Miami’s Notice of Allegations from the NCAA likely won’t be released anytime soon, if at all, but the university’s stance was made abundantly clear in a statement from UM president Donna Shalala released earlier this week:
Miami intends to fight the allegations against it. That’s somewhat standard operating procedure, but when you couple that with the facepalming missteps the NCAA took by essentially hiring Nevin Shapiro’s attorney to depose witnesses for information related to the investigation, the Hurricanes could have a rather compelling case on their hands.
Joining Shalala’s stance is UM board of trustees chair Leonard Abess, who, in an open letter to the Miami Herald, also asked that “no further sanctions be imposed” on the program.
“The university has self-imposed unprecedented sanctions, including the football program’s two-year bowl ban and forfeiture of a hard-earned conference championship game,” Abess writes. “Student-athletes found to have violated NCAA rules were withheld from competition, and they repaid any inappropriate benefits that they had received.”
Whether Miami will eventually come out of the other side of this free of all charges remains to be seen — there’s still reportedly a lack of institutional control charge facing the program — but Miami clearly intends for that to happen.
And Miami just might get what it wants — the key word being might. Having all charges against the program dropped by the NCAA feels like a stretch, but the university could always take this to court. The fascinating difference between this case and others is UM isn’t the only side with dirty hands.