For those of you who don't know, I graduated from the University of Miami with my graduate degree in '06, and like all the Cane's fans I know, I am sickened by the allegations surrounding the UM football team right now.
I don't have to recap any of this story, one simply needs to Google University of Miami, read Yahoo Sports and/or visit the Miami Herald site to get the full scoop. What I am more interested in talking about is the mudslinging. The victimization and the demonization that's falling out right now.
I don't want to give any more talk about Shapiro. He's a scumbag looking to buy friends, business partners and fame. He clearly targeted people and took advantage of them, whether students or investors. But he knew how to work the system. He knew if he donated money he could get away with it. Is this whole thing entirely his fault? No. Not really. Why?
Well lets look at the University. You are going to tell me that he involved 70+ students in these things and no one knew? Since when did 18, 19, 20, 21-year-olds not talk about the crazy shit they got into over the weekend? I mean, damn, gossip flies through my office and it flew through my program. You are going to tell me nobody in administration knew? Then they must have been blind, deaf and dumb (and I mean dumb in the sense that they are stupid, not mute.) Come on, that's a crock. But you know what? Student athletes were staying and they were getting money and they let the greed and the need get in the way. And in the process they cheapened the prestige of my degree that I will be paying for over the next 15 years. Take some personal responsibility and learn that standing up to a donor that will cost you your reputation is a hell of a lot cheaper in the long-run.
And speaking of personal responsibility... These players that took these handouts knew that it was wrong. If something seems too much like a good thing, then it probably is (this goes for the university as well.) These players (who are actually only a select few when you look at how many student athletes there are) have greedily taken gifts that only last in the short-term and have made all of their teammates look bad as a result. I recognize that times are tough and the life of a student athlete is busy, but other people find ways.
Also, the media. So many people are taking this Shapiro's stories as totally legit. This asshole is in jail for screwing over thousands of people in a ponzi scheme. From what I have read he has admitted that he is saying all this to strike back at the people who wouldn't stand by him when he fell. Is there 100% proof of everything he says? I don't doubt that he paid for most of the things, and that many of these stories happened. Do I think it's 100% legit? Absolutely not. Things said in rage and revenge are often dramatized to some extent.
Do I think University of Miami is the only school to have this happen? Absolutely not. It's more lurid than most, but every school has this going on in collegiate athletics. Clearly something needs to be re-evaluated on a national level. And administrators needs to feel the pinch just as much as the students.
Don't get me wrong, I love University of Miami. I am a tried and true Cane. But there are alot of people who need to step up and take responsibility. And perhaps this is a wake-up call that your donors don't get to do whatever they want just because they wrote a big check. Afterall, you never know when it all gets taken back because that donor was a scam artist.