When Al Golden left Temple last December to take the job at Miami, he should have been told by university officials that the NCAA could be investigating the connection between former booster Nevin Sharipo to UM players by way of millions of dollars in impermissible benefits at some point down the road.
As you’ll recall from the damning piece of investigative journalism by Yahoo! Sports, Miami associate AD for communications Chris Freet had reached out to Sharipo for an interview as early as last summer.
“When Shapiro made his allegations nearly a year ago, he and his attorneys refused to provide any facts to the university,” Freet said. “We notified the NCAA enforcement officials of these allegations. We are fully cooperating with the NCAA and are conducting a joint investigation. We take these matters very seriously.”
Apparently not seriously enough to inform Golden or new athletic director Shawn Eichorst, who was hired in April.
“I just found out,” Golden said of the NCAA’s investigation after yesterday’s practice. “I’m out of it. I’ll be completely out of it.”
If that truly was Golden’s first time hearing about the investigation, then that’s entirely unfair to him and his staff — none of whom are mentioned in the exposé. Miami had to have known when they reported the allegations to the NCAA that an investigation would be on the horizon. Keeping Golden out of the loop in any way would be negligent.
And he knows it.
“If they knew this was percolating, I believe they did have a responsibility to tell me,” Golden said. “I believe they have a responsibility to tell Shawn. But look, I’m happy here. My wife is happy here. We have great kids on this team. …
“I want to make sure we get it right. As quickly as we can get to the bottom of whatever happened, then we can move forward. The only way to do that is to cooperate with the NCAA and get the truth.”
Golden’s response is a sickeningly sweet combination of class and integrity. He should have been told this was a possibility when he was interviewed. If he wasn’t, Golden should be allowed to look for another job immediately.
He won’t, of course, but the option should be there.