Friday, March 16, 2012
What UNC penalties could mean for Miami
By Matt Fortuna
ESPN The Magazine senior write Ryan McGee takes a look this week at the effect North Carolina's sanctions could have on the next schools in line, Oregon and Miami.
If the details of Yahoo! Sports' August report prove true, McGee says, the results will not be pretty for the Hurricanes.
Nothing angers the Committee on Infractions, no matter who is on the panel, quite like someone on the coaching staff knowing about a rogue booster or agent and doing nothing about it. USC running backs coach Todd McNair was believed to have known about the Reggie Bush-Lloyd Lake relationship. That was pretty much the NCAA's whole case. It cited Ohio State's inability to track Bobby DiGeronimo, who at worst paid players a few hundred bucks and got them sham jobs.
But in the case of Nevin Shapiro at Miami, the Yahoo! guys present evidence that suggests at least seven members of the Hurricanes football and basketball staffs not only knew about him, they steered athletes and recruits toward him. Then he "provided thousands of impermissible benefits to at least 72 athletes from 2002 through 2010."
Honestly, if all of that ends up being proven by the NCAA, the UNC and Ohio State cases won't matter. They might be the NCAA's new baseline, but the Miami situation won't be concerned with baselines. It might be establishing a new ceiling.
The current committee ruled on both the Tar Heels' case this week and Ohio State's case in December. With the majority of the committee staying on through at least the next year — and with the committee's seemingly newfound references to precedent — McGee feels those two cases could provide a template for high-profile football cases in the future.