Even before Mr. Shapiro's allegations came to light Tuesday, critics have with increasing intensity called for wholesale changes within the NCAA, saying it is too beholden to the college presidents and conference commissioners whose institutions directly benefit from the billions of dollars brought in by college football and basketball.
“These NCAA violations have been going on forever. Nothing new here, just the latest issue. The system is not broken. It was never workable,” tweeted Jay Bilas, an ESPN college basketball analyst and former player at Duke University.
Some critics say players should be paid for bringing in so much money. Others, including legendary Duke men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, suggest breaking off men's basketball and football into their own entities, since they bring in far more money than any other college sports and each has unique challenges.
Regardless, Miami is emerging as a test case, with enormous pressure on the NCAA to get any potential punishments right.
For one, two people involved in NCAA rulemaking and enforcement were top officials at Miami during Shapiro's booster years, raising questions about the NCAA's ability to oversee such a highly charged case.
Moreover, the University of Miami has long been seen as one of college football's most troubled programs – to the point that the cover of the June 12, 1995, issue of Sports Illustrated read: "Why the University of Miami should drop football." In the article – an open letter to then-university President Edward "Tad" Foote – it continued: "For all its victories, Miami football has been worse in more ways over a longer period of time than any other intercollegiate athletic program in memory."