Ex-Miami athletic director Paul Dee spoke out about Nevin Shapiro and the NCAA investigation the former Miami booster allegedly triggered. Dee presided over the Hurricanes' athletic department while the alleged misconduct involving Shapiro, the extent of which dwarfs that of the Reggie Bush Scandal at USC, and shared his thoughts about the investigation, what he knew and whether Miami should be worried.
Dee supplied a wide-array of quotes, but let's zero-in on the following, which is, essentially, a "we didn't know" defense.
"We didn't have any suspicion that he was doing anything like this," said Dee, UM's athletic director from 1993 to 2008. "He didn't do anything to cause concern."
As we found out a few hours after his statement, "this" was allegations of improper benefits stretching nearly a decade, with details so outrageous, it's enough to make one's head spin. But let's take Dee at his word for a moment, even though Shapiro insists it would've taken five minutes to figure out what was going on between himself, as a booster, and current student athletes.
While seving as the COI chair, Shapiro told USC that even though its compliance department didn't know what was going on, it should have. His now famous quote about high-profile players and compliance is referenced in the Yahoo! report, and the entire investigation into Shapiro's involvement with student athletes, which allegedly occurred under Dee's watch, creates a situation wrought with irony.
By the same token, then, if Shapiro's claims, and the mountain of evidence uncovered in the Yahoo! investigative report, turn out to be true, it shouldn't matter whether Dee, or Miami, knew what was going on. They should have. And if there's precedent -- and we're not sure there is when it comes to the NCAA -- the punishments, should the NCAA pickup where Yahoo! left off, may end up making what USC was handed look like a slap on the wrist.