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Nevin Shapiro on Williams: Play audio
Miami booster Nevin Shapiro alleges he provided multiple extra benefits to Willie Williams during the player's brief career with the Hurricanes. Among the benefits he claimed to have provided:
- Willie Williams
Rivals recruiting rank: Ranked as the No. 6 player overall in the Class of 2004.
Miami career: A highly touted and extremely controversial recruit, Williams redshirted as a freshman and then spent his first season platooning behind Jon Beason. Despite showing great promise, he transferred to Louisville, where he was later kicked off the team and began a downward spiral that ended at Union College in the NAIA. He is currently out of football.
• Food, drinks and entertainment at Shapiro's $2.7 million Miami Beach home on multiple occasions.
• Cash gifts.
• Drinks and VIP access in nightclubs on multiple occasions.
• Entertainment on Shapiro's $1.6 million yacht on multiple occasions.
• Food, drinks and entertainment at Lucky Strike Lanes in a bowling tournament where the winning team got an all-expenses paid trip to the Pink Pony strip club. Shapiro said his partner in Axcess Sports, then-NFL agent and current UFL commissioner Michael Huyghue, was present at that tournament, along with multiple Miami players. Shapiro said those present included Williams, Tavares Gooden, Bryan Pata, Devin Hester, Anthony Reddick and others. The booster said Miami staffer Sean Allen was also present.
• Drinks, VIP access and entertainment at the Pink Pony strip club.
• Drinks and VIP access in nightclubs on multiple occasions including a May 2005 event at Mansion nightclub featuring Jay Z.
• One source corroborated Shapiro entertaining Williams with drinks and VIP access in nightclubs. One such incident included a May 2005 Mansion nightclub event featuring Jay Z. Yahoo! Sports also acquired Shapiro’s May 2005 credit card statement, showing a charge to Mansion nightclub on a day Jay Z performed at the club.
In Shapiro's words
• "Willie Williams came to my house a number of times with Bryan Pata. There were a few incidents where I gave him a couple hundred bucks here and there. He was always with us in a club scene and drinking at my table. He did continuously ask me for money. I cut it out after a while."
• "Willie was always on the boat with me, drinking. He was part of a bowling tournament that we once had at Lucky Strike, where the winning team went to the Pink Pony strip joint. Michael Huyghue was present at that tournament."
This page from Nevin Shapiro's May 2005 American Express black card statement shows a bill of $9,738 for Mansion nightclub on May 14, 2005. The former booster identified the night as a Jay Z appearance at the nightclub, in which Shapiro hosted a large group of players in his VIP section and made "more than a dozen" bottles of champagne and multiple bottles of high-end liquor available in his section. One former Miami football player corroborated the event, including his attendance and that of several other players. Shapiro alleged a large contingent of Miami players partied in his VIP area, including Jon Beason, Tavares Gooden, Rocky McIntosh, Brian Monroe, James Bryant, Bryan Pata and Willie Williams. PDF file
Reached in person by Yahoo! Sports in July at the Kenton County Detention Center in Covington, Ky., Williams acknowledged knowing Shapiro, asking how the booster was doing and if he was still living in Miami. Williams then requested to finish the interview over the telephone at a later time. Yahoo! Sports never received a follow-up call from Williams.