Those still clucking about UM perhaps receiving the so-called “death penalty” are untethered from reality, unless I’m the one who’s crazy.
The mitigating factors favorable to Miami are many.
The vast majority of athletes implicated by Shapiro no longer are at UM; neither are the head coaches nor department officials under whose watch the problems occurred.
The university administration has pledged complete cooperation with the NCAA, encouraged its implicated personnel to speak openly with investigators and taken steps to shore its rein on boosters.
The two-year self-imposed postseason ban, encompassing two bowl games and a conference championship game, is unprecedented.
Eight implicated players already were suspended a total of 19 games to start the 2011 season.
Golden already is, in effect, self-imposing a reduction in scholarships to be awarded on National Signing Day on Feb. 6. UM’s 13 commitments so far are the fewest of any ACC team and tied for the fewest of any school whose recruiting class presently is ranked in the national top 35 by ESPN.
All of these things add up to a lot and constitute a good-faith model effort by Miami to take its bitter medicine now, to get past this too-long ordeal and move on.
“We just want to receive the letter,” Golden said. “The day we do that is the day we take a big step forward.”
That notice of allegations and UM’s response to it will precede the NCAA’s eventual ruling on future sanctions, which could come as early as late spring or perhaps not until fall. I would expect those additional penalties to include maybe two more years of reduced scholarships and probation and maybe one additional bowl ban.
I hope I am not giving the NCAA too much credit for fairness.
“I can see the end,” Golden said.
Whenever that is, it will have been an awfully long time coming.