FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Patriots nose tackle Vince Wilfork does a good job stopping the opponent and moving on to the next play. He’s taking the same approach toward questions about a booster’s claim he accepted improper benefits while in college at Miami.

Wilfork said Monday he doesn’t want to be a distraction to his current team and doesn’t want to talk about the claim.

The week since Yahoo! Sports reported that Nevin Shapiro paid Wilfork $50,000 has been “tough” he said at his locker before New England practiced on Monday, “but, you know what, I released a statement a couple of days ago, whatever it was, and that’s where I’m at with it.

“I’ve moved forward. I’m done with that situation and I’m just focused on my football career.”

Wilfork echoed that later Monday during an appearance on WEEI radio.

“I commented about it, and I’m done with that,” he said on the show. “That’s all I’m going to say about it. I’ve moved forward from that day.”

Wilfork’s only remarks on the issue before Monday came on Twitter last week when he said it was not appropriate for him to comment while the NCAA and Miami conducted their investigations.

Shapiro, who is serving a 20-year prison sentence for masterminding a $930 million Ponzi scheme, told Yahoo! Sports he provided impermissible benefits to 72 of the university’s football players and other athletes between 2002 and 2010. In the story posted last Tuesday, Shapiro said he gave money, cars, yacht trips, jewelry, televisions and other gifts to several players, including Wilfork, Jon Beason, Antrel Rolle, Devin Hester, Willis McGahee and the late Sean Taylor.

The story said Shapiro gave the $50,000 to recruit Wilfork to sign with a sports agency that he said he co-owned for much of the time he was involved with the university.

Wilfork entered the locker room on Monday with about 4 minutes left in the 45-minute period in which it was open to the media. He was asked five questions with only the second referring to the story.


IN WASHINGTON, defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth pleaded no contest to a charge of simple assault to resolve a case in which he was accused of touching a waitress’ breast while having drinks with friends at a hotel in the city.

If he stays out of trouble over the next 18 months and completes 160 hours of community service, prosecutors will drop the charge entirely. Haynesworth, who was recently traded from the Washington Redskins to the New England Patriots, appeared in D.C. Superior Court to enter his plea. After a prosecutor read the facts the government would have proven at trial in the case, including that Haynesworth had slid his credit card down the woman’s shirt and touched her breast, the judge asked Haynesworth to respond.

“I do not contest the government’s proffer of facts on this charge,” he said.

Haynesworth, 30, was originally facing the more serious charge of sexual abuse in the case, which stemmed from a visit to the W Hotel in February. If convicted of that charge in a trial that was set to begin today, he would have faced up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

Prosecutors dropped that charge Monday as part of the plea agreement.


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