Miami has finally received its notice of allegations from the NCAA, marking the end of just one step in what's already been a two-year probe of the athletic department, a source says.
The allegations arrived on Tuesday, according to a person familiar with the matter and who spoke with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither the NCAA nor Miami authorized releasing any information publicly. The NCAA did not respond to a request for comment, and a Miami athletics spokesman said he had no knowledge of the letter's arrival.
At 10:08 p.m. Tuesday, AP sports writer Tim Reynolds tweeted, "AP Source: Notice of allegations against Miami includes the dreaded 'lack of institutional control' charge."
Next up: The sanctions phase, where Miami's penalties will be decided. The Hurricanes have already self-imposed several sanctions, including sitting out two bowl games and a conference football championship game. Miami President Donna Shalala said Monday she believes those punishments should be enough.
Miami wants to get through the sanctions portion of the process as quickly as possible. But typically, it takes about three months for a hearing, and then can take several weeks — if not months — more for the penalties to be handed down. The sides coming to a settlement beforehand is another possibility.
Miami and the NCAA have gone back and forth on the wording of the notice of allegations for several weeks, and the long-awaited letter was nearly delivered last month. That's when the NCAA acknowledged that some mistakes were made by its own enforcement department. And that resulted in some allegations coming out of the letter.
It also led to yet another delay in the process, which many at Miami believe has dragged on for way too long.
"This cannot end quickly enough," Miami coach football Al Golden said earlier this month.
The NCAA said it made revisions to the allegation document, which is still expected to be particularly damning for the football and men's basketball programs.
The letter arrived at Miami not long before the Hurricanes' men's basketball team — ranked No. 2 in the country — was set to tip-off against Virginia.
This saga started in September 2010, when the university told the NCAA that convicted Ponzi scheme architect and former Miami booster Nevin Shapiro made allegations to the school against former players.
Shapiro said he interacted mostly with football players and recruits, as well as a significantly smaller number of men's basketball players.
Within about six months, an NCAA investigation was quietly underway, and the story became widely known in August 2011 after Shapiro provided Yahoo Sports with details of what he claimed to have given dozens of athletes, recruits and coaches over an eight-year period.
Among the gifts Shapiro alleged to provide: Memorabilia, cash amounts both large and small, dinners, strip-club trips, prostitutes, and even an abortion.
Several Miami football and men's basketball players have either served suspensions, paid restitution or both in the past two years after their involvement with Shapiro was discovered. Apparently upset with how people he thought were friends turned their back on him following his conviction for the Ponzi operation, Shapiro vowed that he would take down the program, and even his attorney — a Miami alum — was willing to help the NCAA's cause.
Documents released Monday by the NCAA showed that Shapiro's attorney, Maria Elena Perez, offered to assist investigators working the Miami case by using subpoena power to depose witnesses under the guise of a bankruptcy case. NCAA enforcement officials accepted her offer, even feeding her questions to ask for at least one of the depositions, and records show they paid at least $19,000 for her work — though she billed them for three times that much.
Any allegations that came together from the answers given in those depositions were taken out of the Miami case, the NCAA said on Monday when it unveiled the scope of its alliance with Perez and acknowledged that missteps were made. The NCAA's vice president of enforcement, who oversaw the Miami probe, has been ousted, and some investigators who worked the case are also no longer with the association.
That prompted Miami to lash out strongly at the NCAA on Monday, with Shalala saying "the lengthy and already flawed investigation has demonstrated a disappointing pattern of unprofessional and unethical behavior."
The NCAA declined comment Tuesday about Shalala's remarks, which included a demand that Miami not face any additional sanctions.