At long last, the 3+ year investigation in the Miami athletics program has ended. The most visible penalties to the common fan are the loss of nine football scholarships and three basketball scholarships each over a three year period.
I honor the confidentiality agreement I signed with the university back in 2003 and will never publicly comment on the specifics of the case or my time there, but I do have a couple opinions on the outcome. The average sports fan is saying that we “got off easy.” This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Those who say we didn’t get a bowl ban are morons. In what the NCAA considered an unprecedented move, Miami declined two bowl games and a conference championship appearance. They lost tons in revenue and national exposure from this. Furthermore, they implemented some recruiting restrictions in a time when they needed to rebuild. This is probably similar to the punishment the NCAA would have given us if we had not self-imposed. The NCAA couldn’t punish good behavior and cooperation. A third bowl ban would have been absurd.
The penalty that Miami fans should be most upset about is the fact that recruits can receive complimentary admission to only ONE home game in 2014-2015 and 2015-2016. In the past, this was unlimited. This does not make the coaches’ job easier; they may have only one opportunity to make an outstanding impression and communicating this to recruits and families could be a nightmare.
When the NCAA stuck its nose in the Penn State mess (where it didn’t belong – it’s a criminal case), they set themselves up for this “damned if they do, damned if they don’t” scenario. What is worse than hurting children? A rogue booster? I don’t think so.
The cloud of this botched investigation has been hanging over the program for over three years now. It was like being in purgatory – what could coaches tell kids about the future of UM? Nothing. Think of all the recruits that wouldn’t even consider Miami because of the investigation. Jimbo and Muschamp are certainly crying because the source of their negative recruiting has dried up!
Now is the time to move on, enjoy the #7 ranking, and beat F$U in a prime-time match-up on November 2nd. Go Canes!