Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Miami Football Scandal: Willis McGahee Among Broncos to Receive Subpoenas

Denver Broncos football players Willis McGahee, D.J. Williams and Orlando Franklin are expected to receive subpoenas for their alleged roles in accepting illegal benefits, money or gifts from the University of Miami's former booster Nevin Shapiro.

This was first reported by KDVR-TV Fox31 Sports.

The Broncos connected to the scandal at the University of Miami have mainly been mum concerning the allegations made against them, or have been defiant that their history at Miami is just that: history.

It appears like their past is catching up with them.

The Miami Herald has reported that players connected with receiving improper benefits may be subject to restitution for the services received at Miami from Shapiro.

The accused won't be able to ignore the allegations and remain silent about their roles in the scandal.

The Miami Herald reported that bankruptcy Attorney Gary Freedman warned former Canes that there would be consequences for players who do not cooperate.

“They can’t ignore it — it’s a subpoena issued by a bankruptcy court,” Freedman said. “If they ignore it, we will seek an order from the court to compel them to respond.

“If they don’t respond, they will face a contempt order.”

The bankruptcy judge can impose monetary sanctions or have any of them detained and brought into court.

As far as the desired restitution is concerned, the bankruptcy trustee Joel Tabas is seeking to recoup $111 million in investments for Shapiro's bogus wholesale food business. The bankruptcy trustee has recovered nearly $19 million.

Cooperation is key for these Broncos players, even if their reputations might be muddied with the dirt dug up on them. Better yet, if they have nothing to hide, why haven't they publicly denied Shapiro's claims.

Even if they were involved with Shapiro, it would be wise for these particular Broncos to start talking, instead of waiting for the media frenzy to catch up with them.

McGahee stands as the player with the most to lose.

Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports reported that McGahee received two custom-tailored suits paid for by Shapiro for the Heisman Trophy ceremony. He also alleges that Shapiro paid for airfare for two female acquaintances to accompany McGahee to the ceremony. It also accuses McGahee of receiving bounties equaling $2,000 for rushing yards and touchdowns against the University of Florida and Florida State.

How much could that be for McGahee in restitution? Maybe $10,000. That doesn't seem like that much for a guy who signed a contract with the Broncos this offseason for a reported $10 million.

The evidence that the claims might be true seem reliable. McGahee should either confirm or deny his part in the scandal, cooperate and pay for what was received illegally.

Most importantly, he should put it past him by doing the right thing.

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