NCAA meets with Miami booster as part of inquiry into school's NIL deals
The NCAA has launched an inquiry into Miami's NIL deals, sources told Sports Illustrated's Ross Dellenger.
It's believed to be the first serious inquiry regarding a college athletic department since the NCAA approved an interim NIL policy for student-athletes last July, Dellenger notes. The organization told member schools in a letter last week that it'd launch inquiries into potential NIL violations.
NCAA enforcement staff interviewed multiple people on Miami's campus, including billionaire booster John Ruiz.
Ruiz has publicly discussed some of the NIL deals he's agreed to with student-athletes. Of the 115 players involved with Ruiz, most of them play for the Hurricanes. NCAA rules bar the use of NIL as a recruiting inducement and prohibit boosters or collectives from contacting recruits. The organization signaled in its letter last week that its inquiries would focus on schools and boosters, not the athletes.
"I'm extremely comfortable with what we are doing. I have nothing to hide," Ruiz told Dellenger.
"It went super well. The NCAA is trying to wrap (its) hands around this sudden change of environment. (The organization is) trying to figure out how the landscape is working."
A Miami spokesperson added: "Like our peer institutions around the country, the University of Miami communicates with NCAA staff to ensure compliance with applicable NCAA regulations."
The focus of Ruiz's meeting with NCAA investigators is believed to be about his NIL deal with Nijel Pack, Dellenger notes. The former Kansas State basketball transfer signed a two-year, $800,000 contract in April to endorse Ruiz's companies, LifeWallet and Cigarette Racing Team.
Ruiz shared that his current NIL payroll is around $7 million. He's the first booster to publicly admit that he's met with the NCAA regarding NIL enforcement.