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Miami’s Golden addresses NCAA investigation

Al Golden

For the first time since it was reported late Sunday night that the NCAA would be in town to investigate the claims of a former booster, Miami has addressed what could be a potentially serious situation for the football program.

And, to his credit, Al Golden did not shy away from the questioning and answered the queries as best he could.

Golden, who was not head coach during the time convicted felon Nevin Shapiro allegedly provided current and former Hurricanes players with impermissible benefits, told UM beat writers that Miami actually began an internal investigation into the allegations before the NCAA came to town.  Golden said he just recently learned of the NCAA’s interest in the allegations, but that he has not yet spoken to The Association.  Golden also emphasized the fact that these alleged violations occurred well before he landed the job at Miami, although he wouldn’t identify any specific players currently on the roster who may be of interest to the NCAA.

“I just found out,” Golden said. “Clearly there was some articles yesterday. But in terms of contact with NCAA, I haven’t had any. Our [athletic director] and President have. Other than that, it’s a joint effort, a cooperative effort. Once we learned of allegations, we want to make sure we’re doing our due diligence and cooperate with the NCAA on this. …

“I’m out of it. I’ll be completely out of it.  We want it that way. It’s unfortunate. It’s hard for me to stand up here and defend something that occurred three, four, five, six years ago. Again, my record with the NCAA, our staff’s record, our commitment to the student-athletes since we’ve been here speaks volumes for itself.”

The complete talk with the media can be viewed by clicking HERE.

The purpose of the visit by the NCAA Monday was to investigate claims made by Shapiro that numerous former and, most importantly, current members of the Hurricanes football program had committed major NCAA violations.  Specifically, Shapiro has alleged that he had given, the Miami Herald wrote Monday, “gifts and services – such as use of a yacht – to former Hurricane football players while they were attending UM.”

Shapiro was convicted of running a $930 million Ponzi scheme that left upwards of 60 victims with losses totaling over $80 million.  He was sentenced in June to 20 years in federal prison, and has been ordered to repay $82.7 million, which is partly the reason why he’s writing a book concerning the allegations he’s made against The U football program.

After Shapiro donated nearly $150,000 to the university, a players lounge was named in his honor at the school.  Upon his arrest in April of 2010, however, Shapiro’s name was stripped from the lounge and the university returned just over $130,000 of his donation.

In addition to Golden speaking on the issue, the school also released a statement.

“When Nevin Shapiro made his allegations nearly a year ago, he and his attorneys refused to provide any facts to the University of Miami. The University notified the NCAA Enforcement officials of these allegations. We are fully cooperating with the NCAA and are conducting a joint investigation.”

As the university cooperates with The Association, Golden has just one thing to ask of his players — tell the truth.

“There’s only one way to move here, to be honest,” Golden said

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12 Responses to “Miami’s Golden addresses NCAA investigation”
  1. overratedgators says: Aug 16, 2011 11:56 AM

    The Tressel legacy: coaches suddenly realizing that honesty is always the best policy.

  2. latrobe21 says: Aug 16, 2011 12:31 PM

    @ gator

    Golden is a disciple of Paterno and, as such, already had character and morals. Tressel had nothing to do with it.

  3. overratedgators says: Aug 16, 2011 1:25 PM

    latrobe,

    That wasn’t actually meant as a dig at Golden – though, looking back, in hindsight, I could see how you read it that way – and I apologize for not being clear.

    My point was simply that with the Tressel saga still looming large in the national media, coaches in general are probably going to being doing a much better job – at least for the foreseeable future – of erring on the side of honesty and cooperation when it comes to NCAA investigations.

    Again, not aimed at Golden specifically – just a general comment.

  4. atxcane says: Aug 16, 2011 3:20 PM

    Even if Shapiro’s allegations are true and he has a hundred smoking guns to support it, what would the NCAA do other than vacate wins for 2007? We have a completely new athletic department since that time, a completely new football program, none of the allegedly involved players are even in school anymore (I think Randy Phillips was the youngest name mentioned). The NCAA is already perfectly happy with our compliance and education outreach for sports.

  5. Ben Kercheval says: Aug 16, 2011 3:27 PM

    atxcane,

    NCAA’s four-year statue of limitations has exceptions if there’s proof of a pattern of wrongdoing. Not that it would necessarily apply in this case, but just a technicality.

  6. atxcane says: Aug 16, 2011 4:05 PM

    Ben,

    I’m aware that the NCAA can reach farther back than the 4 year statute of limitations. By all accounts however, Shannon wouldn’t let this guy anywhere near the program when he took over in 2007. So if there was a *program* problem, I’d assume it happened prior to 2007. We’re talking the Larry Coker era here, 2 coaches and 2 ADs ago. It’s a little difficult to rationalize prospective penalties (i.e. losing scholarships as opposed to vacating wins).

    Compound that with the fact that UM has been aggressive on this investigation, and it’s a little hard to drop the hammer on them. Shapiro made the allegations last year, UM asked for details so they could investigate. Shapiro refused to supply details. UM notified the NCAA at that point, and began an internal investigation. The NCAA is continuing their followthrough, and Shapiro is now alleging that he has provided details to the NCAA. How this all shakes out, nobody knows, but UM has been active and compliant with the NCAA in this manner.

  7. Ben Kercheval says: Aug 16, 2011 4:08 PM

    atxcane,

    Get what you’re saying; just passing along info.

  8. John Taylor says: Aug 16, 2011 4:33 PM

    @atxcane: Shapiro’s attorney stated that her client is alleging that former and CURRENT players received impermissible benefits.

  9. atxcane says: Aug 16, 2011 4:50 PM

    If the reports about Shannon not letting the guy anywhere near the program are true though, it’s tough to say it was a program issue. You can’t monitor an athlete 24/7. All you can do is educate, and not allow Shapiro access through the university.

    If an athlete goes outside of the school and enjoys impermissible benefits, how can you hold the school responsible unless they had knowledge of what was going on?

  10. florida727 says: Aug 16, 2011 5:01 PM

    This might actually prove to be a good test of the NCAA’s fairness in dealing with infractions.

    Vacate wins? Fine. Hand down penalties that affect a program and an administration that wasn’t even there when the infractions occurred? Wrong.

    I understand punishing the tortfeasor (wrongdoer). What I don’t, and never will, agree with is punishing those who had no control or influence over preventing infractions from happening. If there’s still a kid on the team that benefitted, make HIM ineligible (same goes for a punishable coach, if proven there is one; I know in this case that doesn’t apply, all new staff).

    Bottom line: don’t punish the entire team/program. Punish only the responsible party(ies).

  11. atxcane says: Aug 16, 2011 7:00 PM

    Holy fuck. Just read the Yahoo article. Considering all the coaches and ADs involved are gone, the only person left to get rid of is Donna Shalala.

    Wow.

  12. chiefagc5675 says: Aug 16, 2011 10:14 PM

    I thought I saw Mauve’s name- he’s now at Purdue but he played for Shannon

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