Allegations: Willis McGahee

Charles Robinson
Yahoo! SportsAugust 16, 2011

More in this article:

line
line

Nevin Shapiro on McGahee: Play audio

Willis McGahee 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 alleges he provided multiple extra benefits to McGahee during the 2002 season. Among the benefits he claimed to have provided:

Willis McGahee
  • Position: Running back
  • Rivals recruiting rank: Ranked as the No. 10 player overall in the Class of 2000.
  • College career: McGahee saw limited action as a redshirt freshman in a backfield loaded with NFL talent. He then exploded as a sophomore, rushing for 1,753 yards and 28 touchdowns, before suffering a severe knee injury against Ohio State in the national championship game. Despite the injury, McGahee declared for the NFL draft and was selected in the first round by the Buffalo Bills. He is currently a backup with the Denver Broncos.

• Two custom-tailored suits for McGahee from Fashion Clothiers in Miami. Shapiro said one of the suits was worn by McGahee for the 2002 Heisman Trophy ceremony. Shapiro said the suits cost approximately $2,000 total. According to a summary document acquired by Yahoo! Sports, the booster told federal agents about the purchase of the suits in taped interviews.

• Plane tickets for McGahee's girlfriend and a second woman to attend the 2002 Heisman Trophy ceremony in New York City. According to a summary document acquired by Yahoo! Sports, the booster told federal agents about the purchase of the tickets in taped interviews.

• Food, drinks and entertainment at Shapiro's $2.7 million Miami Beach home.

• Cash gifts.

• $2,000 in cash bounties. The bounties were: $1,000 total for 234 rushing yards (Shapiro offered $500 per 100 total yards) in a 41-16 win over Florida on Sept. 7, 2002; and $1,000 total for a touchdown ($500) and 173 yards rushing and receiving ($500) in a 28-27 win over Florida State on Oct. 12, 2002.

Corroborating accounts

• Shelly Bloom, owner of Fashion Clothiers, corroborated Shapiro's account of purchasing suits in his store for McGahee. Bloom also corroborated one of the suits being worn during the broadcast of the Heisman Trophy ceremony. Yahoo! Sports also acquired a photo of Shapiro with McGahee at the Heisman ceremony wearing one of the suits Bloom said was purchased for the player by the booster.

• One source corroborated seeing Shapiro give McGahee cash gifts.

• One source corroborated Shapiro paying for two women to be flown to New York City for McGahee in advance of the Heisman ceremony.

• Two sources corroborated McGahee being entertained in Shapiro's home.

In Shapiro's words

• "Willis McGahee was my scholarship player [in the living scholar program] at the University of Miami when I first got started as a booster in the program. Willis' first year, I didn't really communicate very often with him. But then Willis blew up on the scene that following year. Inevitably, I went to the Heisman Trophy [ceremony] with my then-girlfriend at the time, and flew in two of Willis' people to the event."

• "Before he went to the Heisman [ceremony], I took him to one of my suit makers, Shelly Bloom Fashion Clothiers in downtown Miami. I bought Willis two suits. [They] cost me about $2,000 total."

This photo of Willis McGahee (left) and Nevin Shapiro (right) was taken at the 2002 Heisman Trophy ceremony in New York City. McGahee is wearing a suit purchased for him by Shapiro only weeks earlier at Fashion Clothiers in Miami.

This photo of Jarrell Weaver (left), Nevin Shapiro (middle) and Willis McGahee (right) was taken at Miami’s 2001 team awards banquet.

This photo of Nevin Shapiro (left) and Willis McGahee (right) was taken just hours before Miami’s national championship loss to Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl, in which McGahee suffered a significant knee injury.

Photos special to Yahoo! Sports

Response
Response

Did not return a phone message.