University of Miami

UM defensive lineman Dyron Dye looking for answers as season nears

The NCAA is taking its time in more than one way.

University of Miami defensive lineman Dyron Dye, the lone current Hurricanes player still connected to Miami’s NCAA investigation, wants a ruling or clarification — anything but silence — from the NCAA on his eligibility.

Dye, who has been recuperating from surgery after an Achilles’ tendon injury sidelined him in March, told attorney Darren Heitner of Wolfe Law Miami that he is going to be examined by a doctor on Monday to determine if he is ready to begin training with the team.

But first he needs the NCAA to let him know if he is eligible to participate this season, which would be his last in college football.

The NCAA interviewed Dye three times in the case involving former booster Nevin Shapiro because it believed an affidavit signed by Dye that supports ex-UM receivers coach Aubrey Hill — now the head coach at Miami Carol City High — contradicted statements made in at least one of Dye’s former interviews.

Now Dye and Heitner are “waiting for clarity and guidance from the NCAA” as to whether he will be hit with an unethical conduct charge, Heitner said. But Heitner said they haven’t heard anything since the third interview in late spring.

Dye, who would begin his fifth-year senior season, was interviewed by the NCAA twice on the same day in August 2011. Heitner has said that “prior to the start of the second interview, Mr. Johanningmeier coerced Mr. Dye into providing favorable answers for his investigation.”

UM hasn’t had to make any rulings on Dye’s playing status because he has been injured. The usual procedure is that the school is the first entity to suspend a player, then leaves it up to the NCAA, as it did with the previous players involved in the case, to decide on the player’s eligibility and if he should be reinstated.

Dye began his career as a tight end and was switched in the spring to defensive end. He hasn’t been on the practice field since camp began Aug. 3. But should he be inserted in a game down the line and later determined by the NCAA to have committed an unethical conduct violation, UM could be punished for playing an ineligible player.

Dye already was suspended for four games in 2011 and had to repay $738 in benefits given to him by Shapiro during the recruiting process.

“Dyron is one of the strongest, most focused players I have ever seen,” Heitner said Friday morning in an email to the Miami Herald. “Many questioned Dyron’s ability to be physically able to participate for the Miami Hurricanes in 2013 after he suffered an Achilles injury during the team’s first spring scrimmage in March.

“I spoke with Dyron yesterday and he told me that he believes he is fully healed and will be going in for a physical examination on Monday with the expectation that he will be cleared to play effective immediately. My only concern is that Dyron is given the opportunity to participate on the University of Miami football team when he is medically cleared. The NCAA needs to make a determination regarding his eligibility to participate in the upcoming season. Any further delay on the NCAA’s part will cause irreparable damage to my client.”

UM coach Al Golden on Aug. 10 wouldn’t elaborate on Dye’s status, other than to say, “He’s on the injured reserve for us” and to add that “he’s still rehabbing” and “doesn’t count against the 105” on the roster.

The Hurricanes were scheduled for their second and final closed fall scrimmage on Friday night.

In June, Dye filed an incident report to the Coral Gables Police Department in which he alleged being “coerced” by former NCAA investigator Rich Johanningmeier to provide answers that would aid the NCAA’s attempts to confirm incriminating information in its investigation of the UM athletic department and Shapiro.

Nothing ever resulted from the report.

Miami still hasn’t received its NCAA sanctions in the case, though the penalties could come any day. On Friday morning, UM athletic director Blake James said on WQAM 560 radio that he had “no idea” of what was to come.