Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Miami Vice 77, America's Future 0

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The good news is the United States has all the money it needs to slash the national debt.

It has all the money it needs to maintain critical social services, too.

And to stimulate a sick economy.

It has all the cash necessary for rebuilding our crumbling national infrastructure.

We also have all the money we need to help poor children and their families.

The bad news is that we'd rather spend it all on s*** like this instead of stuff like that:

A University of Miami booster, incarcerated for his role in a $930 million Ponzi scheme, has told Yahoo! Sports he provided thousands of impermissible benefits to at least 72 athletes from 2002 through 2010.

In 100 hours of jailhouse interviews during Yahoo! Sports’ 11-month investigation, Hurricanes booster Nevin Shapiro described a sustained, eight-year run of rampant NCAA rule-breaking, some of it with the knowledge or direct participation of at least seven coaches from the Miami football and basketball programs. At a cost that Shapiro estimates in the millions of dollars, he said his benefits to athletes included but were not limited to cash, prostitutes, entertainment in his multimillion-dollar homes and yacht, paid trips to high-end restaurants and nightclubs, jewelry, bounties for on-field play (including bounties for injuring opposing players), travel and, on one occasion, an abortion.

Also among the revelations were damning details of Shapiro’s co-ownership of a sports agency – Axcess Sports & Entertainment – for nearly his entire tenure as a Hurricanes booster. The same agency that signed two first-round picks from Miami, Vince Wilfork and Jon Beason, and recruited dozens of others while Shapiro was allegedly providing cash and benefits to players. In interviews with federal prosecutors, Shapiro said many of those same players were also being funneled cash and benefits by his partner at Axcess, then-NFL agent and current UFL commissioner Michael Huyghue. Shapiro said he also made payments on behalf of Axcess, including a $50,000 lump sum to Wilfork, as a recruiting tool for the agency.
ALSO, there's this to consider:
While there may not be many boosters with such an over-the-top story, Shapiro knows he wasn’t the only fan doling out the under-the-table money. Maybe most damning for the sport is the fact that while he took care of current players, he says Miami coaches never asked him to buy a football recruit. Mainly because they felt it was fruitless.

“Miami is not the school where payouts are made to prospective student athletes,” Shapiro said. “Miami is a private institution, it’s in a transient city. We didn’t have the money to pay recruits. There is so much more money in big public universities. In the SEC, the money is an endless river.

“If Miami relied on cash payoffs for players to come to Miami, they’d be out of business. They’d lose every bidding war.

SO, YOU SEE the problem isn't, per the Republican Party, that poor little rich people couldn't possibly afford to be "job creators" any longer if they had to pay a tax rate commensurate with Joe Six-Pack's.

No, the problem is that the priorities of well-to-do Americans are, too often, completely f***ed up. Come to think of it, so are ours.

We get the leadership we deserve, and we get the society we tolerate. Boosters, hookers, football gods, rogue "collegiate" athletic programs and all the rest.

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