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Nevin Shapiro on Vernon: Play audio
Miami booster Nevin Shapiro alleges he provided extra benefits to Olivier Vernon during the player's career, as well engaged in impermissible contact during the player's recruitment. Among the benefits he claimed to have provided:
- Olivier Vernon
- Position: Defensive end
- Rivals recruiting rank: Ranked as the No. 227 player overall in the Class of 2009.
- Miami career: A solid defensive end who became an immediate contributor as a freshman, Vernon was second on the team in sacks as a sophomore last season. He’s expected to blossom as a junior this season and is already on the radar of NFL scouting departments.
• Drinks and VIP access in nightclubs.
• Shapiro knowingly engaged in impermissible contact when he hosted Vernon and recruits Andre Debose, Ray-Ray Armstrong and Dyron Dye at his $6 million Miami Beach mansion in 2008. Shapiro said he provided food, drinks and entertainment. The booster said then-Miami recruiting coordinator Clint Hurtt had arranged for the prospects to be at his home during the incident.
• Shapiro also had impermissible contact when he hosted Vernon and his parents in his luxury suite on Oct. 4, 2008, during Miami's 41-39 loss to Florida State at Dolphin Stadium.
• Shapiro said he made a $1,000 donation to the booster club of Vernon's high school in April 2008, at the solicitation of Vernon's father. Vernon had committed to the Hurricanes approximately two months before the booster wrote the check, but Shapiro said he would not have made the donation if Miami had not been recruiting Vernon.
• One source corroborated Shapiro's account of Vernon being at the booster's home at his home in 2008, along with then-Miami assistant Clint Hurtt and recruits Ray-Ray Armstrong, Dyron Dye and Andre Debose.
• Yahoo! Sports has acquired a $1,000 canceled check made out to the booster club American Senior High – Vernon's high school. The check was dated April 30, 2008, during Vernon's junior year in high school.
In Shapiro's words
• "Olivier Vernon's dad was a Miami Beach police officer. I was very close with the chief of police, Carlos Noriega. I was introduced to [Vernon's] dad. I wrote a check before I even met Olivier Vernon, for $1,000 to the American High booster club. I actually had no business writing that check, because I had nothing to do with American High. But I figured it wasn't a big price to pay and this kid was going to be coming to the University of Miami, although he was leaning toward Florida State."
• "Olivier Vernon watched the Miami-Florida State game in my suite while he was senior in high school. It was a bad, raining, horrible soaked game. I remember we were there until almost midnight. Then there were subsequent trips to my house and to the clubs as he got close, meaning Olivier Vernon got closer, to a lot of the other incoming freshmen, specifically Ray-Ray Armstrong [and] Dyron Dye. He was in there with the incoming freshmen and we got pretty close."
Nevin 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 115 calls or texts between Shapiro and Olivier Vernon from March 2009 to January 2010. This is a page showing communication between the booster and a phone number linked to Vernon. PDF file
Shapiro said he wrote this check to the high school booster club of Miami signee Olivier Vernon following the player's commitment. He said he would not have written the check to the booster club if the Hurricanes had not signed Vernon, thus making the donation an NCAA violation. PDF file
Did not return phone messages.