Thursday, September 18, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Three with Eagles ties implicated in Miami probe

If you have not had a chance to read the excellent and thorough investigative reporting done by Charles Robinson and the Yahoo Sports team about the University of Miami football program, you should.

Three with Eagles ties implicated in Miami probe

Antonio Dixon allegedly received benefits from a Miami booster, according to a Yahoo Sports report. (Charles Fox / Staff Photographer)
Antonio Dixon allegedly received benefits from a Miami booster, according to a Yahoo Sports report. (Charles Fox / Staff Photographer)

If you have not had a chance to read the excellent and thorough investigative reporting done by Charles Robinson and the Yahoo Sports team about the University of Miami football program, you should.

In the report, jailed Miami booster Nevin Shapiro told Yahoo in more than 100 hours of jailhouse interviews that he provided thousands of impermissible benefits to 72 Miami players from 2002 to 2010.

Among those players are current Eagles defensive tackle Antonio Dixon and former Eagles first-round pick Jerome McDougle.

The benefits that Shapiro alleges to have provided Dixon are relatively minor compared to some of his teammates. According to the report, on at least two occasions Shapiro paid for VIP access and drinks at nightclubs for Dixon and Dixon attended a dinner at Miami Beach eatery Grazie prior to the 2006 season. Seven other players attended the dinner, which credit card records show cost $926.50.

Dixon did not respond to phone or Facebook messages left by Yahoo.

McDougle was a star player for the Hurricanes during his two seasons, including 14 sacks in 2002. He was selected in the first round, 15th overall, by the Eagles in 2003. After a star-crossed career with injuries and being shot during a robbery, McDougle is out of football.

According to the report, Shapiro bought a television from BrandsMart USA for an apartment shared by McDougle, Cornelius Green and Andrew Williams at a cost of $700; provided McDougle with drinks and VIP access in nightclubs; some cash; food, drinks and entertainment in the booster's $2.7 million home.

McDougle did not respond to messages left by Yahoo.

UPDATE: We erred earlier in not including rookie free agent running back Craig Cooper, who finished third all-time on Miami's all-purpose yards list.

Shapiro claims that Cooper received lodging on Shapiro’s $1.6 million yacht for four days in January 2007; food, drinks and entertainment at Lucky Strike Lanes in January 2007; and transportation in Shapiro’s car. Cooper did not respond to Yahoo for comment.

A number of other players who briefly were with the Eagles also are included in the report.

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