After a long and drawn out investigation – one that has been scrutinized from conception – the Miami Hurricanes may finally gain closure as the NCAA prepares to hand down punishments on Tuesday.
Over two and a half years later, and nearly 19 weeks after Hurricanes coach Al Golden and company met with the NCAA Infractions Committee, penalties are expected to come Tuesday morning.
The Hurricanes found themselves under investigation after former UM booster and convicted Ponzi-schemer Nevin Shapiro claimed to have provided former Miami student-athletes and recruits cash, prostitutes, entertainment in his yacht and home, trips to nightclubs and restaurants, jewelry, bounties for on-field play, and in one instance, an abortion.
Christy Chirinos of the Sun-Sentinel wrote:
“…the probe has been plagued by investigative missteps that resulted in approximately 20 percent of the evidence gathered being discarded and the departure of two former NCAA enforcement employees who lost their jobs after the governing body admitted its investigators wrongly paid Shapiro’s attorney, Maria Elena Perez, to ask questions of NCAA targets while giving depositions for his bankruptcy case.”
In any event, UM has cooperated with the NCAA, self-imposing two consecutive post-season bowl appearances as well as a chance to play in the 2012 ACC championship game against rival Florida State.
The thought of further penalties has always loomed in the background for Miami and to finally have their case resolved will provide a sense of relief to coaches, players and fans alike.
The Hurricanes are currently ranked the No. 7 team in the nation and find themselves 6-0 for the first time since 2004. Should anther bowl ban be tacked on to Miami’s list on penalties, this would certainly be a disappointment, especially considering the start that the football program is off to.
Miami will face Wake Forest at home this Saturday followed by a trip to Tallahassee in a showdown that will pin two top-ten rivals under the lights on national television.