A Thank You
I just wanted to start by thanking everyone that wrote to me. The response has been overwhelming, and because of your vigilance in forwarding the article to as many people as possible, the local media has certainly started digging into these allegations. Dan Le Batard and Manny Navarro have some interesting articles up. And that’s all we really want to accomplish here.
If Miami’s players committed these violations, and the NCAA proves it, then the school has to take its medicine. But what isn’t fair is that the school was convicted in the media based on Yahoo!’s report before people even had the time to read it and look critically at it. If the story holds up and the penalties come, so be it. But we shouldn’t be taking the report at face value.
I want to make special mention of fans of other schools, especially rival schools, that were supportive.
As I noted in a previous post, Yahoo! did in fact update the Vegas Franklin page to include a corroborating source. There are still unanswered questions as to why that source wasn’t there initially. But more so, it shows that Yahoo! agreed that there was insufficient evidence in the beginning. Now, Yahoo! had a lot of work to do, and it’s perfectly plausible that it was an honest oversight. But if that happened, how come no one noticed that the page didn’t have evidence? And how come there are still other pages (Howard Clark) with no evidence?
Daquan Jones Payment
One of the interesting things about writing the previous article is that it actually did cause people to start looking critically at this evidence. I never wanted to get into whether or not the Yahoo! evidence was actually true and accurate. I assumed it was true, and then wanted to see, given that it is true, if it allows them to make a good faith claim that the allegations are true. To use legal jargon, Yahoo! was the prosecutor and I was playing the role of the grand jury, not deciding if there was guilt or innocence, but instead deciding whether Yahoo! had enough evidence to take this trial, on each of the 72 charges. But, e-mailers did in fact try to disprove some of Yahoo!’s material, and a couple of instances stood out to me.
One e-mailer (Tony Mori) noted that several pictures were re-used multiple times and that there might be some discrepancy between photo descriptions and the actual photos. It’s also worth noting that many, many of the photos are at official team events, banquets or games. This type of interaction is perfectly legitimate. I and many other ‘Canes fans have many pictures with players and have never given them money.
But the real thing that needed more visibility came from a Missouri Fan. You can tell Miami is a football school when it took a Missouri fan to notice this. I will just quote the e-mailer because he articulates it far better than I could. A Missouri fan, writes:
If you decide to examine the allegations again, I’d like to point out some problems related to the Haith allegation that you may want to include. In the main story, Yahoo claims Morton went to Shapiro in 2007. In the individual pages for Haith and Morton, the date is different — the early summer of 2008. Yahoo then goes on to bolster its claim that Haith acknowledged Shapiro’s generosity by using Shapiro’s credit card records from Aug. 2008 as evidence he was truthful about being with Haith that month.
The problem is the timing doesn’t work very well. Jones visited and committed to UM in September 2007 and signed his letter of intent in November 2007. It makes no sense then that Morton would be going to Shapiro for money to get Jones to commit in the early summer of 2008 when he had already signed or that Haith would acknowledge Shapiro’s help in Aug. 2008, 9-10 months after Jones had signed.
Let’s give Yahoo the benefit of the doubt and say that 2008 listed in the individual pages should really be 2007 like in the main story. The timing is better but doesn’t make sense in the context of actual events. Why would you approach Shapiro for money in the early summer, let’s say June, to secure a player who didn’t even visit or commit until September?
And the proof backs up what Kevin says.
Maybe, as the Missouri fan mentions, it is an honest mistake. But how come no one noticed? This is the most severe accusation, that the head basketball coach knew that Nevin Shapiro bought a recruit. Yet, according to the evidence as currently presented, the payments were made well after Daquan Jones had committed and signed his Letter Of Intent with Miami. Clearly, this evidence is not being looked at critically.
We have a few things in the pipeline.
Tomorrow, at 8 PM, I will appear on an Internet Radio Show hosted by Miami local Terrell Hamilton. We will be discussing the scandal and possibly delve into other things around Miami football. The show runs from 8PM-9PM. You can listen to it here at http://omiradio.com/. There will also be a podcast made available after the show. Apparently, we will be taking calls as well. You can share the show on Facebook, Twitter, and several other social media platforms by going to the link. So listen in, and also support Miami local Terrell Hamilton!
Also, Stanton (who you may know as Caneswarning01) and I are going to try and start an AATU podcast. We plan to record it on a weekly basis, but we’ll see how it goes. We are pretty scandaled out, so barring any new news (and unless players are suspended and/or cleared, there shouldn’t be much until the NCAA speaks on the matter), we are going to keep the focus on the field, most notably the depth chart that is slated to be released Tuesday or Wednesday. We plan on recording the podcast Wednesday or Thursday night, so be on the lookout for that.