Miami Football has had great leadership in offseason while FSU continues missteps

MIAMI, FL - APRIL 13: . (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - APRIL 13: . (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

Head coach Manny Diaz and the Miami football staff has shown great leadership throughout the 2020 offseason while Florida State has suffered numerous missteps before Mike Norvell has coached his first game for the Seminoles.

The Miami football program has had shown exceptional leadership under Manny Diaz and his staff in relation to the Black Lives Matter movement and how they have handled the Covid-19 pandemic. The Hurricanes’ biggest rival, Florida State has not handled BLM or Covid-19 as well under first-year head coach Mike Norvell.

Diaz has been well thought of throughout the entire offseason while maintaining transparency with the media. Diaz’s initial career as a production assistant at ESPN often shows with the way he talks to the media. Coach speak is not used and the media is treated with respect and valued for their expertise.

Diaz gets it. Whether it is the respect of the media, having the pulse of the fan base in South Florida or the needs of his players at heart ,Diaz has pushed the right buttons this offseason. Those decisions have to translate into wins on the field. Diaz has been a great leader since being elevated to head coach in December 2018.

Norvell’s short tenure at Florida State has been nearly the opposite of what has gone on with the Miami football program since March. Norvell had to issue a public apology in June after erroneously stating publically that he had individual conversations with every player following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

The BLM is important to college football players in a sport that is predominantly black. How Floyd’s death affected college football players, their feelings about the event and coaches’ reactions was far more important that what detractors think about the fallout. It has been a divisive subject that not enough people understand.

That has included many coaches. Norvell wasn’t alone. Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy upset his players by wearing a t-shirt from the far-right One America News network. Gundy has the right to wear that t-shirt but when you are in charge of nearly 100 young men you have to weigh the fallout of every decision.

After Norvell’s false statement about his discussions with his players following Floyd’s death news broke on Thursday morning that wide receiver D.J. Matthews was told to delete a tweet that revealed he tested positive for Covid-19. Norvell disputed Matthews’ claim on Thursday afternoon.

Florida State WR Warren Thompson posted a letter on Twitter addressed to the Seminole Family. Thompson protested the lack of leadership being shown by Florida State and that during the Seminoles training he has been lied to about the conditions of his and his teammates’ health.

Thompson stated that the Florida State leadership has an I mentality who are worried about their own futures over the athletes. The accusations are in sharp contrast to Diaz who has been lauded from national media for the way he has handled the Covid-19 Pandemic following his appearance on the ACC Network’s Packer and Durham.

Brad Crawford of 247 Sports stated,

“Manny Diaz drops mic on COVID-19, ACC’s plan to play.”

Co-host Wes Durham stated that Diaz’s answer about keeping his team in the bubble was the

“absolute best answer I have heard to what this is going to boil down…that sounds like that’s been the message since mid-June to your team.”

The success Miami has had recruiting for the 2021 class is not by accident. The Hurricanes have benefitted some with players not able to visit schools but the hard work, dedication and respect that Diaz and his staff have for their players have made a huge difference. Recruits talk to the players on the roster.

Next. Manny Diaz addresses the elephant in Miami locker room. dark

Many of the Miami commits in the Class of 2021 have spoken about the family atmosphere the Hurricanes have. Diaz discussed changing the culture throughout the Miami football roster when he was hired as head coach. When national analysts take notice it’s clear Diaz and his staff are making the right decisions.