Miami, NCAA reviewing status of 15 athletes

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 2:17 AM ET

CORAL GABLES, FLA. - Miami's athletic compliance staff and the NCAA have started reviewing the eligibility of 15 current student-athletes in the wake of allegations of potential violations levied against Hurricanes sports programs.

University president Donna Shalala made the announcement Monday as part of a video address, saying the NCAA has instructed the university not to comment publicly on specific details of the investigation.

Names of the athletes being investigated were not given, but a Yahoo! Sports report detailing booster Nevin Shapiro's gifts to Miami athletes said he provided improper benefits to at least 12 current Hurricanes football players.

"With the season fast approaching, I know our players and coaches and fans are eager to know the results" of the review, Shalala said. "The process, however, must be deliberate and thorough to ensure its integrity."

Shalala, who said previously that Miami would "vigorously pursue the truth, wherever that path may lead," said Monday that the days since the allegations surfaced have been difficult for members of the university community.

"We cannot let the actions of some define the many, as we have so much to be proud of," she said.

Shapiro is currently in prison after being sentenced to 20 years for his role in a $930 million Ponzi scheme.

Miami offered, and was granted, the chance to conduct a joint investigation with the NCAA. Shalala pointed to the cooperation of football coach Al Golden, who was hired in December to replace Randy Shannon, and basketball coach Jim Larranaga.

In addition to the football players who were said in the Yahoo! Sports report to have accepted improper benefits, Shapiro also claimed he paid $10,000 to secure the commitment of basketball player DeQuan Jones.

Among the other names disclosed were former Hurricane football stars Devin Hester, Antrel Rolle and Jon Beason. The report also said some former coaches had direct knowledge of the players' involvement, including former men's basketball coach Frank Haith.

Shalala said NCAA investigators have been on campus and that Miami "must protect the integrity of the investigations and have patience as the work proceeds."

"The allegations leveled against current and former Miami coaches and student- athletes are serious and we are treating them with the urgency and priority they warrant," Shalala said.

She said she has been heartened by displays of support in the form of phone calls, text messages, emails and letters.

"When our values are called into question, as they have been this past week, we have only one option: do what is right and to have the confidence in tomorrow," she said. "We will not let others define us."


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