Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 11/19/12
The Miami Hurricanes, though eligible, will not be going toa post-season bowl game for a second straight season. The University administration has informed the AtlanticCoast Conference and the NCAA that the school will withdraw from bowlconsideration for the 2012 post-season. The self-imposed ban was done tomitigate forthcoming sanctions from the NCAA in the wake of the Nevin Shapiroscandal. Did Miami do the right thing for the football program givenits current place in college football?Coach Al Golden and his young Hurricanes have exceededexpectations this season. Picked to finish fifth in the ACCs Coastal Divisionin preseason polling of media who cover the conference, the Hurricanes, with awin this coming Saturday at Duke, would in fact, win the division title. However, the self-imposed penalty would preclude them fromtaking part in the ACC title game against Florida State, as well as thesubsequent bowl game. This is a significant penalty, considering Miami hasnever made it to the ACC title game since joining the league eight seasons ago.Some Hurricanes fans would argue that since it would be the'Canes first trip to the ACC title game (assuming they beat Duke, which giventhe unpredictable nature of ACC is not a given) Miami should roll the dice,play the game, and take their chances with the NCAA later. While theconsequences of sitting out post-season play are severe, especially for theupper-classmen who have ridden out this storm the past two seasons, letsremember the alleged rule violations are also severe. The Nevin Shapiro scandal included many NCAA violations, andin the eyes of college sports ruling body, also included a lack ofinstitutional control. While we, and the University for that matter, have notbeen fully notified of the NCAAs investigative findings, you have to believeschool President Donna Shalala and her legal counsel have a pretty good idea ofwhat is coming.Sure, this will sting right now, but with one of the NCAAsyoungest teams, this move is the right one for the future and the big pictureof Miami football. A two-year bowl ban is significant, and Miami now has thatin the rear view mirror as far as possible sanctions go. They will still likelybe hit with a loss of scholarships, but this program, as others have (see USC)can deal with that. The 'Canes best playmakers are mostly sophomores andfreshman, and they figure to be a better team in the years to come. The bestthing for Miami football is to let those players flourish in an environmentwhere possible sanctions are not hanging over their heads.I am not saying Miami is or will be as good next year asOhio State is in 2012. However, the last position you want to be in, is wherethe Buckeyes are now. Fielding an average team last season, they decidedagainst self-imposed penalties, decided to wait for the NCAA to act, and now,with an undefeated squad going into the annual showdown with Michigan, cannotplay in either the Big Ten title game or a possible BCS title game.Interim athletic director Blake James summed it up this wayafter announcing the self-imposed ban, we are confident its a decision thatallows us to move forward in a positive light. Though he also admitted there was disappointment in thelocker-room when he informed Hurricane players of the decision. Keep in mind too, Al Golden is highly regarded in collegecoaching circles, and will be mentioned for some job openings. As he said lastweek, with the investigation dragging on, its been like TMZ since I gothere. The sooner Golden knows exactly what he has to deal with, the sooner heand the Hurricanes can adjust and move the program further down the path tosuccess.The scope of the Shapiro scandal was distressing to anyHurricane fan, and you wonder how the people in charge of the athletic programcould have been so asleep at the wheel. But that is history, and Miami footballneeds to focus on the now and the future. Swallowing their self-prescribedmedicine, in a pre-emptive strike against the looming NCAA findings, is thebest course of action.
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