Johnson Denies Involvement With Shapiro

By DAN MATHEWS, SportsRadio 610

A recent Yahoo! story about a former Miami booster, Nevin Shapiro alleging that he provided thousands of illegal benefits to around 72 different Hurricanes football and basketball players.  In the report, Andre Johnson and Darryl Sharpton were named by Shapiro in terms of receiving benefits.

Along with the two Texans named in the report, Shapiro named former Hurricanes Vincent Wilfork, Kellen Winslow Jr., Willis McGahee, Frank Gore, and numerous other current and former ‘Canes football players.  Plus numerous coaches and athletes from other schools also allegedly benefitted from Shapiro.

After this morning’s practice Johnson was asked if the allegations were true and simply replied, “No. I don’t know about everybody else, but I only can speak for myself.”

Shapiro says that he met Andre Johnson at the Hurricanes football awards banquet during the 2001 National Championship winning season.  He told Yahoo! Sports that he provided the receiver with VIP trips to nightclubs and paid for drinks.

“You know it is what it is,” Johnson said.  “I really don’t have much to say about it, (the) guys in trouble and he’s trying to take everybody down with him.”

Shapiro is currently serving a 20 year federal prison term for his involvement in a $900-plus million dollar Ponzi scheme.

As for Sharpton, Shapiro says that he provided food, drink, and entertainment at his mansion to the linebacker. He also tried to set a paid bounty on Tim Tebow, when the Hurricanes played Florida in 2008.  The bounties were never paid and Miami lost 26-3 to the Gators.   The booster in question also says he provided the same treatment to Sharpton that Johnson received as well.

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