Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Al Golden says he's committed to Miami
By Heather Dinich ESPN.com
Miami coach Al Golden, addressing recent speculation regarding his future at Miami, reasserted his commitment to the program on Wednesday.
Golden's agent, Brett Senior, told CBSSports.com on Tuesday that Miami has made "overtures" to Golden about restructuring his contract amid the NCAA investigation that took him by surprise just months after he was hired.
ESPN.com's Heather Dinich and Andrea Adelson write about all things ACC in the conference blog.
Senior later disputed the report, telling the South Florida Sun-Sentinel there had been no contact with Miami officials about Golden's contract.
Without being questioned on the reports, Golden took time during his opening statement on Wednesday's ACC coaches teleconference to stress he's still committed to Miami.
"I just want to make sure I'm clear to everybody that we love it here at Miami," Golden said. "My wife, kids and I, and the staff, we love it here. We've got incredible support from the president and our (athletic director) Shawn Eichorst, and we're certain that support will continue in a number of ways moving forward."
"It was tough for me, because when I was asked the question yesterday, I didn't really understand the context," Golden said of the report. "I had no idea about the story or what was said, or reportedly said and all that. I had a chance to speak with my attorney, and I expressed my displeasure, but again, I love it here."
Golden said the reports are not something he should have to address to recruits, his players or the public for long.
"Since I've been here, I've been committed to turning Miami around and implementing a process and a structure, and a culture that will endure," he said. "We're just out of the blocks. We're just out of the gates. I wish these types of things would go away in terms of we don't need any distractions. We're just trying to move forward with the program."
The NCAA is investigating allegations that former Miami booster Nevin Shapiro, now serving a 20-year federal prison sentence after pleading guilty to operating a Ponzi scheme, provided numerous Miami players and recruits with impermissible benefits. Yahoo! Sports first reported the allegations.
Senior was quoted in the CBSSports.com story as saying: "The university acknowledged there is something that needs to be done. Initial overtures came from them. It's the right thing to do. It wasn't handled well in the initial [stages]."
And when asked about whether Golden has an escape clause that could be triggered by his lack of knowledge about the investigation when he took the job, Senior, according to CBSSports.com, said "I will say this. We've got options available to us."
Senior told the Sun-Sentinel later Tuesday that no Miami official had reached out to Golden -- directly or through him -- about adjusting Golden's contract.
"There has been zero discussions with the university about anything regarding his contract," Senior told the Sun-Sentinel. "I've had no contact whatsoever with anybody from Miami."
"I think it was just taken out of context. I stated that coach Golden indicated to me that the university is behind him 100 percent in supporting him through whatever they're going to have to deal with regarding the NCAA stuff," Senior told the Sun-Sentinel. "It may have been inferred that they were supporting him with a new contract."
Heather Dinich covers ACC football for ESPN.com.