I have been contemplating on writing about this Sport Scandal at the University of Miami. Yahoo Sports broke the news this week that a booster, Nevin Shaprio, a convicted Ponzi schemer, said he lavished gifts, favors, and cash on a ton of players from 2002-2010.
There has been more talk the past few days on this renegade Hurricane football booster and how he provided thousands of impermissible benefits to at least 72 athletes at the University of Miami. He also provided names of athletes and even told Yahoo sports in their investigation that at least seven coaches from the basketball and football programs had knowledge of it and had direct participation in it. Nevin in his jail cell, told this investigation that he provided benefits but were not limited cash, prostitutes, entertainment in his home and yacht, paid trips to 5 star restaurants and nightclubs, jewelry, bounties for injuring other players, travel and even on one occasion, an abortion.
This scandal has hit the NCAA hard and many on twitter, on sports radio and sports articles have been discussing it since it broke the news. With this federal investigation still going on and with the NCAA investigating this story for months, when the ends comes according to Yahoo Sports, “All told, the length, breadth and depth of the impropriety Shapiro has alleged would potentially breach multiple parts of at least four major NCAA bylaws – and possibly many more.” Nevin commented and said, “I became a booster in late 2001, and by early 2002, I was giving kids gifts. From the start, I wasn’t really challenged. And once I got going, it just got bigger and bigger. I just did what I wanted and didn’t pay much mind toward the potential repercussions.”
Since no one came to his rescue after he was in prison for fraud, Nevin decided to blow the whistle on his illicit booster activity and bring people down with him. Even on of Nevin’s ex-girlfriends said in an interview that all this is true. Nevin took care the Miami players by giving them cash, buying their mom a new TV, taking care of their physical needs and anything else they needed, he would provide it. Nevin’s justification for his actions was a very simple answer, “I did it because I could,” he said. “And because nobody stepped in to stop me.”
Have we ever used his last statement in our lives, I did it because I could? This whole scandal reminds me of one word that can bring a nation down and can kill us spiritually if we let it, that word is SIN. The scandal of sin is a powerful tool that Satan uses to try to defeat us with. For some reason we like to play with sin and get as close to it as we possibly can. This past Sunday night, our youth minister-Tim Campbell, preached on sin and how we need to get serious about it. He described it as a fire and if we get close enough to the fire we will get burned.
Tim went on to say that we shouldn’t play around with Satan either cause he is a roaring lion ready to devour anyone in his pathway. He describe it as how we don’t go to the savanna and play with Lions do we saying here kitty kitty, No. Than why do we play with Satan and sin. This was the case of Nevin, he played around in sin and really indulge himself in it. What he did was against the NCAA by laws and those coaches who were involved played with the lion in the cage and now they are getting mauled for their knowledge and participation in it.
We need to take sin serious. The Hebrew author in Hebrews 12:1 tells us to throw off everything that hinders us and the SIN that so easily entangles us. Christianity isn’t a game we play, it is a lifestyle. Sin isn’t a beautiful rose even if it looks like it from our viewpoint, instead it is a Venus flytrap. Sin is like dog doo doo, once you step in it, it gets all over the place and everyone can smell it on you. We shouldn’t say I sinned cause I could and no one stepped in to stop me. Somebody did step in to stop us from sinning, JESUS. Romans 6:23 tells us that, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Sin leads to death, a spiritual death without Christ in our life. Paul writes in Romans 6:1-2, “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means (God forbids)! We died to sin, how can we live in it any longer? John writes in 1 John 2:1-2, “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense-Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the world.”
Paul writes about sin, John writes about sin and we need to know that if we play around with it we are going to get burned. Nevin isn’t the only one to blame in this whole scandal, how about the players who took the money, slept with prostitutes, ate at expensive resturants, and the coaches who knew about it and didn’t stop it for happening. There is a way out of sin. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 10:13, No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful, he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”
Have you been looking for the way out of sin? The only thing that can get rid of our sin is the blood of Jesus washing it away from us. Have you been playing around with Sin? Just in this scandal, look at all the implications that have come out and all the explaining people will have to do. Don’t let sin rule your heart and don’t play with fire, cause you will get burned.