Luther Campbell: Nevin Shapiro Thought He Owned the Miami Program, Played Role in Firing of Randy Shannon
Luther Campbell certainly knows a thing or two about causing a stir within the Miami Hurricanes athletic department. The prominent Miami figure and one-time leader of the rap group 2 Live Crew has been associated with the program for more than two decades, which of course means he’s seen or been aware of some infractions over the years. Campbell though says he can’t believe some of the allegations brought forth by booster Nevin Shapiro.
Here’s Campbell’s take on the whole mess of a situation.
Luther Campbell joined WQAM in Miami with The Michael Irvin Show to discuss his initial thoughts on the Shapiro report, the depth of the allegations, if he’s questioning some of their validity, an encounter he had with Shapiro and athletic director Kirby Hocutt, if Shapiro played a role in firing football coach Randy Shannon and the state of college athletics in general.
When the Shapiro story first came down, what were your thoughts?:
“My thoughts basically was I was very upset for the kids of the program right now. But at the same time, when this guy says in this article, he’s “Little Luke,” that’s the most insulting thing I’ve ever been called at any time in my life. If this guy wants to know anything about me, he really needs to dig deep to see the youth program I started 25 years ago. … If you want to be “Little Luke,” do that for the community. Do not try to hide under the name of Luther Campbell off something that you have read in the newspaper, some allegations.”
Were you surprised at the depth of the allegations?:
“I’m very surprised because I’m a guy that keeps a pulse on the community. … When you hear about things like a guy giving out money to players, having these so-called parties and things like that, you would hear about these things. That’s why I find it very, very hard to believe.”
Are you questioning the fact that maybe some of these things didn’t happen?:
“I’m questioning it very much because I had the opportunity to meet this guy two times. The first time I met him, he was trying to get me to use my influence to start his sports agency. That told me a lot about him. He does not have the pulse on the kids that he says he has. … The second time I was at a University of Miami game and he invited me to his suite. … He was running around saying, “I’m one of the brothers. … And to prove I’m one of the brothers, here’s my black girlfriend.’ … That rubbed me real, real wrong on his approach.”
On witnessing Shapiro talking with former AD Kirby Hocutt and Shapiro arguing for the firing of Randy Shannon:
“He was saying … how he wants to pay and buy out Randy’s contract. That’s at a football game. I was there all of five minutes. I was thinking, ‘Who is this guy?’”
Do you think that conversation played a role in the firing of Randy Shannon?:
“In a major, major way. This guy had a major vendetta against Randy because Randy wouldn’t give him an audience. … He hated Randy Shannon’s guts.”
What was Kirby Hocutt’s response?:
“His response was he basically just shook his head and brushed him off and was like, ‘Nevin, just enjoy the game.’ … He really felt like he owned that program. It was from an administration standpoint.”
On the state of college athletics in general and what should be done:
“You look at it and you’ve got a guy at a tattoo shop that wants to give a guy a tattoo. You can’t get a tattoo. Now you gotta get kicked off the team for five games. Then you’ve got agents. Everything is built around giving these kids two or five dollars, or 20 dollars, or 100 dollars or a party or a good time. Look at everything that’s just happened over this year. … You’ve got the Texas football network. … We’re talking about major big business and the kids are getting treated like slaves.”