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Saturday update: NCAA punts on UM case; Ross reacts to stadium setback;Fins, Heat

In a move that was disappointing but not surprising to UM, the NCAA this week ruled out Miami’s slim hopes of the case being dismissed before UM and former Hurricanes coaches have a full hearing in front of the infractions committee on June 14-16 in Indianapolis, according to multiple sources.

Temple law professor Eleanor Myers, a member of the NCAA’s infractions committee, informed UM and four former Hurricanes coaches that she does not believe she has the authority to dismiss the case pre-hearing. The infractions committee had given Myers the assignment of ruling on UM’s and the coaches’ motions to dismiss.

It always seemed unlikely to everyone involved that Myers would take the step of dismissing the case on her own – even though UM and the coaches presented compelling evidence for why the case has been tainted.

Myers told the parties they still have the option to present the motion to dismiss at the full hearing, and UM and the four coaches (Frank Haith, Jorge Fernandez, Jake Morton and Aubrey Hill) will again try to get the case dismissed then.

But it’s considered unlikely that the infraction committee would dismiss the case several hours into the hearing on June 14. What’s more likely is that the eight infractions committee members who are assigned to the case would hear all of the evidence from UM, the coaches, and the NCAA’s enforcement staff and then make a decision in the aftermath – a decision that could take weeks or a few months.

The hearing, at NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis, is expected to last two or three days.

### The Dolphins are still reeling this morning after the state House speaker refused to let the full House vote on changing a law that would permit Miami-Dade voters to vote on raising a tourist tax to help finance the Dolphins stadium.

Here is owner Steve Ross’ full statement reacting to the news: “Speaker [Will] Weatherford did far more than just deny the people of Miami Dade the right to vote on an issue critical to the future of our local economy.  The Speaker singlehandedly put the future of Super Bowls and other big events at risk for Miami Dade and for all of Florida.

“He put politics before the people and the 4,000 jobs this project would have created for Miami Dade, and that is just wrong. I am deeply disappointed by the Speaker's decision. He gave me and many others his word that this legislation would go to the floor of the House for a vote, where I know, and he knows, we had the votes to win by a margin as large as we did in the Senate. 

“It’s hard to understand why he would stop an election already in process and disenfranchise the 40,000 people who have already voted. I can only assume he felt it was in his political interest to do so. Time will tell if that is the case, but I am certain this decision will follow Speaker Weatherford for many years to come.  I want to thank Mayor Gimenez for his leadership. He was a tough negotiator whose persistence led to an agreement that offered taxpayers the strongest protections of any agreement of this kind in the country.

“I also want to thank our bill sponsors and supporters in Tallahassee, especially Senator Oscar Braynon, Representative Erik Fresen and Representative Eddy Gonzalez; our County Commission sponsors, Commissioners Jordan, Diaz and Barreiro, as well as all of our supporters on the County Commission;  HT Smith and Jorge Arrizurietta, the Co-Chairs of the Miami First Campaign; The University of Miami; The Orange Bowl Committee; The Greater Miami Hotel Association; the many volunteers who lent their support to our campaign, and the members of the Dolphins organization and our campaign team who worked so hard in the last several weeks. I believe without a doubt that the voters would have supported this project if given a chance to vote.

“In the weeks ahead, I will do all I can to convince my fellow owners to bring the Super Bowl back to Miami Dade. The Bid Committee has done a tremendous job to give us a great shot, and my only hope is that it is enough to overcome the terrible message Speaker Weatherford has sent to the NFL tonight. In addition, I will continue to do all I can to build a winning team for the people of Miami Dade. In the future, I will look to play an important role in fixing the dysfunction in Tallahassee and will continue to work to create good jobs in Miami Dade and throughout South Florida.”

### A few players who stood out to us at Friday’s Dolphins rookie minicamp, besides Mike Gillislee and Caleb Sturgis: third-round cornerback Will Davis (interception), undrafted Michigan safety Jordan Kovacs (interception; showed good instincts), undrafted Arkansas State receiver Taylor Stockemer (a couple nice catches). The final two days of the minicamp are closed to both the media and fans.

### Everyone practiced for the Heat today, including Dwyane Wade, who had missed some practice time this week because of a bone bruise in his knee. He should be ready to go for Game 1 Monday.

### You’ve got to love Chris Bosh’s honesty. Asked if he will watch Game 7 of the Bulls-Nets series tonight – with the winner advancing to play the Heat – he said probably not. “I’m tired of watching them play,” he said. “I can check the score and watch highlights. It’s even better than watching them play.” He said it’s his son’s birthday and he would rather play video games with him.   

### Check back later for the Sunday buzz, with a lot more UM news and Fins, Heat, Marlins.

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