Jailed booster aided ‘Canes

Nevin Shapiro, a former Miami booster who is serving a 20-year prison sentence for masterminding a $930-million Ponzi scheme, has told Yahoo Sports he provided impermissible benefits to 72 of the university’s football players and other athletes between 2002 and 2010.

Shapiro said he gave money, cars, yacht trips, jewelry, televisions and other gifts to a list of players including Vince Wilfork, Jon Beason, Antrel Rolle, Devin Hester, Willis McGahee and the late Sean Taylor. Shapiro also claimed he paid for nightclub outings, sex parties, restaurant meals and in one case, an abortion for a woman impregnated by a player. One former Miami player, running back Tyrone Moss, told Yahoo Sports he accepted $1,000 from Shapiro around the time he was entering college.

Shapiro has said multiple times in the last year, including in the Yahoo Sports story posted Tuesday, that he is angry with several of the players he claims to have helped when they were Hurricanes. Miami officials began cooperating with NCAA investigators not long after Shapiro made claims about his involvement with players last year. University President Donna Shalala and Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst were questioned by the NCAA this week.

Yahoo Sports says it spent 100 hours interviewing Shapiro over 11 months and audited thousands of pages of financial and business records to try to substantiate his claims.

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

Video taken by a police dashboard camera shows Oregon quarterback Darron Thomas was a passenger in the car when cornerback Cliff Harris was cited for driving 118 mph in June.

The video obtained by KATU television in Portland also shows Officer Ray Stallsworth ask Harris if there is marijuana in the car, and Harris responds, “we smoked it all.” Harris denies there are any drugs in the car and later says it was a cousin who was smoking the drug.

Harris was cited for driving with a suspended license in a car rented by a university employee.

Oregon Coach Chip Kelly suspended Harris indefinitely after the speeding citation. Harris will not play in the Ducks’ season opener on Sept. 3 against Louisiana State.


Friend says Rypien had seemed happy

Longtime friend and former teammate Jason Jaffray said Rick Rypien seemed happy in the days before his death and was eager to join a new NHL team in Winnipeg.

Rypien was found dead in his Alberta home Monday. He played with Jaffray on the Vancouver Canucks and Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League.

Rypien, who was 27, spent parts of six seasons with the Canucks organization. He played only nine games with Vancouver last season and spent most of the year dealing with personal issues.

Serena Williams took the first step toward winning a third consecutive tournament when she beat Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic, 6-3, 7-6 (5), in the first round of the Western & Southern Open at Mason, Ohio.

Williams, who last won three straight tournaments at the beginning of the 2008 season, has improved her world ranking from No. 175 to No. 31 in her comeback from injury and illness. She has won 12 straight matches, equaling Kim Clijsters and Victoria Azarenka for the longest such streak on the WTA Tour this year.

French Open champion Li Na beat Lucie Safarova, 6-3, 6-4, to become the first woman to reach the third round.

In the men’s first round, France’s Michael Llodra upset 13th-seeded Mikhail Youzhny of Russia, 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (4). Andrey Golubev of Kazakhstan eliminated No. 16-seeded Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1, to end a losing streak of 18 consecutive matches in ATP play.

Former Notre Dame assistant coach and ex-NFL player Corwin Brown was charged with three felonies in connection with a seven-hour hostage standoff last week in Granger, Ind.

Pete Pihos, a Hall of Fame receiver who helped the Philadelphia Eagles win two straight NFL championships in the 1940s, has died. He was 87.

He died Tuesday at a nursing home in Winston-Salem, N.C., after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease, the team said.