The scandal around Miami Hurricanes players receiving improper benefits took an unexpected turn Tuesday. The NCAA contacted several former Miami players and gave them an ultimatum to either talk to investigators, or be considered guilty of committing the violations alleged by former booster Nevin Shapiro.
The report comes from Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, who obtained one of the letters from the NCAA. The letter gave the player until Friday to complete interviews with the NCAA enforcement staff. If no response was given, the letter said the NCAA would "consider the non-response as your client's admission of involvement in NCAA violations."
According to CBS Sports' Bruce Feldman, a NCAA compliance expert reacted by saying, "This seems like a total bullying tactic," by the NCAA, "and sounds like a desperate move."
However, from NCAA guru John Infante:
They’re not taking Shapiro’s word over the players’ if the players refuse to testify. They’re taking Shapiro’s word over nothing.— John Infante (@John_Infante) November 21, 2012
This is just the latest twist in a scandal where 114 Miami players were accused of committing violations. Only players on the football team at the time the investigation began were required to speak to NCAA investigators. Many players named in the scandal were no longer at the university, including several who moved on to the NFL.
According to the report, Miami officials were hoping the allegations made against former players could not be corroborated. Instead, as Jackson said, it appears the NCAA is either bluffing or will consider the allegations to be true even without further evidence.
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