Allegations: Travis Benjamin
Travis Benjamin was one of dozens of Hurricanes players 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 said he provided Benjamin with multiple extra benefits starting in the player’s freshman season. Among the benefits Shapiro allegedly provided:
• Food, drinks and entertainment at Shapiro’s $6 million Miami Beach mansion.
• Played in a pool tournament for cash at Shapiro’s home.
• Food, drinks and entertainment at Lucky Strike Lanes including a “bowling for dollars” tournament over a weekend in September 2008.
• Yahoo! Sports acquired Shapiro’s September 2008 American Express black card and American Express Platinum card statements showing three charges totaling $2,114.18 from Sept. 13 to Sept. 15 at Lucky Strike Lanes. This is where the booster held his “bowling for dollars” events.
In Shapiro’s words
• “Travis Benjamin was a kid who was, I think he was from Randy Phillips’ school Belle Glade [Glades Central High School]. He was an incoming freshman and when he first got to school, he was at my house a number of times with Randy Phillips.”
• “He played in the pool tournament inside my house. He was in my house I want to say 25 times or more. I recall him being at Lucky Strike [Lanes] on at least five, six, seven different occasions. I had given him cash a few times. Whether it be $50, $100, it was never a lot of money. But there was a cash exchange more than one time.”
These pages from Nevin Shapiro’s September 2008 American Express black card and American Express Platinum card statements show three charges totaling $2,114.18 from Sept. 13 to Sept. 15, for a series of “bowling for dollars” events with Miami football players at the upscale Lucky Strike Lanes. The tab covered drinks, food and bowling, and the charges on Sept. 15 were for a bill spanning the evening of the 14th and the early morning of the 15th. Shapiro said he held the tournaments, which paid cash to winning teams, in the off week between road games against Florida and Texas A&M. He said multiple players were in attendance, including Marcus Forston, Sean Spence, Aldarius Johnson, Randy Phillips, Travis Benjamin and JoJo Nicolas. PDF file
Benjamin did not return a message sent to his Facebook page.