Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports has hit Miami with another potential bombshell, this time with allegations that head coach Al Golden allowed then-equipment manager Sean Allen to provide recruits with improper benefits. Among the reported NCAA violations, Allen made phone calls to high school prospects and provided transportation to and from Miami's campus.
Former Hurricanes recruit Elston Lane, now a wide receiver at Texas Southern, was quoted in the report. He recalled interacting with Allen.
"He's just the type of person when you get around him, you feel comfortable with him," Lane said of Allen. "He did a lot of little stuff for us. Sometimes he'd give us like a pair of gloves that maybe a University of Miami player used. Like, say Lamar Miller or something.
"I didn't think he was a recruiter. He was just like, a UM fan. He would just be like, 'This is the best place for you.' He was egging on for UM. I had a couple of schools recruiting me, and he was like, 'Yeah, I like this school for you, or that school for you, but the best for you I think is UM.' He was a fan. Of course he was going to say UM was the best place."
Allen admitted through federal testimony in Nevin Shapiro's bankruptcy case that he provided improper benefits to players as far back as the mid-2000s. NCAA rules stipulate that equipment managers cannot place recruiting calls or assist in off-campus recruiting unless they are designated as an assistant coach.
Yahoo! Sports combed Allen's testimony and phone records, and found that he had made contact with at least 10 prospects in the Miami area. Calls ranged from within a week of Golden's hire in December 2010, all the way through July 2011. Allen left Miami last August after being named in Yahoo!'s report on the Shapiro scandal.
Among the recruits receiving improper benefits, cornerback A.J. Leggett, then a Florida State recruit, was allegedly picked up from his home by Allen and taken to the Miami football building where he met with Golden and other members of the 'Canes' coaching staff. Allen also allegedly placed phone calls to Florida State commitment Devonta Freeman, attempting to sway him to Miami the day before he was set to begin classes at FSU.
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