Two Tide coaches named in alleged Miami scandal


Laura Owens

Recent allegations against The University of Miami football program are so severe that the phrase “death penalty” has been thrown around.

Nevin Shapiro, a former Miami booster, allegedly provided 72 or more former and current Miami players with improper gifts over a period of eight years. Shapiro, who is currently serving a 20-year sentence in federal prison for his role in a $930 million Ponzi scheme, told Yahoo! Sports his illegal benefits to the players went from 2002-2010 and included cash, jewelry, prostitutes, parties and even an abortion.

In the interviews, Shapiro named two current Alabama coaches among those at Miami who participated in illegal recruitment during those years.

First-year offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland and director of football operations Joe Pannunzio were accused of delivering “top-tier recruits to Shapiro’s home or luxury suite so the booster could make recruiting pitches to them,” according to the Yahoo! Sports article.

Currently, these claims are only allegations; if found to be true, they will not cause Alabama to get in trouble, but they could cause trouble for Stoutland and Pannunzio.

According to, head coach Nick Saban made a statement regarding the accusations toward his two staff members.

“I know what goes on in this program, and I know that we do things correctly,” Saban said. “We do have people in this organization who worked there [at Miami]. Before those people were ever hired here, we do an NCAA check to make sure they pass all compliance criteria and that they don’t have any red flags relative to compliance history.

“We certainly did that in both of these cases. Now, if any of these people had any wrongdoing, I’m sure the NCAA will investigate it in due time and, if they did anything wrong, I’m sure they will get the appropriate punishment, which we would do if we had any internal problems in our organization. But we’re going to continue and control and manage what we do in our organization and do it correctly, and that’s basically all we can be concerned about.”

Yahoo! Sports conducted an 11-month investigation with more than 100 jailhouse interviews, where Shapiro described this eight-year run of constant NCAA violations, estimating millions of dollars in these illegal benefits. The NCAA is currently conducting its own investigation.