yahoo article. Honestly it doesn’t sound like much, but the “entertainment” is very vague and could mean any number of things.
Rolle, who appeared on ESPN radio with Mike Lupica today to dispute the claims made by Shapiro, apparently got a large number of benefits.
A $7,500 watch, cash gifts in the thousands of dollars (reportedly as much as $40,000), multiple trips to both nightclubs and strip clubs where Shapiro paid for VIP access, drinks and entertainment, trips on Shapiro’s yacht, food, drinks and entertainment at Shapiro’s $2.7 million Miami Beach home, transpiration to and from nightclubs and strip clubs provided by Shapiro’s bodyguards
Rolle also received $1,500 in bounties. From the report [done by Yahoo]: “One bounty of $1,000 was for Rolle shutting down Georgia Tech wideout (and former Miami recruiting target) Calvin Johnson in a 27-3 win over Georgia Tech on Oct. 2, 2004. A second bounty of $500 was for a game-sealing interception in a 41-38 win over Louisville on Oct. 14, 2004.”
Rolle told Lupica that Shapiro was “irrelevant” and that “he can keep on singing.”
I don’t know how Rolle will be punished for these allegations if they turn out to be true. Honestly if the Reggie Bush case has taught us anything he really will just have to put up with a media circus for a while and then it will be over.
The University of Miami had better do all they can to prove these allegations false. Repeat offenders are not treated nicely, as the ESPN 30 for 30 film The Pony Express taught us. If the Hurricanes are found guilty, you can expect some punishment in the neighborhood of the death penalty, or even worse.