Vince Wilfork won’t comment on Miami investigation

Getty Images

Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork allegedly received $50,000 from University of Miami booster Nevin Shapiro, a contention that Shapiro has made from prison.

So did Wilfork get the money?  Wilfork isn’t saying.

“I am aware of the report that has claims that involve me while at the U,” Wilfork said Wednesday night on his Twitter page.  “While the NCAA and the U conduct their investigations [my wife] and I believe that it is not appropriate for us to comment.”

The larger — and unanswered — question is whether Wilfork will cooperate with the  investigations.  The fact that college football players can refuse to talk once they’re no longer enrolled in college often makes it very hard for the NCAA to perform its investigative function.  Thus, if Wilfork won’t talk not only to his Twitter followers but also to officials from the University of Miami or the NCAA, it will be hard to corroborate Shapiro’s claims.

That’s why the NFL, if it truly wants to help out the curators of pro football’s free farm system, should require NFL players to cooperate with the NCAA.

Under current rules, Wilfork gains nothing by cooperating, and he loses nothing by refusing.  If he received $50,000 from Shapiro and never reported it as income, Wilfork could have a problem with the IRS, depending on the relevant statutes of limitations.

That’s why it makes sense for Wilfork not to say anything to anyone — and why it makes sense in cases like this for the NFL to have the power to compel players to participate in the process.

62 responses to “Vince Wilfork won’t comment on Miami investigation

  1. I went to santaluces high school with him and he went to the U, so who cares what he took they should be getting paid something in college anyways.

  2. That’s why the NFL, if it truly wants to help out the curators of pro football’s free farm system, should require NFL players to cooperate with the NCAA.


    Why do sports fans continue to support the imposition of regulations and requirements on pro athletes that they would never accept in their own lives?!?

    Can you imagine if your employer came to you and said “The college you went to thinks you may have done something wrong while you were there. If you don’t go back there and cooperate, you’re fired”?

    Despite the fact that pro football players make more in a year than you will in your lifetime, they are still American citizens who deserve the same rights and privileges that you do.

  3. I still don’t understand how it’s surprising that Miami players took hand outs. I have a hard time believing there are only a handful of schools doing this. Both of Vince’s parents died when he was in college…if you were in his position and someone handed you $50,000, what would you say?

  4. also since the money was stolen, i.e. obtained in a Ponzi scheme, any admission may also subject the player to recovery lawsuits by the investors swindled in the Ponzi scheme, again depending upon statute of limitations considerations.

    no reason to talk…

  5. Why should the NFL police the NCAA? The NCAA needs to get ahead of the curve. But then again, this is the NCAA… where you knowingly allow ineligible players playing in a BCS game.

  6. Clearly: born to be a Patriot. I wonder if they have to fluke an integrity test before BB will draft them?

  7. Seems like BB isn’t the only cheater in NE!

    Please explain how a player accepting money makes him a cheater?

  8. NCAA are scum..always have been and will be…money, money, money all to themselves…they use these players to profit and expect them to sit there and smile and not take benefits…pleasee

  9. Free farm system? The colleges and universities are huge benefactors as well. Should the NFL require the few players that come.from the CFL etc to answer to their previous clubs if there was a violation? Silly example sure but understandable.

  10. Don’t say nuthin! Screw the NCAA and their system that rewards high priced administrators and that whole bowl system scam. They get theirs, so no reason for the players not to get theirs.

  11. yea, don’t say anything, neither should any other players before one of them says something they don’t mean to.

  12. What does his wife have to do with it? Why is it that every athlete who gets in trouble immediately starts talking about his family?

  13. None of the NFL players named in report have any reason to talk.

    Nor should they.

  14. Like Mike said on Wednesdays pft live…..
    Can you really be surprised at a cheating scandle that has happened at a “winning program”
    it is only a matter of time before more “winning programs” get exposed to the world.

  15. the NCAA is corrupt as it is, you cant blame Wilfork for not talking..Can you really blame these guys when they were just out of high school and broke and needing money?? NCAA makes millions to billions off these kids anyways

  16. If someone, some committee, or act of congress will clean this Bull-Crap Up…. We can get back to the good old days of Notre Dame winning, just like they would be right now if Note Dame was playing on an even field.

    Just call this Irish-Gate.

    The necessity of schools to cheat. In order to beat the University Of Notre Dame.

    (Not to mention the G.P.A. needed to get on the grass over looked by “Touch Down Jesus” compared to the G.P.A needed to get on the grass of the highschools that are called Universities in the NCAA)

  17. The NFL has zero incentive to encourage players to talk to the NCAA. College football is essentailly a free minor league system for the NFL. Miami has put a ton of good players in the NFL. Why would the NFL do anything to rock that boat?

  18. 7 years ago. That’s when this supposedly happened. If the NCAA really cared (and they don’t, cuz that would be bad for business ) they would’ve found out about it sooner. The NCAA helped create these kinds of messes, so let them clean it up themselves. Keep on dominating Vince!

  19. all4patriots says:
    Aug 18, 2011 12:05 AM
    also since the money was stolen, i.e. obtained in a Ponzi scheme, any admission may also subject the player to recovery lawsuits by the investors swindled in the Ponzi scheme, again depending upon statute of limitations considerations.
    If this is true, depending on the ruthlessness of those involved, Charles Robinson (the “investigative pit bull” who broke this story) – better sleep with the lights on. A lot of people higher up on the food chain, are getting their food messed with – Miami underworld is no joke, this isnt LA (people have died associated with the U – Sean Taylor and have allegedly murdered – Ray Lewis)

  20. Scrap the system. Let the kids decide right out if high school whether they want to earn a living or earn a scholarship. We don’t hear about this BS happening to kids working as waiters, carpenters, soldiers or sailors or even as minor league professional athletes. In those settings we expect that people profit or benefit from the labor of these kids.
    I’ve been inside collegiate athletics. The ‘big’ sports at nearly every school have this going on to some degree. Maybe it’s not cash, cars and hookers, but nearly all of these programs engage in some rule manipulation to keep athletes happy. Even under NCAA rules, athletes receive a world of perks that the tuition paying student body does not. Often these scandals happen at publicly funded or publicly run institutions. Public officials and employees found engaging in corrupt behavior on public time or with public money are held personally and professionally accountable. As should these coaches, administrators, athletes and mentors.
    As for the ‘exploitation’ of the kids, I guess each of us who are employees can say the same about our employers ‘exploiting’ us for profit. That’s what working for a living is. If we don’t like it, we can change jobs or careers.
    Scrapping the current NCAA system and letting kids decide to seek employment as athletes is the most sensible way to eliminate these scandals. Let the kids seek employment as professional athletes earning money or as student athletes earning a scholarship.

  21. “The U” should lose their football program. Whether or not you believe football players should be paid is not relevant to whether or not they followed the rules that are in place or in this situation, were in place. This is an enormous violation of the rules and “The U” should pay the price.

  22. Good for the NCAA behinds. Instead of going after real violations, they are busy feeding silly school rivarly by making a bigger deal out of what amounted to nothing more than hearsay to appease the media and their hate for certain schools.

    You’ve made ur bed, now lay in it… Greedy bunch of MOFOs.

  23. Attorneys who are tracking down the money used in the Ponzi scheme to recover for burnt investors are going to force Wilfork to talk whether he wants to or not….

  24. @realitypolice: The problem is that the NFL is not a regular workplace. Most industries don’t have salary caps, IRs, drafts, free agency…in particular most industries honor contracts whereas contracts in the NFL aren’t worth the paper they are written on.

    Imagine coming out of college and being told you are not free to shop your services to any employer? Or having to go through waivers after you quit a job?

  25. Why should the NFL be involved in policing the NCAA’s dumbass rules?

    These colleges are counting cash all day. They encourage boosters. They have enough money to clean up their game if they want to.

    Getting the NFL involved? Senseless. If you quit your job and go to another, your current employer isn’t going to pay to have some investigation take place at your prior workplace.
    They may be interested… but not involved.

  26. gavinmac says: Aug 18, 2011 1:47 AM

    What does his wife have to do with it? Why is it that every athlete who gets in trouble immediately starts talking about his family?
    He met his wife when he was in college and she was IN some of those pics with him with that disgusting Ponzi scheme guy …so she could have some knowledge. But it’s good that you checked into all that before you complained. 🙂

    Personally I couldn’t care less if some booster wants to give these guys things that are theirs to give and that they earned legally. I know it’s against the rules because of amateur status blah blah blah but I think it’s a dumb rule. They spend their own money on the guy, the guy is on their team, there’s no throwing games involved (that WOULD be a big deal). Who cares?????? It’s like having a graduation party and everyone gives the graduate presents just for making it through HS. So what?

    The fact that the dude who is claiming it is a scumbag criminal, well no I don’t approve of how he got his money TO give it to the players. But that’s a different issue from this one.

  27. “Thus, if Wilfork won’t talk not only to his Twitter followers but also to officials from the University of Miami or the NCAA, it will be hard to corroborate Shapiro’s claims.”


    Unfortunately the money Vince took (but now doesn’t want to talk about) was money scammed from Ponzi scheme victims. Those victims (and the Bankruptcy Trustee charged with getting back as many of Shapiro’s money as possible) want to suggest that Vince return it now before he ends up being subpoenaed and haled into court.

  28. Maybe these kids took the emoney and the perks, maybe they didn’t, but the guy making the accusations is sitting in a jail call that he would no doubt like to get out of. It’s called “motivation”.

    Where were these accusations BEFORE he went to prison?

    I love how everybody is suddenly taking the word of a convicted swindler as gold.

    I mean, besides being involved in a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme, it’s not like he would lie or anything, right?

  29. richm2256 says: Aug 18, 2011 9:02 AM

    I love how everybody is suddenly taking the word of a convicted swindler as gold.


    No one did.

    That’s why Yahoo Sports spent 6 months and hundreds of man hours and tens of thousands of dollars to verify his claims This is the same Yahoo sports group that blew the lid off the mess at USC.

    Here is a friendly suggestion- before you post again richm256 you ought to do a little research so you don’t look so clueless.

  30. clintonportis,

    Financial statements can be sketchy at best. Obviously this guy was a conman. There is no way his financials are accurate, atleast not to the point were they were verified by auditors. Forensic accounting is a science. Good Luck NCAA.

  31. The NFL should NEVER force players to assist in NCAA investigations regarding non-criminal rules violations.

    It has nothing to do with the NFL. That’s insane.

  32. Not paying athletes while schools make many millions in profit is BS.

    Soon the very best athletes will force the NFL to change the rules and take them out of high school so they don’t risk injury playing for no money and possibly lose a paycheck that could take care of their family for generations.

    Lebron James got it right. If he want’s to get an education when he retires and has most of his life left, he certainly will have the money to do so and so will his kids and their kids.

  33. 1st off its none of the NFL’s business who he got money from in college. It also is none of the NCAA’s business but thats their system and the players agree to it, so fine. But it makes no sense for the NFL to get involved, it doesnt help or hurt them at all. Secondly they had their chance to make this a rule during CBA talks. They decide it wasnt important enough to them to give anything up to get this as a rule and just like on a few ocassions when the NFLPA and their players have brought things up about the league that they would like changed since the CBA has been completed, you guys said they should have brought that up in negotiations and its to late and their fault that they didnt, the same things goes for the NFL and the owners. Stop this double standard stuff.

    Secondly the IRS isnt the biggest reason why Wilfork doesnt want to talk. He is a multimillionaire he could make that right in a second. He doesnt want to talk because he wants to protect his school. Nothing good will come of him talking about these allegations. Only 3 things could happen either he confirms the stories, he lies about the stories, or tells the truth that contradicts Shapiro’s allegations. If he confirms the allegations that will give the NCAA plenty of fire power to greatly sanction the U. If he lies about them people will say that hes trying to cover it up and its just another example of players from Miami skirting the rules and doing what they want. Or he will tell the truth that the allegations arent true(if they are lies, I dont think they are, Im justing give out the possibilities) , that wont help anything either, the way this story has played out no one is going to believe these players if they deny it even if its the truth, they will call them lies and again use it as an example of how horrible The U and their players are.

    That’s why he wont talk, to protect his alma mater, and not because hes worried about the IRS.

  34. Everyone saying taking money isnt cheating is fooling them self. It is cheating. Teams that allow players to take money or look the other way are getting an advantage over teams that follow the rules. Players are more inclined to go school’s like Ohio State over Penn State for example because they know they want to get paid the OSU’s of the world is the place to be and the PSU’s of the world are places to avoid.

    That is the definition of cheating. Doing something against the rules to gain and unfair advantage. Until they really crack down on these schools and force them to keep their players from getting gifts and kick the ones that do off the program or allow every player from every school to get money anyway they can (except fixing games) then teams like Penn State are always going to be at a disadvantage to teams like Miami or Ohio State.

    Which is Cheating Plain and Simple.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!