Miami Football Scandal: Nevin Shapiro Offered Bounties For Injuries

Among the more startling revelations nestled within Yahoo! Sports investigative reporter Charles Robinson's massive inquisition into the Miami football program, is the admission of a bounty ring that rewarded Hurricane players for injuring members of the opposing team.

The ring was the brainchild of incarcerated former-Miami booster Nevin Shapiro, and modeled after the infamous system run by Luther Campbell in the 1980's. Within Campbell's system, Hurricanes would be rewarded for the ambiguously termed "big plays." Eventually the lid was blown off the scheme in 1994's Pell Grant scandal, and 57 players were named as collaborators.

Shapiro's system was similar, although it pushed the boundaries to a more dramatic level. According to Robinson's sources -- including two former Miami players -- the booster offered individual rewards not only for "big plays" and "hit of the game", but also for injuring specific players.

Former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow and Florida State Seminoles quarterback Chris Rix were among those listed as examples of players with bounties on their heads. Rix, in particular, carried a bounty for three consecutive years worth over $5,000.

"We pounded the (expletive) out of that kid," Shapiro said of Rix. "Watch the tape of those games. You'll see so many big hits on him. Guys were all going after that $5,000 in cash. [Jon] Vilma tried to kill him - just crushed him - a couple of times trying to get that $5,000. And he almost got it, too."

While many of the details listed in Robinson's report cast a stark shadow over college football, the notion that players from other universities were at direct risk because of Miami's indifference may be the one of the most unsettling.

For fan reaction on the ongoing Miami Hurricanes mega-scandal, visit Seventh Floor Blog.

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