University of Florida

Former UM assistant coach Aubrey Hill quits as Gators assistant

Former University of Miami receivers coach and recruiting coordinator Aubrey Hill, a Miami native, has resigned as the receivers coach at the University of Florida.

Hill’s last season at UM was in 2010.

Hill was implicated by Yahoo! Sports for allegedly being involved in impermissible recruiting activities in the UM-related case surrounding former UM booster and convicted felon Nevin Shapiro, and Shapiro’s alleged accomplice, former UM equipment manager Sean Allen.

“I have too much love and respect for this program to become a distraction as I deal with some personal issues,’’ Hill said in a statement released Friday. “I’m thankful for the opportunity to have worked with [UF] coach [Will] Muschamp, a tremendous staff and great group of players. The future is very bright here and the University of Florida will always have a special place in my heart. Go Gators!”

Said Muschamp in his prepared statement: “Aubrey informed me he was resigning for personal reasons that have nothing to do with the University of Florida. Aubrey didn’t want to be a distraction to our team and our football program and he thought it was best for him to move on. I appreciate Aubrey’s efforts and wish him the best of luck moving forward. He will always remain a Gator.”

Also formerly implicated for alleged impermissible recruiting in the most recent Yahoo! Sports report: UM linebackers coach Micheal Barrow. It appears that the former Hurricane student-athlete and current assistant is being supported by the UM program. Barrow was at the opening of fall practice Friday afternoon, barking at his linebackers and tending to business-as-usual.

UM coach Al Golden was asked Friday about his confidence level in Barrow in terms of the NCAA investigation. “Mike Barrow is our linebackers coach and our special teams coordinator and he does a great job,” Golden said before practice. “Mike Barrow does a great job and we’re proud that he’s here with us.”

Hill was known as a friendly, energetic coach who excelled at communicating and recruiting. Current UM football coach Al Golden, who also was recently implicated by Yahoo! Sports for “having direct knowledge of Allen’s improper involvement with Miami recruits,” announced on Dec. 19, 2011, that the Hurricanes had retained Hill as an assistant. But Hill ultimately resigned at UM to coach at UF for the 2011 season.

“To be honest with you, I haven’t talked to Aubrey since he left,” said Golden, who already has defended his own integrity involving the allegations. “And really, my focus right now is on the Miami Hurricanes.’’

UM middle linebacker Denzel Perryman said most of the other players didn’t know about the situation until Barrow texted the linebackers a couple days after the newest article came out July 20. “But he told us, ‘Don’t worry. Just keep praying,’ ” Perryman said. “You know, have faith in him. And that’s all we did. We just stood behind him and prayed for him and that’s pretty much it.”

Perryman was asked if he was nervous about the article. “Yeah, but I had no clue to it. I heard some guys talking about it in the locker room, but other than that, I had no clue to it.”

The NCAA investigation of the Hurricanes was officially launched in March, 2011, according to NCAA president Mark Emmert. The UM football program, which finished 6-6 last season, self imposed a one-year bowl ban for that season.

It is unknown when the NCAA will conclude its investigation and deliver its Notice of Allegations to UM, which will then have 90 days to respond in writing. A source familiar with the investigation said Friday that the case is not expected to be decided soon.

Hill played at UF from 1991 to 1994, and at Miami’s Carol City High School before that. He was hired by the Hurricanes in January of 2008, and said soon afterward that he was a “true Cane” and UM fan from the day he was born.

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