By Lora Neng
WWW.STREETGANGS.COM STAFF WRITER
August 17, 2011
Nevin Shapiro's naming of "Uncle Luke" to deflect attention from his incarceration in the University of Miami booster scandal elicited a defensive retort. Shapiro was under an 11-month investigation, spearheaded by Yahoo! Sports, for breaking NCAA rules providing unsanctioned benefits to the Hurricane players. It reports that investors' cash was being funneled through Shapiro's co-ownership of Axcess Sports & Entertainment, with his then-NFL agent/UFL commissioner partner Michael Huyghue, to secure key recruits. When he became the focus of a ponzi scheme investigation deserted of support by his former beneficiaries, Shapiro started making details public and named another alleged financier.
“Here’s the thing: Luther Campbell was the first uncle who took care of players before I got going,” Shapiro said. “His role was diminished by the NCAA and the school, and someone needed to pick up that mantle. That someone was me. He was ‘Uncle Luke’, and I became ‘Little Luke.’
Luke Campbell was quick to counter the allegation. "I have and always will support the players and the program out of civic pride, but I never violated any NCAA rules when I was the team's biggest fan in the 1980s. And I definitely would not have ever paid for a stripper to abort a baby allegedly fathered by a UM football player like Shapiro claims he did." He was found not at fault by the NCAA in another story stirred up by the Miami Herald 21 years ago. "If Nevin really wanted people to see him as 'Little Luke,' he would have dedicated part of his life to helping kids in Miami's inner-city neighborhoods get a college education."
Luke Campbell was a recent candidate for mayor of Miami-Dade. At least some players have corroborated Shapiro's story that he had helped them when their finances were in dire straits. Numerous coaches and staff members are implicated.