The Associated Press is reporting the University of Miami (UM) is “looking into the eligibility of 15 athletes who may have accepted improper benefits from a rogue booster”. In a video statement, UM President Donna Shalala did not identify the names of the student-athletes that will be involved in the eligibility review. UM is under NCAA enforcement investigation for alleged rules-violations committed by a booster, convicted felon Nevin Shapiro. Shapiro informed Yahoo! Sports that he provided money, gifts and other illicit benefits to 12 current UM football student-athlete and one UM men’s basketball student-athlete.
Shalala stated “the Miami athletic compliance staff, in a joint effort with the NCAA, is now beginning the process of reviewing the eligibility of 15 current student-athletes. With the season fast approaching I know our players, coaches and fans are eager to know the results. The process, however, must be deliberate and thorough to ensure its integrity.”
It is not surprising for UM to review the involved student-athletes’ eligibility prior to the football season. If the institution permits student-athletes who are later determined to be ineligible to compete, then UM will be required to vacate the contests. Thus, UM will process the student-athletes through the NCAA student-athlete reinstatement process. The summary of the reinstatement process can be reviewed in the following blog posts: