Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Yahoo Sports Unleashes a Tsunami on the Hurricanes

The Once-Mighty Miami Herald Scrapes an Omelette Off Its Masthead Playing Catch-Up

Check out this big-time, kick-ass story from Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports about a college football booster gone rogue.
In this case, it was a convicted Ponzi schemer named Nevin Shapiro, who over eight years lavished dozens of University of Miami football and basketball players with gifts, entertainment, rides on his yacht, and a healthy supply of hookers. Not surprisingly, all of this is a no-no under NCAA rules.
Seems that Shapiro got all cheesed up over the fact that a lot of his "friends" suddenly lost the ability to return a call after he got in trouble with the law, and decided to spill the beans to Robinson, after abandoning the idea of a tell-all book.
Robinson spent 11 months reporting the story, including 100 hours of jailhouse interviews with Shapiro. In addition:

"In an effort to substantiate the booster’s claims, Yahoo! Sports audited approximately 20,000 pages of financial and business records from his bankruptcy case, more than 5,000 pages of cell phone records, multiple interview summaries tied to his federal Ponzi case, and more than 1,000 photos. Nearly 100 interviews were also conducted with individuals living in six different states. In the process, documents, photos and 21 human sources – including nine former Miami players or recruits, and one former coach – corroborated multiple parts of Shapiro’s rule-breaking."

Kudos. The sweat equity paid off in dividends. It's a great read.

As for the Miami Herald, well, you can only imagine the cursing emanating from the sports department. So, the main story today gives credit where credit is due and basically gets reaction to a story that cleaned the Herald's clock. Columnist Greg Cote also weighed in pondering the tenuous future of the high-profile football program in Coral Gables.
The Herald can play catch-up. But the damage has been done. Robinson has left town.

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