Allegations: Benard Thomas
Miami booster Nevin Shapiro alleges he provided an extra benefit to Benard Thomas the summer before the player’s senior season at Nebraska. The benefit he claimed to have provided:
• In the summer of 2003, Shapiro provided Thomas and two Hurricanes players – Kellen Winslow Jr. and D.J. Williams – with a leisure trip on his yacht that included food, drinks and jet skis.
• Yahoo! Sports acquired multiple photos showing Thomas on Shapiro’s yacht with Winslow Jr., Williams and friends of the players.
• One source corroborated that the photos of Thomas on Shapiro’s yacht were taken in the summer of 2003.
In Shapiro’s words
• “I met Benard Thomas once, the day he came with us on an all-day boat trip. He was a friend of D.J. [Williams] from back when they both played high school football in California. I remember Benard telling me he played defensive end at Nebraska. It was on my boat, so I paid for everything. We had food and drinks and the usual things for that kind of trip.”
When reached by phone, Thomas recalled going out on Shapiro’s boat with D.J. Williams and Kellen Winslow, but believed the outing took place in 2005 or 2006. “I went out with him on his boat. But it was ’05 or ’06. I wasn’t playing [in college]. ’03 would have been my junior year. I came down from Jacksonville to hang out in Miami with them.” While Thomas didn’t recall being on Shapiro’s boat in 2003, he did acknowledge coming to Miami during his college career. “Yeah. When I went to Florida when I was in college, I was in Delray Beach, Miami and Bradenton.”