Commentary

Rumors hurting Miami's recruiting

Updated: October 20, 2011, 2:58 PM ET
By Dick Vitale | ESPN.com

In college basketball, the world of recruiting can be vicious.

It is so tough because there are coaches out there who will do anything to secure a top prospect. Their goal is to get that special player, that talent, getting an edge over the competition they have to face.

Think about it, negative recruiting exists.

Down at Miami, there have been all sorts of rumors and allegations about the basketball program. There were reports of wrongdoing and illegal activity during a prior period in both football and basketball. We have heard and read a lot about booster Nevin Shapiro.

All of this happened prior to the arrival of football coach Al Golden and basketball coach Jim Larranaga. Nothing has been proven as of now.

I recently spoke to Larranaga, the new guy on the block. In a very tough situation, he and his staff have come aboard and done everything the right way. Over the years, Golden and Larranaga have been praised about their integrity and loyalty.

Right now, Miami is going up against recruiters who are out there telling people that they should forget about the Hurricanes, that the future will include penalties and probation.

You'd better believe that the word "probation" can scare off a future star. Let me tell you, nothing has been proved, nothing has been ruled on, so this situation is so unfair.

Golden and Larranaga are quality guys who took over head coaching jobs at a time when they were not notified about the potential scenario of Miami being in trouble.

These guys are hard workers, and they are winners. They will get through this and rebuild. They are competitors who know how to do things the right way.

Miami basketball has already suffered a tough blow with the absence of inside presence Reggie Johnson until January. He is recovering from knee surgery. The Hurricanes expect to have solid perimeter play with Durand Scott and Malcolm Grant leading the way.

Scott is one of the most versatile players out there. Grant, who came over from Villanova as a transfer, is one of the best perimeter shooters that Larranaga has seen in a while.

Don't count Miami out as this team will scrap and claw based on the personality of Larranaga. The coach is a fighter and showed his personality when he played at Providence. He has displayed his coaching ability as a long-time assistant at Virginia, and then at Bowling Green and George Mason.

Larranaga's run with the Patriots, getting to the 2006 Final Four, is one of the best streaks in tournament history.

Keep a eye on Miami despite some tumultuous times in the athletic program. Larranaga and Golden deserve the opportunity to show they run their programs the proper way, without the short cuts that have apparently occurred in the past.

Dick Vitale

College Basketball analyst
Dick Vitale, college basketball's top analyst and ambassador, joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season. His thorough knowledge of the game is brought forth in an enthusiastic, passionate style. Vitale also contributes columns to ESPN.com.