MIAMI, MAY 19 -- Some former University of Miami football players say they were offered cash for making big plays in key games from a fund partly bankrolled by former Hurricanes players now in the National Football League, the Miami Herald reported in Friday's editions.

The former Miami players say the cash rewards, in violation of college football rules, included up to $500 for a touchdown, the newspaper reported.

The Herald, which interviewed more than 40 former players in a two-month investigation, said the game-day bounties are among NCAA violations that occurred primarily between 1986 and 1992.

Some of the money was paid by 2 Live Crew rapper Luther Campbell, the newspaper said. Campbell, however, denied he ever paid for plays.

"They interviewed me about that football scandal," Campbell told the Associated Press today. "I told them I denied everything. All the allegations they made, paying people off to make touchdowns and big hits and all that, I don't know nothing about that."

The Herald said players on the current team also were paid in violation of NCAA rules to help with security at the Coconut Grove Arts Festival and were admitted free to theaters and restaurants.

Jimmy Johnson, who coached the Hurricanes through 1988, had no comment. Dennis Erickson, who took over from Johnson, said he didn't know of any infractions.

Former players told the Herald it was no secret graduates were giving money to athletes still in school.

"It was almost expected," said former tight end Randy Bethel (1987-90). "Guys who made the pros came back and helped you financially by slipping a little something in your pockets. Friends helping friends. ..."

Players hid from their coaches the pay-for-play offers by Campbell, the Herald said, quoting the former players. The money was usually paid at victory celebrations held at one of Campbell's now-defunct nightclubs, the newspaper said.

Three players described Campbell's pay scale: $50 for a caused fumble or a fumble recovery; $100 for a sack, a block that flattens an opponent, an interception or a touchdown; and $200 for an interception returned for a touchdown.