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Report: Shannon tried to stop booster

Randy Shannon threatened to fire his assistants if they dealt with the booster at the center of Miami's scandal and warned his players to stay away from the booster during his tenure as football coach, CaneSport, an affiliate of Yahoo Sports, reported Thursday.

Nevin Shapiro, in prison for his role in a $930 million Ponzi scheme, told Yahoo he provided 72 players with cash, prostitutes, cars and other gifts from 2002-10 and six coaches (football and basketball) were aware. The NCAA is investigating.

Before replacing Larry Coker as coach in 2007, Shannon had been with Miami as a player or assistant for 13 seasons. CaneSport reported that his warnings to players about boosters and agents specifically mentioned Shapiro. Shannon declined to comment.

In addition, CaneSport reported that Shannon, fired last season, had spies around Coral Gables who warned him Shapiro was causing problems for his players. In response, Shapiro, who made large donations to the university, repeatedly called the athletic department and used profanity and racially charged language about what he perceived as Shannon's lack of respect, the report said.

Other developments:

• Shapiro's lawyer, Maria Elena Perez, said his statements could trigger more allegations: "Whether that comes from Nevin or from outside sources who have additional information about this, I can't tell you. But I believe there will be more."

• Broncos and ex-Florida quarterback Tim Tebow said he was amused by Shapiro's statement that there was a $5,000 bounty on him for the Sept. 6, 2008, game against Miami. "I didn't know about that," he said, chuckling. "It's funny, though."

• Two current players not among the 12 named in the Yahoo report as having received benefits said the team is hurting because of the allegations. Defensive back Brandon McGee said on Twitter, "Know this for sure everyone hurts! We all feel pain!" Running back Mike James said on Twitter: "You have to appreciate the process and accept the struggle." They were the first comments by a player.

• Athletic director Shawn Eic­horst vowed "a better day" would come. "There are tough times ahead, challenges to overcome and serious decisions to be made. But we will be left standing, and we will be stronger as a result," he said in a statement.

• Former AD Kirby Hocutt, who currently holds the same position at Texas Tech, said he has not been approached by the NCAA. Wednesday, the Associated Press reported that he approved much of Shapiro's access to the program.

• Alabama coach Nick Saban said the school vetted offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland and director of football operations Joe Pannunzio, two former UM assistants named by Shapiro, before hiring them this offseason and found no "red flags."

• Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez, hired at the school by Miami president Donna Shalala, said he lost about $1 million in Shapiro's Ponzi scheme.

Auburn: Redshirt junior Barrett Trotter was named the starting quarterback. He appeared in five games in 2010 and has thrown nine career passes. He beat out redshirt sophomore Clint Moseley, who has appeared in one game and thrown no passes, and freshman Kiehl Frazier.

BC: Running back Montel Harris, the ACC preseason player of the year, will miss the opener against Northwestern after having his second surgery on a torn left meniscus that he sustained late last season. His status for the second game, at UCF, hasn't been determined.

Men's basketball: Southern Cal senior point guard Jio Fontan will miss the season with a torn left ACL sustained during Tuesday's exhibition game in Brazil. Last season he averaged 10.5 points, second on the team, and 3.9 assists.

Report: Shannon tried to stop booster 08/18/11 [Last modified: Thursday, August 18, 2011 11:35pm]

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