NCAA Football Odds: Fallout from Miami Hurricanes Scandal
by Alan Matthews - 8/18/2011
All I can say is that Nevin Shapiro better hope there aren’t any former University of Miami football players or huge (literally) Hurricanes fans in whatever federal prison he is in right now, because Shapiro’s life is probably in danger.
By now you know the name Nevin Shapiro. He is in federal prison on a 20-year sentence for fraud charges for his part in a $930 million Ponzi scheme. He is also the guy who may deliver the death penalty to the University of Miami football program even though the NCAA has basically said it was unlikely to ever take that drastic action again after pulling the plug on the SMU program in the mid-1980s.
Shapiro says he gave impermissible benefits to some 72 Hurricanes players and recruits from 2002-2010, reportedly sometimes with the knowledge of some assistant football and basketball coaches and former UM Head Basketball Coach Frank Haith. And if you think this scandal is only going to touch Miami this season, you are kidding yourself.
First off, let’s start with the Canes, a team I previewed recently here at Doc’s right before this scandal broke, unfortunately. Included in the incredibly detailed Yahoo! report as allegedly violating NCAA rules are current prominent players Jacory Harris, Marcus Forston, Dyron Dye, Travis Benjamin, Ray-Ray Armstrong, Adewale Ojomo, Olivier Vernon, Vaughn Telemaque, Sean Spence, Marcus Robinson, JoJo Nicolas and Aldarius Johnson.
That group pretty much makes up the stars of the team, give or take another player here and there. All of them practiced on Wednesday, but one has to think that Miami almost has to declare them ineligible for this season just to take a baby step ahead of the NCAA hammer that is most certainly coming. Harris was in a battle to be the starting QB, but you can all but give that to Stephen Morris now. The offense actually might be OK losing Harris and WRs Benjamin and Johnson (the running backs and the line, two strengths, remain untouched), but the defense would be totally devastated as it would lose easily all of its top players.
UM’s ‘over/under’ win total at Bodog was eight games. Those college football odds were taken down, as was Miami’s 19/10 odds to win the ACC’s Coastal Division. UM’s odds to win the ACC remain up at 9/2. Steer way clear until something is decided. (I would look for a very motivated UM team if somehow all those guys stay eligible)
Now, presuming the suspension of these players, that obviously affects the potential record of every other team on Miami’s schedule, starting with Maryland on Labor Day night (that line is now off the board).
But it doesn’t end there as Purdue and Florida also could be affected here. Robert Marve, a former top recruit and Miami’s starting QB three years ago as a freshman, was in line to start at Purdue, although he’s coming back from a torn ACL and has been limited in practice. He was also mentioned by Shapiro as having accepted impermissible benefits on a recruiting trip to Miami. Marve transferred from UM to Purdue in 2009. Marve played in four games last season before suffering an ACL tear in his left knee. Purdue won two of those games -- Western Illinois and Ball State.
One of Marve’s teammates at Tampa Plant High School, Georgia star tight end Orson Charles, was mentioned in the Yahoo! report as well, but was cleared Wednesday by the NCAA, according to a press release by the university. That’s huge for Georgia.
Meanwhile, two University of Florida players, Matt Patchan and Andre Debose, were also mentioned in the report. It would seem Patchan, an offensive tackle, will be cleared because his contact was similar to Charles’. It could be a different story for Debose, a wide receiver who was expected to be a big contributor.
And this scandal could spread to basketball as well. DeQuan Jones, a senior on the UM basketball team, was expected to be a starter this upcoming season, but there are reports he got cash to attend UM and that some former Hurricanes assistants and Haith knew about that. Thus, the Jones’ eligibility could be in major question this fall and Miami’s hoops team also could be headed for probation and a postseason ban. Haith was lured away this offseason by Missouri, but it’s not impossible that Mizzou decides to cut ties with him if all this is proven. So even the Tigers might feel the bite.
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