Some UM notes on a Thursday:
▪ UM quietly has given a multiyear contract extension to athletic director Blake James, who has guided the program to its best position financially in many years.
James is now signed through 2023, per a source.
James, who was named UM’s athletic director in February 2013, has done good work on a number of fronts, including hiring coach Mark Richt and raising money (with the help of UM’s senior associate athletic director/development Jesse Marks and his staff) to build an on-campus indoor football practice facility and upgrading other facilities, including the Hecht Center.
James — with authorization from the Board of Trustees — was instrumental in raising the budget for UM to spend on assistant football coaches, which has enabled the Canes to upgrade their staff under Richt. And UM’s athletic department donations and season-ticket sales for revenue sports are at an all-time high under James. Also, James struck one of the nation’s largest apparel deals with adidas.
James was among four Division I recipients of the 2016-17 Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year award for 2016-17. Last June, James began a two-year term as Chair of the NCAA Division I Council, the group responsible for the day-to-day decision-making for all of Division I.
▪ UM is optimistic that an FBI investigation won’t find any wrongdoing in UM’s basketball program.
“I find it hard to believe there will be anything there,” James told WQAM’s Joe Rose recently.
Said one high-ranking UM Board of Trustee member: “It’s an absolute disgrace. We want them [the feds] to say we’re in the clear.”
▪ Altamonte Spring’s Damarius Good, who announced Wednesday that he will be attending UM, gives the Canes their first cornerback in this 2019 class, which now has 12 players. Good has speed (runs a 10.6 in the 100 meters) and height (he’s 6-1).
UM also is targeting several four-star corners: Davie University School’s Joshua Sanguinetti, South Dade’s four-star Tyrique Stevenson and St. Thomas Aquinas’ Jaden Davis.
And UM also offered three-star Carol City cornerback Jarvis Brownlee, who told canesport.com that he will probably pick UM over UCF, Pittsburgh and Marshall.
UM has one safety committed: four-star Hollywood Chaminade Madonna prospect Keontra Smith.
▪ Three-star Palm Beach Central offensive tackle Renato Brown, who decommitted from the Canes, told Canesport.com that there’s a 75 percent chance he recommits to UM.
▪ University School’s Kenny McIntosh, brother of former UM and New York Giants defensive tackle Richard McIntosh Jr., remains UM’s best shot to lure an elite running back in 2019 recruiting. Though he has established no favorite, an associate said he’s high on Miami. Rivals rates him No. 6 among running backs and No. 99 among all 2019 prospects.
▪ UM's Sept. 15 game at Toledo will be a noon kickoff, it was announced on Thursday. The game will be televised by ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU.