Former Ankeny football star Todd Sievers met the man in the eye of the Miami of Florida football hurricane, but that’s as far as the relationship advanced.
Sievers commented a few days after a Yahoo! Sports detailed imprisoned booster Nevin Shapiro’s claims that he provided Hurricane athletes illegal benefits that included cash and cars, between 2002 and 2010.
“He never offered me anything, and to be quite honest, I never saw him offer anyone anything,” said Sievers, a Miami place-kicker between 1998 and 2002.
The NCAA confirmed this week that it is investigating the allegations.
“I met the guy on the sidelines at games a couple times, but that’s as far as it went,” said Sievers, who works for a beer distributor in Denton, Texas. “I never saw anyone take anything that was illegal.”
Sievers was a senior in 2002, the year Shapiro claimed he first provided athletes illegal benefits.
“We were told by (athletic department administrators) as soon as we got on campus for the first time that if anyone approached us with something that we even thought might be fishy, to say no,” Sievers said. “It’s not like we weren’t warned that guys like (Shapiro) might be around.”
Sievers, a 1998 Ankeny graduate, said he wasn’t immune to offers.
“When I was at a restaurant and someone offered to buy a drink, I said no,” Sievers said. “I told the person that it was illegal; that we couldn’t accept anything.”
Sievers was a two-time first-team all-Big East Conference selection, including during Miami’s 2001 national championship run.
“We had a lot of people around us back then,” Sievers said. “We were on top of the world, and fans were everywhere.
“But I never saw anyone take anything illegal.”
He wears the national championship ring proudly.
“Right now, it’s just allegations coming from a guy that’s in prison,” Sievers said. “If all the stuff he’s saying is true, then it’s going to hurt real bad, but I honestly don’t think it’s true.”