Golden and his current players inherited this mess, are guilty of nothing but have been paying for the sins of others.
There has to be a better way for the NCAA to define fair.
Miamis self-imposed penalties have been extraordinary. The football program already has previously suspended eight involved players for 19 games, reduced scholarships and borne two consecutive seasons of postseason bans. That has cost UM two bowl games plus last years chance to play in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game for a spot in the Orange Bowl Classic perhaps once-in-a-lifetime stuff.
To think this damnable delay by the NCAA continues and could yet cost Miami a third consecutive postseason ban is outrageous.
James cant say that publicly but seems hopeful it might not happen, saying, It would be unprecedented for us to be given anther bowl ban. Weve done everything on that front that we need to do.
If you didnt know better, you might even think the NCAA was intentionally delaying a final verdict simply to extend Miamis agony, perhaps as punishment for UM president Donna Shalala publicly scolding the NCAAs unethical and unprofessional conduct in the investigation.
Come to think of it, we dont know that isnt true and it would hardly be a great leap to imagine it is. The NCAA, in general and particularly in this case, has earned no benefit of doubt or assumption it will do things right.
Yes, UMs lack of oversight allowed Shapiro to run dirty and loose for years, giving improper benefits to athletes. Some of that is clear and undisputed.
But three factors must be weighed heavily.
One is Shapiros own lack of witness credibility as a man imprisoned for a financial scheme built on lies, and a man whose prison communications have showed a vindictiveness toward Hurricanes football.
Another is UMs own unprecedented self-imposed penalties to atone for past wrongs and steps taken to ensure they wont happen again.
The third, of course, is the NCAAs serious corruption in this investigation, problems that have resulted in investigators being fired, an independent internal review and large chunks of evidence to be tossed out. There was a even an embarrassed admission of wrongdoing from NCAA president Mark Emmert himself, who acknowledged at a speaking engagement on Monday that the governance of college sports needs a lot of change, and that the NCAAs public image is negative.
Weigh all three of the above factors and it is clear Miami has been punished enough. Miami has served its time.
This investigation has become a national farce, first for the NCAAs clownish bungling of it, and now for the sheer duration of it.
Enough, enough, enough!