Money, bounties, cars, yachts, jewelry, TVs, meals, nightclubs, sex parties, prostitutes and even an abortion. Yeah, Miami may be in some trouble.
No suspensions by Al Golden…yet (ESPN). Of course, how else can he react right now?
Heather Dinich says former Miami officials have questions to answer (ESPN):
And yet the only person answering questions right now is first-year coach Al Golden.
While his candor is refreshing, he’s not the one who needs to answer for this mess.
Former athletic director Paul Dee, who once sat as chairman on the NCAA’s committee of infractions and lambasted USC for its violations, has some explaining to do. Former athletic director Kirby Hocutt, who abruptly resigned to become athletic director at Texas Tech after he hired Golden, has some questions to answer. (Hocutt did not immediately return a call to his office). Shalala, who can be seen in a Yahoo! Sports photo accepting a donation that was allegedly comprised of illegal money, needs to address the issue beyond the statement released earlier today. And former coaches Randy Shannon and Larry Coker, under whose watch these alleged violations took place, also need to state their case. (Shannon did not return a text message to his cell phone).
Funny how the majority of Miami officials who are accountable for this mess are gone.
And Golden is left to clean it up — not that you could tell from his demeanor or practice this morning.
You have to feel bad for the guy. Most indications suggest Golden is a decent guy who does things the right way, and capitalized on the opportunity to be the guy to lead Miami back to glory.
So how does he feel about this mess?
When he accepted the job, he had no idea about the scandal, and he felt blindsided when it all began to unravel. But he’s keeping calm and collected under fire. The former Temple University head coach said in a press conference this morning:
“We’ll get through this. I feel like Temple prepared me for this opportunity. We had so many issues when we first got there and some of them were carry-overs from the previous regime, and we stood in there and fixed it, and we fixed it with the lowest APR in the country and we had players suspended for violations from thing that happened before I got there.”
Golden was the perfect fit for the Miami job, a team that has had mediocre seasons the past few years.
When he took over as head coach of Temple in 2005, a team that was kicked out of the Big East and thrown in the non-BCS MAC, they had a 3-31 record. But by 2009 Temple was 9-4 and in a bowl game.
Yesterday you said you had no idea this situation was an issue when you were hired in December. Did the university have a responsibility to tell you that this was going on?
Golden: “Only if they knew. If they knew that this was percolating, I believe they did have a responsibility to tell me. I believe they had a responsibility to tell Shawn [Eichorst]. But look, I’m happy here. My wife’s happy here. We got great kids on this team. We have commitments from 24 young men and their families that appreciate and share our core values moving forward. Again, from what I’m understanding, many of these allegations go back three years at the minimum all the way back to the early 2000s….I’m just trying to move forward.”
One of the subplots in this is Paul Dee, the former Miami AD who was the chairman of the NCAA Infractions Committee during the USC-Reggie Bush investigation.
What should Paul Dee have known and when should he have known it?
The irony is not lost on USC fans. Dee was chairman of the NCAA infractions committee that sent the Trojans to Probation Island. The crux of the NCAA’s argument was that USC should have known about violations involving Reggie Bush. “High profile athletes demand high profile compliance,” Dee said.
Well, well. Dee was athletic director at Miami from 1993 to 2008. It was reported this week by Yahoo! that high-profile Miami athletes, from 2002 to 2010, were receiving lavish gifts from a shady booster now serving jail time for his role in a $930-million Ponzi scheme.
Dee wasn’t the AD at Miami while he was sitting in judgement of USC, but these revelations are another huge blow to the NCAA’s credibility. It exposes the hypocrisy and potential for conflict of interest when an organization tries to regulate itself.
We don’t know what Dee knew while he was AD at Miami, but he told USC it should have known about Reggie Bush? Dee’s time in intercollegiate athletics was already up, but the mess he leaves behind is everyone’s mess.
How will former Miami basketball coach Frank Haith and his new employer, Missouri, be affected by this (STLToday.com):
Among other questions facing Mizzou now:
Considering the NCAA and Miami each have known about allegations surrounding the program for more than a year, why was MU evidently unaware of the looming allegations? Did the NCAA , Miami or, in fact, Haith not inform MU of information it should have?
And how will Mizzou’s considerable recruiting needs suffer from a shadow that will hover over the program until the matter is reconciled?
MU declined comment as of Wednesday morning.
And finally (for now), what does Chris Rix feel about having that bounty on his head (Orlando Sentinel)?
Shapiro reportedly told former Hurricanes linebacker Jonathan Vilma that if he took Rix out of one of the epic FSU-UM rivalry games back in the early 2000s that he would receive $5,000. He’d receive $2,000 if he put a hard hit on the quarterback.
Well, apparently Vilma never made his $5,000 …
“We pounded the (expletive) out of that kid,” Shapiro said of Rix. “Watch the tape of those games. You’ll see so many big hits on him. Guys were all going after that $5,000 in cash. Vilma tried to kill him — just crushed him — a couple of times trying to get that $5,000.
“And he almost got it, too.”
“I think every team is gunning for you especially when you’re Florida State and you have a big target on your back,” Rix said. “Especially in a rivalry game like that, I just thought that was part of the Miami-Florida State rivalry. It was hardly surprising because I know how intense those rivalries can be.
“I do remember a few late hits — some of them were called, some of them weren’t. I remember one specifically in the 2003 BCS Orange Bowl game, after I had thrown a pass (Vilma) came in and led with his hand. He got it inside my facemask and gave me a black eye. I don’t remember that being called as a late hit.
“Other ones were at the bottom of piles, yelling expletives at you and trying to get their hands in your facemask — get your eye. I’m not the first football player that’s happened to, and I’m not the last. That happens a lot in those rivalry games.”
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