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Report: Corroborating witness in the Miami booster investigation?

MIAMI NCAA VIOLATIONS

This image from Sept. 2003 video shows Miami booster Nevin Shapiro gesturing on the field at an NCAA college football game between Miami and Florida, in Miami, Fla. The NCAA’s probe of Miami’s athletic compliance practices is ramping up yet again. Only this time, the Hurricanes aren’t exactly the subject of the inquiry. The NCAA itself is being investigated after NCAA President Mark Emmert acknowledged on Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, “a very severe issue of improper conduct” by former investigators working the long, complex Miami case. (AP Photo/WFOR/CBS4) ONLINE OUT

AP

The NCAA finally has another witness in their case against Miami, but that doesn’t mean that he’s any more credible.

Roberto Torres was the Chief Financial Officer for Nevin Shapiro’s company, a company that ultimately failed and turned into a billion dollar Ponzi Scheme. Shapiro was the booster at the center of the NCAA’s case against Miami.

Shapiro is in the middle of a 20-year prison sentence. Torres is serving four years in a New Jersey prison where, according to the Miami Herald, he gave a deposition last month that largely supports Shapiro’s claims.

Asked by a Miami lawyer how he knew Shapiro used his 59-foot Rivera yacht to recruit Canes’ athletes, Torres said: “Because Shapiro told me, because I saw them on the boat, because I saw the pictures of all of them in the boat, because [Shapiro’s sports agency partner] Michael Huyghue mentioned that about the boat, because the captain spoke about the UM athletes. ... There were several.”

[...]

Torres, 79, who is serving a four-year prison sentence for securities fraud, also testified that he witnessed and overheard conversations in which Shapiro talked about his “liabilities if the athletes received benefits from Mr. Shapiro because Mr. Shapiro was a booster there.”

Perhaps the most important nugget in that report is that the information provided by Torres can actually be used by the NCAA. If you remember, the NCAA came under intense scrutiny back in January when it became public that they brought Shapiro’s attorney on their payroll in order to get past their lack of subpoena power and question subjects of interest.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.