Wow. That's all I got to say about this morning's news. After plenty of rumors on the internet Friday night and some great reporting work by our Barry Jackson and Susan Miller Degnan this morning (I made a few calls too Friday night but struck out), The Miami Herald confirmed quarterback Robert Marve -- and possibly a few other players -- have been suspended for the season opener in relation to incidents in the past year.
The news was supposed to break Sunday night, but as usual around UM it leaked out two days earlier. One thing is clear, the timing couldn't be worse. Miami is set to open its season in six days. Marve and the other players were told Friday by coaches about their suspensions after practice and according to Barry Jackson's sources, coaches held off on it because they didn't want the players to ease up during fall camp. I can understand that from a team perspective. You want Marve and the other possible suspended players to make sure they're ready for the season and you don't want to deflate them. And it's not like not having them against Charleston Southern is that big a deal.
But from a public relations perspective, this obviously doesn't shine well on the program. My question to you is could it have been handled better? Should coach Randy Shannon just have announced before fall camp that those guys were out for the opener? Would it have made a difference for you?
Those are the public relation issues, but there are team issues now, too. When a player is injured or gets suspended (we remember the Sam Shields incidents last year) they've always had to work to get back onto the first team. Obviously, Jacory Harris will start the opener now. Does Shannon just give Marve the reigns in Gainesville as week later? Not according to his own rules. It's going to be very interesting to see how this is all handled in the next few days.
Either way, one thing is clear, this has become an unnecessary distraction for a team coming off a 5-7 season and dire need of positivity heading into a new year.