Boston College 24, Miami 17

Al Golden insists he wanted to make a long-term commitment to

Miami. The Hurricanes happily obliged.

Golden is now under contract with the Hurricanes through Feb. 1,

2020, the announcement coming Friday during a 24-17 loss to Boston

College.

Four more years have been tacked onto the deal Golden signed

with Miami this past spring – a move the coach hopes is enough to

end whatever speculation exists about him being potentially wooed

elsewhere anytime soon.

”For the players and recruits, we’ve only said the same thing

now for weeks,” Golden said. ”And again, whether or not anybody

outside wanted to listen to what we were saying, our message never

changed. And now it’s officially not going to change.”

The timing of the announcement was somewhat unusual, the

university releasing the news with about 12 minutes to go in the

game.

Miami is not going to a bowl game because of an ongoing NCAA

investigation into the athletic department and compliance

practices, a probe born after a former booster said he provided 72

Hurricane players and recruits with extra benefits from 2002

through 2010.

Some university officials were aware of at least some of those

claims brought by convicted Ponzi scheme architect Nevin Shapiro

long before Golden was hired last December. (His original contract

with Miami was not completed for several months afterward.) Golden

has said many times that he was unaware of the Shapiro allegations

during the interview process, and when the news broke in a Yahoo

Sports article published in August, he was apparently

blindsided.

So that, combined with statements made by Golden’s longtime

agent in recent weeks, led to suggestions that he could leave Miami

after one season, possibly for Penn State, his alma mater now

embroiled within a scandal of its own – a child sexual abuse mess

that led to the firing of Golden’s mentor, Joe Paterno.

Golden said Friday that if Penn State calls, he’s not

interested.

”Right now Penn State has got a great coach. His name is Tom

Bradley,” Golden said, referring to the Nittany Lions’ interim

coach who wants the job on a more permanent basis. ”He’s

passionate. He’s an incredible leader. He’s loyal. He’s been there

forever. The kids are playing for him and I’m happy for Tom. But

I’m excited to be a Miami Hurricane.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, including if Golden is

getting a raise or if the terms of the buyout should he want to

break the contract early were changed. As a private institution,

Miami does not have to release contract information.

”I look forward to working side-by-side with Coach Golden for

many years,” athletic director Shawn Eichorst said in a statement

released by the university. ”Al has done a fantastic job of

rebuilding and solidifying the foundation of our football program

while fostering success both on and off of the field. He has been a

first-class representative of our university and I am confident

that with Al leading the way, our future is very bright.”

University president Donna Shalala declined comment, and left

Golden’s postgame news conference about midway through the session.

Miami finished the season with a 6-6 record, which still would have

been good enough to get the Hurricanes a bowl invitation.

”I’m pretty sure that Coach Golden has a plan,” Miami

quarterback Jacory Harris said, ”and that his plan is going to

work.”

For now, his plan is to leave – briefly, anyway. Golden said

he’ll be at a coveted recruit’s home at 2 p.m. Sunday; under NCAA

rules, he’s not able to talk about specific recruits until they

sign letters of intent.

On Monday, he’ll be on campus again. Miami’s offseason program

begins that day, Golden making that decision so the team can get a

jump-start on 2012 before the looming semester break.

”I’m happy for Al,” said Boston College coach Frank Spaziani,

who has known Golden since he tried recruiting him nearly 30 years

ago. ”If Al signed a four-year extension, Al’s a big boy, he knows

what’s best for him and his family. Al’s a great person. I love him

dearly – and I wish him the best, except when we’re playing

them.”

Some players, such as linebacker Sean Spence, were unaware of

the extension until being asked about it in a postgame news

conference. Others were hardly surprised that it got done,

especially since Golden has said countless times that his wife and

family love living in South Florida.

”I heard the rumblings,” Miami center Tyler Horn said. ”I

never really doubted that he was going anywhere. He told us all the

time in meetings that he loved it here. He wants to rebuild this

place. So I’m not surprised at all. It’s huge for the team. I’m

sure it’s a relief for some guys. It’s a very good thing.”

It ends a wild week of news at Miami.

On Sunday, the university self-imposed a bowl ban for 2011 that

school officials said was ”necessary” in response to the NCAA

probe. Players were informed that afternoon that Friday’s game

against Boston College would end the season, even though the

Hurricanes had enough wins to qualify for a postseason

appearance.

Golden has said he’s been assured Miami is not self-imposing any

other penalties, including a reduction in scholarships. He wants to

bring in about 30 players before next season.

”I’m excited about the opportunity to move forward, to get in

kids’ homes starting on Sunday and obviously pulling a great

recruiting class,” Golden said. ”I think kids understand what

needs we have. … It represents need and represents

opportunity.”

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