The NCAA delivered what appeared to be a gift Tuesday to the University of Miami in the case involving rogue booster and convicted Ponzi-schemer Nevin Shapiro — after keeping the Hurricanes in limbo for more than two and a half years.
Cited by the NCAA for a lack of institutional control “resulting in a decade of violations,” the Hurricanes football program will lose nine scholarships over a three-year probationary period (2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17) and will not be penalized another postseason ban. UM athletic director Blake James said the NCAA gave Miami the option to remove the nine scholarships any way it deems fit over the three years.
UM basketball will lose three scholarships, one each for the next three years.
According to UM and the NCAA, the Hurricanes did not self-impose any scholarship sanctions, though they did “internally impose some scholarship reductions,” James said, with hope that the NCAA will take those measures into account.
NCAA Committee on Infractions chair Britton Banowsky gushed in a teleconference about UM’s “significant” self-imposed penalties, namely the two postseason bans that encompassed three games. He also said the committee was impressed with UM’s cooperation in the case.
Miami later indicated it would not appeal the sanctions, and, as UM football coach Al Golden said all along, the multiple years it took to process the case was as much a penalty as any other.
UM president Donna Shalala told the Miami Herald that “the athletic program suffered greatly as much by the timeline” of the case “as anything else. But we were responsible, and it was very clear we broke NCAA rules and we admitted that and were penalized appropriately for it.”
Golden, whose undefeated Hurricanes can now breathe easier heading into Saturday’s noon game against Wake Forest at Sun Life Stadium, thanked the UM “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.”
Golden came to UM in the wake of the scandal and indicated when the story broke publicly in August of 2011 that he had no idea an investigation had been launched. He was not mentioned in the report Tuesday, but individual coaches who previously served at UM received punishments.
Former UM and current University of Missouri basketball coach Frank Haith was suspended for the first five games of the 2013-14 season. He also must attend an NCAA Regional Rules seminar at the end of the 2013-14 academic year.
“The former head men’s basketball coach failed to meet his responsibilities as a head coach when he did not monitor the activities of his assistant coaches, and attempted to cover up the booster’s threats to disclose incriminating information,” the NCAA wrote in a release. “Additionally, two assistant football coaches and one assistant men’s basketball coach did not follow NCAA ethical conduct rules.”
Haith said he will not appeal. “While I strongly disagree with [Tuesday’s] report,” he said in a written statement, “and the inference on how the program was run at [UM], as head basketball coach during that period, I accept responsibility for all actions in and around that program.”