On Tuesday, the NCAA finally closed its case with the University of Miami in announcing its verdicts as the university and ‘Canes community waited with baited breath.
The committee’s ruling imposed no further bowl bans on the football program, to the overwhelming relief of a team battling adversity and expectation to achieve a No. 7 national ranking, it’s highest since November of 2005.
The University of Miami football program will relinquish nine scholarships over a three year period while the men’s basketball program will also give up one scholarship per year for the duration of the probation period.
Additional restrictions on recruitment were also imposed. Former coaches including men’s basketball coach Frank Haith were dealt their own punishments for the infraction involvement.
“I want to sincerely thank our student-athletes and their families who, not only stood with the University of Miami during this unprecedented challenge, but subsequently volunteered for the mission. They shouldered the burden, exhibited class and exemplified perseverance for Hurricanes everywhere,” said football coach Al Golden.
“Further, I would like to express heartfelt appreciation to our staff and families who did not subscribe to this challenge three years ago, yet courageously adopted it as their own. They have brought the utmost professionalism, resiliency and integrity to our program. More importantly, they continue to recruit and represent our world-class institution with class and dignity in unprecedented circumstance,” Golden added.“Lastly, it is with gratitude and humility that I say thank you to our administration, U Family everywhere and the entire South Florida Community for their unyielding support of our young men and program over the last 28 months.”
Men’s basketball coach Jim Larrañaga echoed Golden’s sentiments.”I am a big believer that success is based on attitude. We continually remind our players that life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. We will continue to approach our work with a positive attitude as we march towards being the best we can be. I am grateful to our administration and counsel for leading us through this difficult journey and I want to thank everyone who loves this University and who has supported the young men who proudly wear the Miami uniform. We are excited about the upcoming season and we are all moving forward,” said Larrañaga.
University President Donna Shalala, a driving force of the U’s quest to right the wrongs through this scandal-ridden process, commented on the situation and the ruling: “The Committee on Infractions report closes a challenging chapter in the history of the University of Miami,” said Shalala. “I am grateful to our coaches, staff, and student-athletes for their dedication to the University and to intercollegiate athletics. I also want to thank Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John Swofford for his steadfast support.” Shalala extended her own apologizes and gratitude to the ‘Canes community.”Finally, I want to apologize to the Hurricane family, as we have asked for your patience, faith, and support during a difficult time. Thank you for standing with us.”
Director of Athletics Blake James is prepared to take the athletic department in a new direction.
“Our honest and committed efforts to address these allegations have made us stronger. We have already taken many proactive steps to ameliorate any concerns, and we will continue to improve in all areas. Now it is time we look ahead and work diligently to support our student-athletes.”
words_kristen spillane. photo_raquel zaldivar