North Hills grad Johnson named in Miami (Fla.) probe
College Football Videos
Nevin Shapiro, a former Miami (Fla.) booster who's serving a 20-year prison term for masterminding a $930 million Ponzi scheme, told Yahoo! Sports he provided impermissible benefits to 72 of the university's football players, including North Hills graduate Andrew Johnson, and other athletes between 2002-10.
Shapiro said he gave money, cars, yacht trips, jewelry, televisions and other gifts to a list of players. He also claimed he paid for nightclub outings, sex parties, restaurant meals and in one case, an abortion for a woman impregnated by a player.
Andrew Johnson, who played at Central Catholic for three seasons before transferring to North Hills and graduating in 2004, was among the players mentioned in the report.
"I never got nothing," Johnson told the Tribune-Review late Tuesday night. "(Shapiro's) name was on the players' lounge. Other than that, I didn't know too much about him. I've seen his face around, but I never had contact with him."
Shapiro alleges he provided multiple benefits to Johnson during the running back's time with the Hurricanes: Small cash gifts totaling about $500; food, drinks and entertainment at Shapiro's $2.7 million Miami Beach home; and tickets to multiple Miami Heat games.
"I can't speak for (my teammates), but on my end that's not true," said Johnson, a West Allegheny assistant coach who owns a beauty supplies store in Aliquippa and is a partner in A&J Ribs in Market Square. "Somebody is just trying to bring down the program."
Asked if he ever heard of teammates receiving improper benefits, Johnson said, "Nobody ever talked to me about it."
Other notable players accused of being involved include Jacory Harris, Vince Wilfork, Jon Beason, Antrel Rolle, Devin Hester, Willis McGahee and the late Sean Taylor.
"Hell yeah, I recruited a lot of kids for Miami," Shapiro told Yahoo! Sports. "With access to the clubs, access to the strip joints. My house. My boat. We're talking about high school football players. Not anybody can just get into the clubs or strip joints."
Johnson said he wasn't upset by his name being connected to Shapiro.
"I didn't get money. I'm not in school anymore. It's not affecting me directly. I just feel bad for the program," he said. "No need to get upset about something that's not true. I'm not in school anymore. I still do love that school, love that program. He's doing everything he can to bring it down. From what people were saying on Yahoo!, it looks like what he's doing is working."
The NCAA questioned university president Donna Shalala and athletic director Shawn Eichorst this week.
"I can tell you what I think is going to happen," Shapiro told Miami television station WFOR from federal prison in Atlanta. "Death penalty."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins’ Rutherford hopes to raise Cup again
- Pirates find a bridge at end of baseball world in Holdzkom
- Former Titans kicker Bironas killed in accident
- Gas industry remedies ‘brain drain’ in Western Pennsylvania
- Hospitals turn to technology to tear down language barriers with patients
- Who speaks for our hills? These regional assets are taking a beating
- Hill District leaders irked as Penguins submit former Civic Arena site plan to city
- Robinson: Study shows NFL troublemakers don’t get hurt in wallet
- Starkey: Can Steelers’ Mitchell find Carolina cure?
- Collectors go crazy for Western Pennsylvania’s Case blades
- Former drug dealer, addict give away groceries as part of New Kensington church’s outreach