Tuesday, August 30, 2011

It's not so bad for Miami (this year)

Miami got a ruling Tuesday on the 12 guys in eligibility limbo. The verdict:
Quarterback Jacory Harris and 11 other Miami players who accepted extra benefits from former booster Nevin Shapiro will be allowed by the NCAA to play again, some as soon as the second game of the season.

The harshest penalties handed down Tuesday were reserved for those who took gifts from Shapiro while being recruited. Defensive lineman Olivier Vernon will sit out six games, while Ray Ray Armstrong -- considered among the nation's top safeties -- and tight end Dyron Dye will miss four games apiece.

Harris, Sean Spence, Travis Benjamin, Marcus Forston and Adewale Ojomo all must sit out one game and make restitution for accepting benefits after enrolling at the school. Four other players must repay small amounts, all under $100, but will not miss any games.

So ... that's not so bad. The Maryland game might be ugly since the starting lineup will be mostly piecemeal, but Vernon and Armstrong are the only meaningful players who will be out beyond this Saturday. That's unfortunate for Ohio State since they play in Coral Gables in Week 2.

In the short term, Stephen Morris will get a shot to start at quarterback against Maryland and possibly take hold of the competition he and Harris staged throughout camp. They were supposedly splitting snaps 50/50 the whole way, so if Morris plays well in the opener, the bet here is that he starts until he shows he shouldn't.

In the larger context of the season as a whole, Al Golden's gotta be breathing easy. The defense won't be completely decimated, and even though an 0-2 start is very possible, respectability and a bowl game are both realistic goals. Miami 2011 will be comparable to Miami 2010.

It's too early to say whether this means anything for Miami in an institutional sense. The NCAA apparently didn't look at most of the improper benefits as being too severe, but the real damage/punishment will be dependent on the proof (or lack thereof) of coaching-staff involvement and recruiting payments. That's the stuff that's bringing up death-penalty talk.


Post a Comment

Powered by Blogger.