There's never a time of year quite like that little gap when the football regular season ends and the bowl game takes place. At The U, that time was usually reserved for rumors of who might decide to leave school early for the NFL or who might be leaving a coaching job here for a better one somewhere else. These days it's a little different.
Among the many rumors heard around The U this week: Robert Marve is disgruntled and leaving the program; highly-touted recruit Bryce Brown isn't coming to UM anymore; Patrick Nix is getting fired; Jack McClinton is going to play the part of Rick James in a movie; and the reason I didn't get into that club last weekend in Louisville was because I can't wear skinny jeans. In search of some truth, I spent the past three nights talking to folks in and around this program to try and provide you with what I believe is behind all of this internet, hearsay madness. And so far, the only rumor I can confirm with 100 percent certainty is the last one. I didn't get into that club because of my baggy jeans.
But as for the rest, here is what I'm hearing...
> It's on good word the parents of quarterback Robert Marve had some sort of a meeting with Randy Shannon before the coach flew to San Francisco for some bowl festivities Wednesday. From what I gathered, Marve's future at Miami remains unclear. It's unknown exactly what was discussed. But the fact remains he started 11 games this season. As one person told me, "He had a chance to put a stranglehold on the position with 11 starts and he didn't." My guess is his family wants what's best for their son. And there's nothing wrong with that. After all, this could all be about nothing serious. But I've been told family-coach meetings are rare during the season. That should show you how important the issue is for both sides. Don't look for any public statements on this until the issue is resolved.
Meanwhile, if Marve does leave as the hot rumor suggests, he's been tied to USF, LSU and UF on internet message boards and blogs. Here's what makes sense to me. If he does decide to leave, don't expect him to be granted a release to USF. Miami plays USF, after that newly signed deal, many times over the next few years. And the Canes don't usually allow players to transfer to future opponents.
> While Marve's future at UM is unclear, one thing is certain: he has not been is suspended for violating any team rules. In fact, no player at UM has been suspended for breaking any team rules (as of right now). We will find out next Wednesday, however, if someone failed to meet the academic requirements to remain eligible for the Emerald Bowl on Dec. 27.
> As for Miami's other quarterback, Jacory Harris, I don't expect him to be going anywhere regardless of whether or not Marve transfers after the bowl game. Harris, I'm told, is extremely happy at Miami. While Jacory's parents are expected to request a meeting after the season with Shannon to talk about their son (much the same way as Marve), no one should think Harris wants out. The family loves being close to their son and do not want to have to drive far to watch their son play. In fact, even though at first they thought the two QB system might not work, they were pleasantly surprised it did. Just don't take that to mean they'll be happy with it being in place moving forward.
> From what I hear, expect a handful of players -- especially running backs who hardly played and tight ends and linemen who never play -- to be transferring to new schools after the bowl game (just like last year). One guy who I don't expect to leave is receiver Jermaine McKenzie. His father told me Monday night Jermaine is finally healthy (100 percent) and they expect him to compete at a higher level this spring. While Jermaine was frustrated he didn't catch a pass this season, I'm told he believes in the coaches, who keep urging him to compete.
> As for highly-touted running back Bryce Brown, who told Scout.com last week he was no longer planning on enrolling at UM in January, the Canes are still very confidentthey'll land the blue-chipper from Kansas. Brown has been busy taking official visits to Clemson, Missouri and Oregon. He still has another trip scheduled to Purdue and his final trip to Miami. But the word is Oregon is the only team that really might be able to sway Brown away from the Canes. Bryce said in a candid video interview with Scout he loved the feel at Oregon. I just don't expect it to be strong enough to pull him away from UM in the end and neither do the Hurricanes' brass who believe his relationship with Arthur Brown will prevail.
> Plantation cornerback and UM commitment Brandon McGee and I spoke for about 15 minutes regarding Brown, who will be his teammate at the U.S. Army All-American game next month in San Antonio. This is what McGee told me: "It kind of threw me off that he's not coming early anymore. But I still think he's going to be a Cane. We talk on the phone and he tells me how he's working on getting some linemen to come here. I'd be really surprised if he changed his mind."
> McGee, who said he will begin his career at UM as a cornerback, will begin classes at UM on Jan. 20 and is expecting to room with running back Mike James. He said he's been busy working out since his season ended three weeks ago. Lately, he's been busy trying to recruit for the Canes, chatting it up with receiver Andre DeBose (one of the Sanford trio). This weekend, McGee will celebrate his birthday by taking an official visit with fellow commitments James, tight end Billy Sanders, tight end Stephen Plein, defensive end Olivier Vernon and defensive lineman Curtis Porter. The plan is to help try and create a family feel with the big guys who will also be visiting this weekend -- offensive linemen Bobby Massie, Daniel Campbell and Jermaine Johnson. "We're definitely trying to get some of those big men to commit," McGee said. "Coach Stoutland told us he needs an assist."