University of Miami

Miami athletic director sounds off after embarrassing bowl loss. Could changes follow?

Miami football coach Mark Richt likely didn’t know his athletic director was about to release a statement on Twitter saying the Hurricanes’ performance Thursday in their Pinstripe Bowl loss to Wisconsin was “unacceptable.’’

But when Richt was asked at the post-game news conference if, in light of his team’s “struggles on offense’’ this year, he has “given any thought to maybe bringing in some help’’ — as in, say, an offensive coordinator to call the plays — Richt came as close to perhaps accepting the idea as he has all season.

Perhaps.

“I’ll just say this,’’ Richt said. “Things got to get fixed. That will be the number one priority.’’

James’ statement: “Our football team’s performance tonight — and at other times this season — is simply unacceptable to all of us who love The U. I am committed to getting UM Football back to national prominence and that process is underway. We will compete for ACC and national championships and I know that Coach Richt is alongside me in that commitment to excellence.”

Miami’s already bad offensive season turned pitiful Thursday, as the Canes gained 169 yards total and managed just six first downs. Both numbers were their fewest since their worst loss in program history against Clemson in 2015 — the game that preceded Al Golden’s firing. In that game, UM also had six first downs and gained 146 yards.

Later Thursday, UM Board of Trustees member David Epstein responded to James’ Twitter post.

“While we all know this has been a difficult season for UM football,’’ Epstein posted on Twitter, “we have no doubt that you and Coach Mark Richt will have our program once again back to prominence. I stand alongside you both in your continued commitment! #backontopin19.’’

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