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Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Report: Wilfork got benefits at Miami

By ESPNBoston.com

Patriots defensive lineman Vince Wilfork is one of many former University of Miami football players who are named in a Yahoo! Sports report that outlines a former booster's role in providing improper benefits to players from 2002 to 2010.

Convicted Ponzi scheme architect Nevin Shapiro told Yahoo! Sports he provided impermissible benefits to dozens of Miami athletes, most of whom were involved with the football program.

According to the report, Wilfork received a $50,000 lump sum payment during his junior season, among other benefits. Shapiro said the payment was made to secure Wilfork’s commitment to Shapiro’s sports agency.

Wilfork also received several "bounty" payments for sacks and a fumble recovery.

Wilfork played at Miami from 2001 to 2004, and was selected by the Patriots with the 21st pick in the 2004 draft.

When contacted by Yahoo! Sports, Wilfork declined to speak about Shapiro. “I’m not interested buddy,” Wilfork said, before hanging up.

Shapiro says he gave money, cars, yacht trips, jewelry, televisions and other gifts between 2002 and 2010, when he was a booster at the school. He claims he paid for nightclub outings, sex parties, restaurant meals and in one case, an abortion.

Yahoo! Sports says it spent 100 hours interviewing Shapiro over the span of 11 months.

In June, Shapiro was sentenced to 20 years in prison after he admitted to securities fraud and money laundering. He was also ordered to pay more than $82 million in restitution to his victims.

The NCAA is investigating Shapiro's role with the program.