I’d be willing to bet that a portion of the Louisville fan base simply forgot about the University of Miami football scandal that was uncovered by Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports last August. Mostly because after it went viral for a couple of weeks, it was rarely mentioned again. Some Louisville fans may have made themselves forget about it because of the fact that Cardinal assistant coach Clint Hurtt was implicated in the report.
Yahoo! Sports conducted an 11-month investigation and is reporting that former Miami booster Nevin Shaprio, who is now incarcerated for his role in a $930 million Ponzi scheme, has told Yahoo! Sports he provided thousands of impermissible benefits to at least 72 athletes from 2002 through 2010. Clint Hurtt was the recruiting coordinator at Miami from 2007-2009. Shapiro claims that he established a very close relationship with Hurtt and he was the liaison that kept Shaprio involved in the recruits who were interested in Miami. Shaprio claims that Hurtt would bring prospects to Shaprio’s mansion while they visiting the University of Miami. On these visits Shaprio would make the sales pitch to the recruits on why they should attend Miami.
As much as some of us have would have liked for this to just disappear, that’s not exactly the case. Bruce Feldman of CBSSports.com is reported this morning that Florida wide receivers coach Aubrey Hill has resigned from his position with the university due to his involvement in the Miami scandal.
According to one of the 15 prison interviews Shapiro gave to Yahoo! Sports, Hill – then serving as Miami’s wide receivers coach under head coach Randy Shannon – was one of two UM assistants who brought a handful of high-profile recruits to Shapiro’s Miami Beach mansion on a recruiting trip in 2008:
“Aubrey Hill came to my house – he was the receivers coach – he came to my house with Clint Hurtt. They were recruiting three players from Sanford, [Fla.] Seminole County. I think in Orlando. [The players were] Andre Debose, Dyron Dye and Ray-Ray Armstrong. I walked those kids through my closet, and there was a very specific recruiting pitch that I gave after showing these kids the UM jerseys I had, which was about 50 of them. He was part of that, and that was my encounter with Aubrey Hill.”
The biggest question now is will Clint Hurtt be next? Feldman of CBS seems to think so.
Here are Shaprio’s claims from the report that involved Louisville assistant coach Clint Hurtt.
According to summary documents acquired by Yahoo! Sports, Shapiro told federal agents in taped interviews that on two occasions, he paid for Hurtt to bring large groups of Hurricanes football recruits to dinner at Miami Beach restaurant Café Grazie.
Also according to summary documents acquired by Yahoo! Sports, Shapiro told federal agents in taped interviews that he provided Hurtt an interest-free loan of $5,000 – one $2,500 cash payment and one $2,500 check. Shapiro said during his interviews with federal agents that Hurtt did repay the loans. However, Shapiro said he knew it was an NCAA violation to provide interest-free loans to coaches.
On a Friday night in 2008, Shapiro said Hurtt arranged to bring three Miami recruits – Andre Debose, Ray-Ray Armstrong and Dyron Dye – to Shapiro’s $6 million Miami Beach mansion for the purposes of the booster recruiting the players. Then-wide receivers coach Aubrey Hill also attended the players’ visit to Shapiro’s home.
During his Friday night recruiting pitch, Shapiro took Hurtt, Hill, Debose, Armstrong and Dye through his mansion, stopping at one point to showcase a specially built closet filled with game-worn college and NFL jerseys of former Hurricanes greats. After the tour of the house, Shapiro took the three players for a drive on Alton Road in his $200,000 Mercedes S65.
Shapiro said Hurtt was also on hand when he entertained Debose, Armstrong and Dye in his mansion. Shapiro said another recruit, Olivier Vernon, was also on hand. He said Vernon’s visit to the booster’s home was also arranged by Hurtt.
One source corroborated Shapiro having paid for bills for Hurtt and a large group of athletes at Café Grazie on two occasions. The source said that on each occasion, Shapiro called the restaurant and made the owners aware that Hurtt would be bringing a large group in for a meal, with explicit instructions that the bills be charged to the booster’s American Express black card.Yahoo! Sports acquired a canceled $2,500 check to corroborate Shapiro’s claim of giving Hurtt an interest-free loan. The check, which includes a signature on the back, is dated July 31, 2009.
One source corroborated Shapiro’s account of Hurtt arranging for Debose, Armstrong and Dye to visit his home on a recruiting visit.
If the NCAA confirms that all of these allegations involving Hurtt are true, I honestly don’t see how he stays on the Louisville staff. I don’t suspect that Clint has done any wrong doing while here at Louisville, but if he was aware and had some type of direct participation in what was going on in Miami that is a MAJOR NCAA violation. I doubt Louisville wants that in their program. The things that Shaprio is alleging involving Hurtt are pretty serious. Coach Hurtt has done a lot for the Louisville program, but having connections with this type of scandal isn’t something that Charlie Strong should have in his program.
Coach Strong is a loyal guy and has stood beside Clint Hurtt during all of this. You never want to jump to any conclusions, but things certainly don’t look great for coach Hurtt at the moment. I’d say it’s only a matter of time before we hear something regarding Hurtt’s future. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Strong stick behind his guy, but then again if the NCAA gets involved it will be hard for Hurtt to stick around in my opinion.