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Nevin Shapiro on Armstrong: Play audio
Ray-Ray Armstrong 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 knowingly had improper recruiting contact with Armstrong on multiple occasions and also provided the player with extra benefits. Among Shapiro's allegations regarding Armstrong:
- Ray-Ray Armstrong
Rivals recruiting rank: Ranked as the No. 13 player overall in the Class of 2009.
Miami career: The latest in a great line of safeties for the Hurricanes, Armstrong became an instant contributor as a freshman and top end starter last season as a sophomore. He’s expected to be one of the best safeties in the country this season, and is already on the NFL radar as a potential first-round draft pick.
• On a Friday night in 2008, Miami assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Clint Hurtt arranged to bring Armstrong and two other Miami recruits – Andre Debose and Dyron Dye – to Shapiro's $6 million Miami Beach mansion for the purposes of the booster recruiting the players. Then-wide receivers coach Aubrey Hill also attended the players' visit to Shapiro's home.
• During his Friday night recruiting pitch, Shapiro took Armstrong, Debose and Dye through his mansion, stopping at one point to showcase a specially built closet filled with game-worn college and NFL jerseys of former Hurricanes greats. After the tour of the house, Shapiro took the three players for a drive on Alton Road in his $200,000 Mercedes S65.
• After the tour of his home and the ride in his Mercedes, Shapiro gave former Miami equipment assistant Sean Allen approximately $2,000 to $3,000 in cash and instructed him to show Armstrong, Debose and Dye a good time. Shapiro said Allen ultimately used the money to take the players to nightclubs, including Take One Cocktail Lounge and strip club.
• Shapiro said Debose, Armstrong and Dye also were at his house for another gathering. Shapiro said the players were served food and drinks. Shapiro said another recruit, Olivier Vernon, was also on hand for this gathering.
• The booster said he also met Debose, Armstrong and Dye at Lucky Strike Lanes on a Sunday, where he watched NFL games and paid for food, drinks and entertainment for the three recruits. Shapiro said he also gave Armstrong one of Sean Taylor's game-worn Hurricanes jerseys before the three recruits left the bowling alley.
• A second source corroborated Shapiro's delivering a recruiting pitch to Armstrong, Debose and Dye at his mansion. The second source also corroborated the attendance of Hurtt and Hill during this meeting.
• A second source corroborated Shapiro's account of taking Armstrong, Debose and Dye for a ride in his Mercedes S65.
• A second source corroborated Armstrong, Debose and Dye visiting Shapiro's mansion.
• A second source corroborated Shapiro's account of Allen taking Armstrong, Debose and Dye to at least one nightclub after visiting with the booster.
• A second source corroborated Shapiro entertaining Armstrong, Debose and Dye at Lucky Strike Lanes.
In Shapiro's words
• "Ray-Ray was at my house. I know that I had given cash to Sean Allen to take [Armstrong, Debose and Dye] to the strip joint. I believe it was Take One [Cocktail Lounge], owned by Luther Campbell. I also gave Ray-Ray my Sean Taylor University of Miami game-worn jersey. He took it back to Orlando with him. He soon committed to Miami thereafter."
• "He also went to Lucky Strike with me on the next visit. We were spending a lot of time together before he was at the University of Miami. After he came I started seeing him on a regular basis."
Armstrong did not respond to a message sent to his Facebook account.