Source: Shapiro lawyer got money
NCAA enforcement director Julie Roe Lach approved the disbursement of up to $25,000 to attorney Maria Elena Perez in 2011 for information in its Miami infractions investigation, a source told ESPN's Joe Schad.
CBSSports.com and USA Today initially reported the sum as between $20,000 and $25,000. It is not clear how much of that approved sum Perez received.
Perez, the attorney of Miami booster Nevin Shapiro, has denied any wrongdoing and has said she did not work in collusion with NCAA investigators.
On Jan. 24, ESPN reported that a source familiar with the arrangement said the NCAA vice president of enforcement and general counsel approved the plan.
The next day, NCAA president Mark Emmert denied the general counsel had approved the arrangement but made no mention of the vice president of enforcement. The NCAA also has not identified Perez by name.
Emmert had said on a teleconference that the general counsel would typically be required to approve such action but that it didn't reach his desk.
The NCAA, which is conducting an external review of what it called "improper conduct" by its enforcement arm, said Tuesday that it has nothing further to say about the payment.
"Whether or not Julie approved [the action], it will be part of the external review process," NCAA spokesman Bob Williams told CBSSports.com. "However, the review is solely focused on enforcement."
The NCAA has said its enforcement staff worked with Shapiro's defense attorney to obtain information improperly through a bankruptcy proceeding that did not involve its investigation of Miami. The NCAA did not name the attorney, but Perez told the South Florida Sun Sentinel she did not collude with NCAA investigators.
"I think this is completely insane," Perez told the newspaper. "I think there's absolutely nothing here to investigate, and like I told everyone, everything I did was above board."
The NCAA released a statement Wednesday, saying its investigation of Miami is coming to a close as its attorney has "completed the necessary interviews and review of information and is now in the process of preparing a final report, which the NCAA expects to receive by the end of next week. We will release the results of the review following the completion of the report."
The Hurricanes' athletic compliance practices have been probed by the NCAA for nearly two years. Allegations of wrongdoing involving Miami's football and men's basketball programs became widely known in August 2011, when Yahoo! Sports published accusations brought by Shapiro, who is serving a 20-year term in federal prison for masterminding a $930 million Ponzi scheme.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.