New year, old issue remains for Miami
It almost seems like a ritual now at Miami. The first game week
of the season arrives, accompanied by questions about an NCAA
It happened that way in 2011, shortly after the Nevin Shapiro
It happened again last year, when more allegations were swirling
And form held Monday, as the Hurricanes started preparing for
Friday’s opener against Florida Atlantic. More than 10 weeks after
the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions heard Miami’s case against the
litany of charges the NCAA presented the school with in February,
the Hurricanes are still waiting to see what sanctions, if any, are
coming their way.
”I hope we have a mature group. I really do,” Miami coach Al
Golden said after practice Monday. ”I hope our guys are focused on
just one thing, and that’s Florida Atlantic and getting better
today. Man, I feel like we did. I feel like we came over here with
There are no players left on the team with any true link to the
NCAA investigation, which revolves around a former booster who is
now serving a 20-year sentence for running a $930 million Ponzi
scheme. But many have paid a stiff price for misdeeds of others:
Miami hasn’t been to a bowl game in either of the past two seasons
because of the investigation, though school officials are confident
that the postseason will await the Hurricanes in 2013.
The university, and its legal team, have been bracing for the
NCAA to announce the sanctions for several weeks. Why that hasn’t
happened remains anyone’s guess, though with the number of
individuals and attorneys involved in the process, it’s also not
completely surprising that Miami did not get a swift resolution,
”We’ve been going through it for a while,” Miami quarterback
Stephen Morris said. ”Our biggest thing is, we’re always putting
our trust in Coach Golden and President (Donna) Shalala and
everything that they do. We’re not thinking about it. We’re not
worried about it. It is what it is right now.”
Other players simply wanted no part of the NCAA question.
”I don’t focus on that stuff,” defensive lineman Shayon Green
said. ”You have to ask Coach Golden about it.”
And for his part, Golden said he was upset to get the question
when his weekly news conference started Monday, when asked if he’s
now upset about the length of the wait for an answer.
”Not as angry as you starting off this press conference with
that question,” Golden said.
The investigation started quietly in the spring of 2011, after
former booster Nevin Shapiro’s claims that he provided athletes and
recruits with impermissible benefits over an eight-year span got
noticed by the NCAA. The story broke widely in August 2011, when
Shapiro cooperated with Yahoo Sports for a story detailing what he
Golden has never coached a game at Miami without that cloud
”In terms of following a master plan, that plan got torn up in
2011, Aug. 14,” Golden said, referencing the date the story broke.
”We’ve been really just fighting since that moment. We’re really
not in any stage of a plan or anything. We’re fighting and we’re
building and we’re going to continue to build. We have great kids
on this team that have bought in.”
Neither the school nor the NCAA has commented about the length
of the process. Other high-profile schools involved with recent
NCAA investigations waited several months for their decisions from
the Committee on Infractions, though Miami came away from its
hearing before that group in June convinced that its word would
come before the season kicked off.
There’s still a few more days where that could happen.
”Everybody in here could say at some point, `What are we doing’
or `What are they doing’ or `What did they do,”’ Golden said.
”That’s how I feel, too. It’s been that kind of two years. So
we’re just fighting.”