Miami Investigation

Allegations: Sean Allen

More in this article:
Nevin Shapiro (right) with Luther Campbell (left) and former Miami equipment manager Sean Allen (center). The booster says this photo was taken in his luxury suite at Dolphin Stadium in 2009, on the same day Allen brought then-Miami recruiting target Jeffrey Godfrey to his suite. Shapiro alleges Allen played a primary role in multiple acts of NCAA rule breaking undertaken by the booster dating back to 2002.
line

Nevin Shapiro on Allen: Play audio

Sean Allen was one of dozens of individuals tied to the Hurricanes football program named by Nevin Shapiro in recorded interviews with federal agents. During those interviews, the booster admitted supplying benefits to an array of Miami players from 2002 to 2010. Shapiro alleges he funneled benefits to multiple players through Sean Allen for several years, and that the Hurricanes equipment manager participated in multiple incidents of Shapiro committing NCAA violations. Among Shapiro’s allegations:

• The booster said he gave Allen over $200,000 in cash and checks since first meeting him in 2002. Shapiro said the monies were for a multitude of reasons, including gambling debts owed by the booster, payment for work, direct payouts to players and funneling dinners, strip club visits and other benefits to Hurricanes athletes.

• Allen was on hand in the late spring of 2008, when Miami basketball assistant coach Jake Morton picked up $10,000 from the booster to help ensure the commitment of recruit DeQuan Jones. Shapiro said Allen knew what the money was for, and that Allen took the money out of the safe in Shapiro’s home and, at the booster’s direction, handed the cash to Morton.

• Shapiro gave Allen several thousand dollars to take three recruits – Andre Debose, Ray-Ray Armstrong and Dyron Dye – to strip clubs during a recruiting visit by the players in 2008.

• Allen drove a Mercedes belonging to Shapiro and taxied players around at Shapiro’s direction.

• Allen brought two recruits – Jeffrey Godfrey and Teddy Bridgewater – to Shapiro’s luxury box during a Miami football game in 2009. Godfrey was a senior in high school and Bridgewater a junior, and the Hurricanes were recruiting both players at the time of the incident.

• During his tenure at Axcess Sports – the agency co-owned by Shapiro and then-NFL agent Michael Huyghue – Allen had intimate knowledge of and witnessed payments from both Shapiro and Huyghue and some of the Hurricanes athletes they hoped to sign. Shapiro alleges Allen also acted as a runner, setting up meetings between Huyghue and players, as well as delivering cash payments from the agency to Tavares Gooden, Jon Beason, Devin Hester, Orien Harris and Rocky McIntosh.

• Allen witnessed and was a conduit to multiple benefits being given to Miami players from Shapiro, including dinners, strip club visits, nightclub visits, free transportation and more. On one such occasion in early 2008, Shapiro said Allen arranged a dinner for multiple Miami players at Japanese steakhouse Benihana (paid for by Shapiro), and then accompanied the players with Shapiro to The Cheetah, where he witnessed the booster paying for alcohol for multiple players.

Booster Nevin Shapiro (right) with former University of Miami equipment manager Sean Allen (left) in 2008. Shapiro named Allen as one of his primary moles inside the Miami program dating as far back as 2002, when Allen was a student manager for the team. Shapiro alleges Allen played a primary role in multiple acts of NCAA rule breaking undertaken by the booster.

Corroborating accounts

• Yahoo! Sports has acquired a photo of Allen in Shapiro’s luxury box during the 2009 season, with then-recruit Jeffrey Godfrey standing in the background.

• Yahoo! Sports has acquired a balance sheet from Shapiro’s bankruptcy, showing $92,300 in recorded transactions from Shapiro to Allen between April 2008 and January 2009. Yahoo! Sports also acquired $55,800 in canceled checks signed by Allen for some of the aforementioned transactions.

• A LinkedIn business profile belonging to Allen shows he worked for three sports agencies that survived in various forms – Axcess Sports (with Shapiro), Luke Sports & Entertainment (with recording artist and avid Hurricanes fan Luther Campbell), and The Players Agency (also with Shapiro).

• One source corroborated Shapiro funneling benefits to players through Allen, including cash, strip club events, dinner and more.

• One source corroborated Allen attending both a dinner at Benihana (paid for by Shapiro) and a subsequent trip to The Cheetah where multiple Miami players had alcohol purchased for them by the booster.

• One source corroborated Allen taking Andre Debose, Ray-Ray Armstrong and Dyron Dye to Take One cocktail lounge (paid for by Shapiro) after an improper recruiting trip to the booster’s $6 million Miami Beach mansion.

• One source corroborated Allen providing transportation to players at the direction of Shapiro.

In Shapiro’s words

• “Sean Allen had a few nicknames. One of them was ‘Pee Wee’, which everyone knew him as. Later on, he became ‘McLovin’. He was an equipment manager, and I believe he still is. He would help me out with some sports apparel out of the locker room. You know, jerseys, Nike shirts with the UM logo on it, t-shirts, shorts, footballs. He inevitably became a really good mole in between me and the players. So if I wanted a player to come by or wanted something from a particular player, he became that go-to guy. … Inevitably Pee Wee went to work with Axcess Sports, which was my sports agency that I was an investor in. During that time, he was trying to be the in-between between players and Michael Huyghue, who was the agent.”

• “Pee Wee was given, I would say, probably a couple hundred thousand dollars [while working with Shapiro]. Half of that was on record for checks, and the other half was cash payments. I basically was funding the players to go to strip joints, restaurants. If ever Pee Wee went to a higher [end] type establishment, I would always make sure that he was taken care of. He was running around Miami like a big shot for a while.”

Nevin Shapiro (left) poses with Miami Hurricanes staffer Sean Allen (middle) and Hurricanes assistant basketball coach Jake Morton (right) in his luxury suite during the 2009 season. Along the left margin of the photo (in white shirt) is then-Hurricanes football recruiting target Jeffrey Godfrey, who was a senior in high school at the time of this picture. Shapiro said he knew NCAA rules prohibited Godfrey from being in his suite at the time this photo was taken.
Nevin Shapiro (far right) with former Miami equipment manager Sean Allen (far left) in 2009.
Photos special to Yahoo! Sports

Documents

These checks account for a portion of the $92,300 in recorded transactions from Nevin Shapiro to Sean Allen between April 2008 and January 2009. Shapiro said he gave Allen in excess of $200,000 during the course of their relationship, dating back to 2003. During that time, Shapiro alleges Allen participated or witnessed Shapiro repeatedly violate NCAA rules with Hurricanes players, and also funneled cash and improper benefits from the booster to the athletes. PDF file

Shapiro’s cell phone providers condensed his calling records from 2002 to 2008 and deleted the booster’s text messaging records prior to 2009. Despite a significant portion of his records being expunged, Yahoo! Sports was able to identify 304 calls or texts between Shapiro and Sean Allen from July 2003 to March 2010. This is a page showing communication between the booster and a phone number linked to Allen. PDF file

These Florida business filings show the establishment of a short-lived sports representation agency by former Miami equipment manager Sean Allen and longtime Miami Hurricanes fan Luther Campbell in 2006. The work history that Allen created on LinkedIn lists him as a “founder” of Luke Sports & Entertainment and says he worked for the company for 16 months. Under the description of activity on Allen’s profile, it says he “Successfully signed two NFL players in first two months of operation” and “Created marketing proposals for professional athletes and entertainers.” According to Allen’s profile, this was one of three agencies he was involved with, including Nevin Shapiro’s Axcess Sports. Shapiro says Allen participated in or witnessed the booster breaking multiple NCAA rules since he met Allen in 2002. Shapiro also said Allen was a conduit for both Shapiro and his agency partner, Michael Huyghue, funneling cash and other benefits to Hurricanes players. PDF file

Response

Reached by Yahoo! Sports, Allen denied Shapiro’s allegations. “I have no comment as to these egregious and false allegations,” Allen said. I emphatically deny any wrongdoing and am fully confident that the truth will soon be clear.”

Charles Robinson is the senior investigative reporter for Yahoo! Sports. Follow him on Twitter. Send Charles a question or comment for potential use in a future column or webcast.
Updated Tuesday, Aug 16, 2011

Video Spotlight