A Miami helmet. Sep 30, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; A general view of a Miami Hurricanes helmet in the end zone prior to the game between the Miami Hurricanes and the Virginia Cavaliers at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday morning saw some notable news related to the Miami Hurricanes. There, Ben Weider and Jay Weaver of The Miami Herald reported on multiple federal civil and criminal investigations into John H. Ruiz and his LifeWallet company.

That’s potentially a big deal for the Hurricanes, as LifeWallet founder and CEO Ruiz has been described as the Canes’ “NIL King” by outlets including ESPN. LifeWallet has a ton of major NIL (name, image, and likeness) deals with Miami athletes, including a two-year, $800,000 deal for men’s basketball guard Nijel Pack and another six-figure deal for fellow guard Isaiah Wong, the ACC player of the year. They also have deals with quite a few Hurricanes’ football players, including QB Tyler Van Dyke, All-American safety Kam Kinchens and defensive tackle Leonard Taylor.

LifeWallet also has deals with many Miami female athletes. And Ruiz even hosted a dinner for former women’s basketball players Haley and Hannah Cavinder before they officially committed to the Hurricanes, which led to NCAA sanctions against the school. So all of this, especially when paired with Miami’s history of NCAA scandals, has led to a lot of commentary from the college sports world:

Even Billy Corben, the director of 30 for 30 installments The U and The U: Part 2 (as well as several other films on Florida scandals, sports-related and otherwise), weighed in on this latest Miami controversy:

This Ruiz news comes a little over a decade after the Nevin Shapiro scandal, which saw that businessman (who received a 20-year prison sentence for orchestrating a $930 million Ponzi scheme) allege he provided impermissible benefits to 72 Miami football players from 2002-2010. So far, Ruiz’s contributions to Hurricanes’ players seem to have been largely permissible under current NIL rules, but his dinner with the Cavinders before their commitment did get the school in some NCAA trouble. The bigger impact of this investigation into him and LifeWallet might be some of Miami’s NIL funds drying up, though.

[The Miami Herald]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.