Emmert said the NCAA learned of the alleged misconduct, in part, through legal bills presented by Shapiro's attorney for work that was not properly approved by the organization's general counsel's office.
"One of the questions that has to be answered, unequivocally, is what was the nature of that contractual arrangement and what was all the activity that that individual was involved with," Emmert said. "There is some uncertainty about all of that and it's one of the first orders of business for the firm that we've hired to investigate."
The Hurricanes' athletic compliance practices have been probed by the NCAA for nearly two years. Allegations of wrongdoing involving Miami's football and men's basketball programs became widely known in August 2011 when Yahoo Sports published accusations brought by Shapiro, who is serving a 20-year term in federal prison for masterminding a $930 million Ponzi scheme.
Miami has self-imposed two football postseason bans in response to the investigation. The Hurricanes also would have played in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game this past season, meaning they could have qualified for the Orange Bowl.
"In my two-and-a-half years I've certainly never seen anything like this, and don't want to see it again," Emmert said.