Allegations: Benard Thomas

·NFL columnist

More in this article:

  • Photo

  • Documents

  • Response

Nevin Shapiro said he took this Biscayne Bay photo on the back of his $1.6 million yacht in the summer of 2003. Pictured from left to right are D.J. Williams, Kellen Winslow Jr. and then-Nebraska defensive end Benard Thomas.


Miami booster Nevin Shapiro alleges he provided an extra benefit to Benard Thomas the summer before the player's senior season at Nebraska. The benefit he claimed to have provided:

Benard Thomas
  • Position: Defensive end

  • Rivals recruiting rank: None. Thomas was a SuperPrep All-American in the Class of 2000.

  • Miami career: None. Played at the University of Nebraska. He is currently out of football.

• In the summer of 2003, Shapiro provided Thomas and two Hurricanes players – Kellen Winslow Jr. and D.J. Williams – with a leisure trip on his yacht that included food, drinks and jet skis.

Corroborating accounts

• Yahoo! Sports acquired multiple photos showing Thomas on Shapiro's yacht with Winslow Jr., Williams and friends of the players.

• One source corroborated that the photos of Thomas on Shapiro's yacht were taken in the summer of 2003.

In Shapiro's words

• "I met Benard Thomas once, the day he came with us on an all-day boat trip. He was a friend of D.J. [Williams] from back when they both played high school football in California. I remember Benard telling me he played defensive end at Nebraska. It was on my boat, so I paid for everything. We had food and drinks and the usual things for that kind of trip."

Nevin Shapiro said this photo was taken in the summer of 2003 in the lounge of his $1.6 million yacht. Seated from left to right are D.J. Williams, Kellen Winslow Jr. and then-Nebraska defensive end Benard Thomas.

Photos special to Yahoo! Sports


When reached by phone, Thomas recalled going out on Shapiro's boat with D.J. Williams and Kellen Winslow, but believed the outing took place in 2005 or 2006. "I went out with him on his boat. But it was '05 or '06. I wasn't playing [in college]. '03 would have been my junior year. I came down from Jacksonville to hang out in Miami with them." While Thomas didn't recall being on Shapiro's boat in 2003, he did acknowledge coming to Miami during his college career. "Yeah. When I went to Florida when I was in college, I was in Delray Beach, Miami and Bradenton."