On Tuesday morning, after over four years after the initial allegations had been discovered, the NCAA finally handed down its punishment in the Nevin Shapiro case regarding him giving extra benefits to Miami(FL) football and basketball players
The Hurricanes will lose 9 football scholarships over the next three years as well as being placed on three years probation. The school’s basketball program will lose three scholarships, as well as former head basketball coach, and current Missouri head coach, Frank Haith being suspended for five games.
For the past two seasons the Hurricane program has been placed under a cloud of doubt as to what would happen regarding the allegations. The Hurricanes had a self imposed bowl ban the previous two seasons, including forgoing an opportunity to play in the ACC Championship game last season. The Hurricanes have suffered in recruiting as well, due to the uncertainty about how the NCAA would handle the case.
Part of the reason the Hurricanes had to wait so long for a decision is in part to the NCAA’s own handling of the case. It illegally obtained documents to be used as evidence in the case, and employed one Shapiro’s lawyers on the case. Shapiro is currently serving 20 years for organizing a $930 million Ponzi scheme. Shapiro then told Yahoo Sports! about the allegations he committed while acting as a booster for the University in 2011.
Miami(Fl) president Donna Shalala commented on the current coaches have handled the process.” He(Golden) has been extraordinary as has (basketball coach) Jim Larranaga,” Shalala told USA Today. “But Al in particular has gotten the brunt of this, and we all couldn’t be more grateful.He’s a class act. He’s showed both his toughness and his commitment to the university.”
The Hurricanes comparatively got let off easy to that of other schools, specifically USC. USC lost 30 scholarships as well as a two year bowl ban due to the Reggie Bush allegations. USC appealed their decision which was upheld and started in 2010. Many feel that because Miami had say out of bowl games the previous two seasons their punishment would be less then that of others, which it is was.
USC athletic director Pat Haden commented on the punishment by tweeting “We always felt our punishment were too harsh. This decision only bolsters that view.”
With the worst part of the scandal in the rear-view mirror, the Hurricanes can finally look forward to the future. The Hurricanes are currently ranked No. 7 in the initial BCS rankings, and have a chance to move up with games at No. 2 Florida State, and a home game against No. 14 Virginia Tech. The Hurricanes also have the no. 4 recruiting class for the class of 2014 according to ESPN Recruiting Services. The future is looking the brightest it has in recent times for the Hurricanes