University of Miami Hurricanes program to get the Death Penalty?

Was the University of Miami out of control, or was Nevin Shapiro out of control?  That is the question the NCAA must answer to determine what the punishment should be for the Canes program.

Not that anyone cares, but the basketball program looks to be in much more serious trouble than the football program.  When the head coach is directly connected and their is accusation that a high school player was paid to go there, that is not good, not good at all.  Frank Haith is at Missouri now, and I wonder if he’ll ever get a chance to coach there after this news comes out. 

Everyone cares or is at least much more concerned about football, with good reason.  Miami is a football school, and more than 65 of the 72 people named were football people. 

In case you haven’t read about Nevin Shapiro, this is why Miami is in trouble.

Death Penalty are the words rolling off everyone’s tounge.  I get it.  I think Miami is the extreme case of what goes on in college sports all over America.  In this case you got a super rich criminal who stole $900 million from unsuspecting people, and spent it every way he could, investing heavily in his childhood favorite school.  For the death penalty to apply, the NCAA has to prove Miami was knowing in allowing and encouraging players to take money and gifts.  If they can produce physical evidence than Larry Coker and Randy Shannon were both aware and approving, or at least one of the two, then Miami football will get the axe. 

That is easier said than done though.  In most big cases, the NCAA only gets their man so to speak with outside help and/or cooporation.  It seems highly unlikey Shannon or Coker will admit anything even if they did know anything.  Shapiro will be assigned the job of producing evidence that the Miami administration, Donna Shalala, Paul Dee, or the coaches were both aware and supporting of his wrongdoing.  Emails, text messages, faxes, receipts, or some sort of documentation to prove knowledge.  A paper trail is needed otherwise its the felon’s word against the Canes.

At the very least, Miami appears to have lacked the observation skills required by the NCAA.  Lack of control, maybe?  From the outside it appears that way, but again it must be proven.  A punishment is coming.  I doubt most of the former players will narc on the school or give themselves up.  Afterall, there is no incentive to be truthful or to talk at all.  But for everyone that does, the year they played they could be ruled ineligible and wins would be stripped. 

For the future, probation and scholarship reduction looks likely.  Miami might be fortunate to get off with a punishment similar to what USC recieved.  With the NCAA wanting to crack down more on schools breaking rules, Miami could face ever harsher penalties to make a point. 

For the present, I’d fear a similar result to what was witnessed in Chappel Hill last year where players accused of taking gifts sat out the year awaiting judgement.  I’d guess the Miami players accused must fess up to take a suspension, or they’ll be out all year.  Miami would not want to anger the NCAA and want to distance themselves from any wrongdoer’s in the program right now.  Those kids may never play at the “U” again. 

Miami does have this working for it: If they knew anything, most of those people gone.  The Canes could argue that those players and coaches are all in the past, and the school is starting a new, and ask for mercy.  Right now, it’s a sensational scandel.  The names named are huge.  People are eating it up.  Miami looks terrible.  It seems that this will end up more like a fireworks show than scorched Earth.  A lot of “oohs” and “ahhs” and gossip, and talk, but without the explosions touching ground.

Miami is in trouble, but the NCAA has to prove they knew all about it.  Easier said than done.