Too Big To Fail
Join Date: Feb 2009
Rep Power: 3012647
Re: sorry sMaK
72 players…not really, but 72 sounds a lot stronger than 12
One of the shocking things about Yahoo!’s reporting is that they were apparently willing to print any accusation a known liar with an admitted vendetta made. Did they actually print every accusation? I really don’t know. But I do know they chose to print several accusations that their “20,000 pages of financial and business records from his bankruptcy case, more than 5,000 pages of cell phone records, multiple interview summaries tied to his federal Ponzi case, and more than 1,000 photos” did NOT corroborate. And how do I know that? Because I simply clicked through the accusations and read the evidence. Why didn’t anyone else do this? I suspect Urban Meyer might have. That’s why he went on Sportscenter and rather than pile on with talks of the death penalty, instead chose to point out that the allegations were just that, and that the source was not trustworthy.
The main point of contention, the reason why the national media is calling for the death penalty, the reason Miami is being compared to SMU, is that Yahoo! cataloged 72 players involved. That’s a huge number. Almost all pundits preface their comments by saying, ‘if true” and then launch into an attack that assumes truth. College Football News’ Russ Mitchell exclaimed, “First things first – if there’s any doubt that Yahoo! Sports has cemented its position as the preeminent sports investigative reporting organization of this time, leave it at the door.”
Well, I will pick up those doubts and bring them back in the house. Because, as you scrutinize Yahoo!’s claims in the same manner that Yahoo! failed to scrutinize Shapiro’s claims, you will find a pattern of lazy journalism and in some cases willful deceit. Rather than writing “if true” and then assuming truth, all you have to do is click on the player’s names and read the specific accusations. Anyone can do it, which is why it is so shocking that no one in the national media has pointed the finger at Yahoo! The numbers are ugly:
On 5 occasions, Yahoo! printed accusations against players with no evidence whatsoever other than Shapiro’s word. You don’t believe me? Tell me what the proof is against Vegas Franklin?
On 19 occasions, Yahoo! printed an accusation against a player and corroborated that accusation with a credit card charge. Yahoo! had NO WAY of actually linking those charges to the players other than Shapiro’s word. This is akin to me telling a reporter that I bought a TV for Tim Tebow in 2008, and as proof, I have my Discover Card statement with a charge at Best Buy. Except in Yahoo!’s case, their use of this non-evidence is even worse because the source is a known liar who is admittedly trying to get the school in trouble. This is particularly damning because Yahoo! used this method to claim they had a financial paper trail corroborating Shapiro’s story. They don’t in these instances. Tell me what is linking Jo Jo Nicolas to the charge on the credit card statement other than Shapiro’s word?
On 11 occasions, Yahoo! levied accusations against players and backed it up with evidence that NOT ONLY DOES NOT PROVE THE ALLEGED VIOLATION, BUT ISN’T EVEN A VIOLATION ITSELF. As an example, Yahoo! accuses Kenny Phillips of accepting, “Food, drinks and entertainment at Shapiro’s $2.7 million Miami Beach home, the booster’s $6 million Miami Beach mansion and the $4 million Miami Beach home of the booster’s ex-girlfriend, Mimi Menoscal. Meals at Miami-area restaurants. Entertainment on Shapiro’s $1.6 million yacht.” The proof? 33 calls or texts between Phillips and Shapiro between May and December of 2009. Not only does this evidence have NOTHING to do with the accusations Yahoo! made (of which they offer no direct evidence), but the phone records are from AFTER Phillips left Miami. Yahoo!’s smoking gun is 33 phone contacts between an NFL player and a booster.
On 2 occasions, Yahoo! accused athletes that have already been cleared by the NCAA and are currently playing at other schools. Of particular note, the 2 players (Robert Marve and Arthur Brown) had some of the strongest evidence against them, yet have already been cleared, which certainly calls into question just how provable Yahoo!’s allegations are. Again, that’s outside the scope of the article, but clearly accusing cleared players is dubious. They weren’t cleared at the time, but now that they are, the record should be amended.
On 3 occasions, Yahoo! accused players who allegedly committed identical violations to players that have been cleared. As an example, Ray-Ray Armstrong was accused of committing violations with current UF player Andre Debose. Debose has been cleared by the NCAA. Again, at the time of the allegations, there was no way of knowing that the NCAA had cleared these players, but the record of Debose (and the other cleared players) should be updated and the record of uncleared players that are accused of the same thing as cleared players should be amended to reflect that.
On 14 occasions, Yahoo! backed up a report with 1 source. This is a little murkier, but you have a pathological liar, and one source…that is hardly strong evidence. Especially in the way that it was used. What do I mean the way it was used? One source claims to have seen Aldarius Johnson, Adewale Ojomo, Marcus Forston, Sean Spence, and Marcus Robinson eating dinner at Benihana and partying at a strip club. Using only one source is somewhat shady, but using one source to finger 5 PLAYERS is outright ridiculous. Basically, if one source is incorrect or misremembered or got a date wrong, you have wrongfully fingered 5 players.
On 4 occasions, Yahoo! used photos as evidence. Some of that photographic evidence has been disproven (a photo claimed to be taken in 2003 was actually taken in 2005, after the players had gone on to the NFL), and most of these photos don’t constitute a violation by themselves. Take the case of Marcus Maxey. That photo is not a violation by itself. You would need more evidence and details to prove a violation. But Yahoo! accused him and others anyway.
On 3 occasions, Yahoo! backed up their claim with multiple sources. This is where you enter a gray area. No physical proof, but a lot of hearsay. I am fine with Yahoo! including these accusations, to be honest, but it isn’t a slam dunk.
On 12 occasions, Yahoo! aligned sources with other evidence to back up their claims. While not constituting proof (which isn’t the purpose of this article anyway), Yahoo! should certainly feel comfortable making those accusations.
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