Miami football player Dyron Dye met with the NCAA’s enforcement office Tuesday to discuss what the association says are discrepancies between what he told them in previous interviews and what he wrote in an affidavit to support a former Hurricanes assistant coach implicated in the Nevin Shapiro scandal.
The interview was Dye’s third with NCAA investigators, and came about two weeks before its committee on infractions is set to convene and begin hearing the case against the Hurricanes.
The NCAA has told Miami officials that what Dye wrote in the affidavit to support former Miami assistant Aubrey Hill, who faces an unethical conduct charge for his alleged role in the Shapiro matter, did not match what he told them in 2011. In that affidavit, Dye said he testified a certain way because he felt intimidated by now-retired NCAA investigator Rich Johanningmeier and that he felt his scholarship and remaining eligibility was being threatened.
”I wish to decline commenting on what was said by any of the parties attending the interview,” said Darren Heitner, Dye’s attorney. ”However, my client stands behind the statements he made and those contained within his affidavit.”
Several former Miami players have echoed Dye’s claims of intimidation by NCAA investigators, including quarterback Jacory Harris. On Tuesday, Miami Dolphins defensive end Olivier Vernon, who was among the Hurricane players who were sanctioned in 2011 by the NCAA for involvement with Shapiro, told The Miami Herald that he also wrote an affidavit on Hill’s behalf.
”The NCAA treated us like criminals,” Vernon told the newspaper.
The NCAA has not responded to requests for comment about Dye’s affidavit, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press last week.
The NCAA said that Hill and former Miami assistant Clint Hurtt allowed recruits, Dye included, to stay at their homes for no cost during unofficial visits, and helped arrange social events such as meals where Shapiro took care of the bill. In his affidavit, Dye denied many allegations the NCAA brought against Hill.
Miami’s hearing before the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions begins June 13.
Also on Tuesday, the chair of that committee, Britton Banowsky, told SiriusXM’s College Sports Nation channel that he has tried to avoid reading or listening to any of the stories about the Miami investigation, with hopes of keeping an open mind before he begins reviewing the reams of documents that will be presented in the coming weeks.
”Honestly, I just don’t read that stuff. I don’t,” said Banowsky, the commissioner of Conference USA.
Without speaking in any specifics about the Miami case, Banowsky said the Committee on Infractions has an expectation that the NCAA’s investigative arm handles all its cases properly. NCAA officials had to remove some items from the notice of allegations against Miami earlier this year after it was found that investigators were able to collect some information because Shapiro’s attorney used subpoena power to depose witnesses in a separate bankruptcy case.
Shapiro is serving a 20-year prison sentence for masterminding a $930 million Ponzi scheme.
”We have an expectation that, from an enforcement standpoint, that it’s done above board and it’s done right and people aren’t misled or there isn’t overreaching on the part of the enforcement activity,” Banowsky said.