CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Of all the countless questions surrounding the Miami football program and the claims made by convicted Ponzi scheme architect Nevin Shapiro, one is more prevalent than any other.

How did this happen?

Simple question, lacking a simple answer.

Some who have been around the program for years remember Shapiro trying unsuccessfully to roam around Miami football practices. A former athletic department employee says he would mysteriously show up where players half his age were hanging out. Others simply say they didn't know what Shapiro looked like until seeing his image on television this week.

Here's what is known: He gave money, lots of it, and Miami's football program may be paying for many years to come.