|ESPN.com: Dick Vitale||[Print without images]|
The NCAA finally made a ruling on its investigation of the University of Miami athletic program.
I do not know why it took so long to come up with this decision. The procrastination over this case was alarming. I understand there is a process and the scrutiny is unreal.
The folks down at Miami have to be relieved in a way. This has been hanging over their heads for a long time now. The investigation of former booster Nevin Shapiro and his shady dealings has been a black cloud over this proud athletic department.
At the end of the day, the punishment was not as brutal as doled out in other cases. I remember when this story first broke, there were some journalists throwing out the term "death penalty."
Miami football lost a total of nine scholarships, dropping three per year over the next three seasons. The big news for Al Golden's squad is no bowl ban for this season. The Hurricanes have already passed on two bowl games and an ACC title showdown as part of a self-imposed punishment. That decision paid dividends for this year's unbeaten, top-10 squad.
Now Golden can feel good about recruiting, as well as the direction of the program. He has done a super job of righting the ship.
The same can be said for basketball coach Jim Larranaga, a class act who led the Hurricanes to the ACC title last season. Now he has a clean slate going into this campaign.
Until this news came out, both coaches were concerned about rumors. Now they know what they have to face. Miami can survive those scholarship penalties. Remember, Golden and Larranaga were not even at Miami when these infractions took place.
Shapiro wanted to get familiar with some of the Hurricanes' student-athletes and went a step above, creating a nightmare for the university.
It is also interesting to note that former Miami basketball coach Frank Haith, currently at Missouri, was given a five-game suspension based on what transpired with the Hurricanes. The one good thing for everybody involved is the decision is in the books. Now it is time to move on and do the things it takes to succeed in a positive way.
Golden and Larranaga have to be relieved. So does Haith, who can sit out his five games and go forward with the season.
I just wish the NCAA would move quicker in making these decisions. They affect so many people's lives -- impacting recruits, coaches and current players who were not even there when the infractions took place.