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University Of Miami Will Return $83K In Former Booster Donations

The University of Miami will return $83,000 in donations it received from Nevin Shapiro, a former booster, who was incarcerated for his role in running a $930 million Ponzi scheme.

As we reported in August, Shapiro revealed that he gave Miami players "cash, threw parties for them, hooked them up with prostitutes, entertained them at night clubs and let them use his cars." Many of the gifts were impermissible under NCAA rules. The NCAA launched an investigation and suspended eight players, including starting quarterback Jacory Harris. The university may still face sanctions.

The AP reportsUM reached a deal with a bankruptcy trustee who will hand a part of that money to the ponzi scheme victims.

The Miami Herald points out the interesting part of the story: The agreement means former Miami players won't have to talk about what the gifts they received from Shapiro.

The Herald explains:

"The deal eliminates the likelihood of former Hurricane players having to disclose under oath potentially incriminating information about improper gifts received from Shapiro — testimony that might have further embarrassed the university.

"As for the money UM is paying, $55,610 will be shared among victims of Shapiro's Ponzi scheme and the remaining $27,390 will go the firm Tabas Freedman, which represents bankruptcy trustee Joel Tabas.The settlement must be approved by a bankruptcy court judge, Laurel Isicoff, Feb. 27 in downtown Miami, "but I see no reason why it wouldn't be approved," said Gary Freedman, who is representing Tabas."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.
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