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Most boosters hand out $100 bills. Shapiro went much further, treating players to strip club parties, paying for prostitutes and catering to their every need. In one case, Shapiro told the website, he even paid for an abortion for a woman one of his players had impregnated.
Much of it allegedly happened under the watch of former Miami athletic director Paul Dee, who would go on to -- no, we're not making this up -- become chairman of the NCAA's committee on infractions. It was from that position last year that Dee came down hard on the University of Southern California in the Reggie Bush case, saying then that "higher-profile players require higher-profile monitoring."
It the allegations prove correct, that makes Dee either a hypocrite or someone who was stunningly unaware of what was taking place right under his nose. Either way, it doesn't do much to inspire confidence in the enforcement efforts of the NCAA.
Ultimately, though, enforcement problems are the least of the NCAA's worries. The real trouble in college sports runs a lot deeper than players getting caught selling jerseys or boosters handing out cash or seats on a yacht.
The NCAA has lost control over big money sports, especially football, and seems powerless to get it back. There is so much money flowing into college football these days that schools and conferences have little incentive to do anything but pay lip service to the organization and its ideas about athletes getting an education and graduating with real degrees.
Emmert says he wants to change that, and so far in his short term as NCAA president he should get credit for at least talking a good game.
Achieving real reform, though, will be a lot tougher than simply cleaning up the mess in Miami.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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