The widely accepted old wise saying is: "Where there is smoke, there is fire."
In the case currently being made against the University of Miami by the NCAA for alleged rule violations Hurricane fans are wondering if this saying really holds true.
To be fair there does appear to be a lot of "smoke" that has been floating around the UM Athletic Department in the last few days based on the statements and supporting details brought forth by former Hurricane booster Nevin Shapiro.
The smoke coming from Shapiro that has been released by Yahoo Sports as part of their investigation implies that it is possible that some violations may have occurred over time and involving several UM student-athletes. Shapiro had access and he had the means and the motives to commit the violations that were alleged to have taken place.
Still, several questions remain: What actual corroborating evidence or witnesses exists? What allegations can factually be proven? How much of this is based on former versus current players at "The U" and how much does that really matter anyway? What if anything did the UM coaches or AD staff know about the alleged violations?
Yet, maybe most importantly of all is this gnawing question: Can Shapiro, a scam artist who is currently serving time in a federal prison as a convicted felon for his role in orchestrating a massive ponzi scheme that netted over $900 Million from unsuspecting investors, be trusted as a valid source of information and can he be believed as a reliable witness by the NCAA?
After spending the last few days with smoke in their eyes Miami Hurricane fans are starting to wipe away the tears caused by the big, burning piles of trash dumped on their front lawns by Shapiro and are beginning to see him for who he is and his allegations a little more clearly now.
The proverbial smoke is clearing ever so slowly as more details are revealed about the man, the allegations and what many are now saying seem to be some glaring inaccuracies that appear to exist in many of his statements.
These issues and apparent factual errors raise serious doubts surrounding the who, when, where and even what NCAA rule violations may have occurred recently or a few years ago if they ever happened at all.
In fact, at a handful of universities where some former UM players have transferred and even some high school recruits who were alleged to have been involved on the name dropping list issued by Yahoo according to information from Shapiro, several players have already been cleared by the NCAA to play this season in spite of their connections to Shapiro.
There is no doubt that there has been a thick cloud of smoke hovering in a low, menacing manner just above the Hecht Athletic Center in Coral Gables the past few days.
But the question that still remains is: "Has anyone seen the fire yet?"