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A chat with Kirby Hocutt & more

Two weeks ago when the University of Miami was on the road in the NIT at Providence, I got a chance to catchup with athletic director Kirby Hocutt and pick his mind on a few hot button issues. I figured the highlights of our discussion might be the best way for me to start sharing a boatload of notes I've collected in the past week since the end of the spring football.

Kirby Hocutt > UM football coach Randy Shannon has two years left on his current contract. Entering his third season after going a combined 12-13, Hocutt said he has yet to broach the subject of a contract extension with Shannon and didn't share a timetable either when negotiations might begin. But he didn't sound like an athletic director whose begun looking yet for Plan B either. 

"We haven't talked yet," Hocutt said. "But that's no indication of our support for Randy. He's done an excellent job. There's an excitement around the program as well as optimism for next year. Miami football is on the right track. Randy has a plan and we're going to continue to support him and he's going to be the leader of the program for a long time. I'm confident of that."

> One thing that Shannon did that pleased Hocutt was the way he handled the recruitment of running back Bryce Brown, who went from longtime UM commitment to signing with Tennessee two weeks ago after Shannon decided not to renew his scholarship offer.

"He made the right decision in my opinion and I respect him for handling it the way he did. We're going to be fine moving forward," Hocutt said. "[Recruiting] has changed. Is it concerning? Yes it is. You would hope you can work directly with the parents and the young people involved. You hope the third party influence is not as involved as it is today, especially in the sport of basketball. This honestly was the first time I saw a third party involved in a football situation to the degree it was. And it's something I think we need to start talking about at the conference level and maybe moreso on a national level."

> One of the things Hocutt said he has become more involved in since taking over has been the future scheduling of opponents. He wants to get UM involved in big-time games including playing Notre Dame again and getting Florida on the schedule. Right now, Kansas State is looking to get off UM's schedule for 2011 and 2012. Hocutt said he and Shannon have agreed that as long as UM finds a comparable opponent for the series they would let the Wildcats out of their agreement. According to Hocutt, ESPN is trying to find a replacement to create a marquee TV matchup. Hocutt would not mention any names, but said it would be another Big 12 opponent. I've heard rumblings the possible home and home series could come against either Texas, Texas Tech or Missouri.

"We're going to make sure the opponent makes sense for Miami and what we're trying to accomplish," Hocutt said. "We'll see what opportunities present themselves and move down the road."

Speaking of down the road and opportunities, Hocutt seemed more confident there could be a future meeting with Miami and Notre Dame than with the Canes and Gators, who are currently scheduled to meet for the last time in football at Dolphins Stadium in 2013.

"If there is any way whatsoever to get [a series with Notre Dame] done, we'll get it done," Hocutt said. "I don't want to lead people on or sound too optimistic, but there has been an initial phone call and another conversation through a mutual relationship [TV]. There's definitely interest on both sides. If it's something we can get done in the future it sounds like we're both committed to it."

> When it comes to Frank Haith, consider Hocutt a huge fan of UM's 43-year old coach and a coach Hocutt would probably willing to fight for financially should Haith receive an offer to leave the program. Haith, who last week told reporters and his team he has no interest in leaving UM, has once again had his name resurface this week in filling a possible job opening. FOXSports.com reported Wednesday Georgia has Haith next on its list of candidates after Oklahoma's John Capel. Ten months ago, Hocutt and Dee extended Haith's contract at UM through 2014. Hocutt, who said he speaks to Haith on a weekly basis even during the offseason, said nobody has formally asked UM to speak with Haith.

"Frank and I spend a lot of time talking and its all focused around the future of Miami basketball, what we can continue to do to elevate this program," Hocutt said. "We have a great relationship. He knows we don't want anybody in this country to be our head basketball coach except Frank Haith. You hope you are in position as an athletic director and athletic department thatr people are coming after your coaches, your staff members. That's what you want. That means you got the right person in place and you are doing good things. I think it's a complement to UM that Frank's name is mentioned out there so much."

MORE NOTES, QUOTES & THOUGHTS...

This week I spent two days covering the McDonald's All-American festivities and got a chance to not only speak to a few big-time players, but pick the brains of high school basketball recruiting gurus on a variety of topics.

> UM's quest to land John Wall, the nation's No. 1 available point guard, should probably be considered what has been for a long time -- shaky at best. With John Calipari leaving Memphis for Kentucky this week, many gurus believe it won't necessarily stop Wall from following him. As I was told by SI's Andy Staples last night, Kentucky is probably the most ideal situation because they are desparate for a point guard. Wall has told several publications he plans to take an official visit to UM on April 24. But like Dwayne Collins told me last night when I bumped into him in the BankUnited Center parking lot at around midnight, "if I was him or anybody else living up in that cold, I'd want to take a trip to Miami, too. But that don't mean he's coming here."

> Speaking of Dwayne Collins, although there have been reports that the 6-8, 240-pound forward is considering leaving UM after this season to enter the NBA Draft, I'd consider the likelyhood of Collins leaving about the same as Wall coming to Miami. "Really, I'm just waiting on Coach Haith to tell me what he thinks," Collins said. "If he thinks I should go, I'll go. If he doesn't, I'll be back." NBADraftexpress.com ranks Collins 37th among the nation's Top Juniors. That's not close to being a first round pick.

> Jack McClinton's NBA Draft stock, meanwhile, remains up in the air -- especially after a knee injury slowed him toward the end of the year. McClinton will get a chance to make an impression on NBA Scouts again, however, when he participates in the Three-Point shootout of the State Farm College All-Star festivities Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. at the site of the Final Four in Detroit.

> Florida-bound and local guard Kenny Boynton Jr. had a pretty good night (10 points) in Wednesday night's McDonald's All-American Game at the BankUnited Center. I asked Boynton Tuesday if there ever really was a bone in his body that considered playing at Miami, in front of his friends and family.

"There definitely was," Boynton said. "They did recruit me. Coach Jorge Fernandez recruited me real well. Coach Haith recruited me also. But I didn’t think he put more into it like Duke and Florida. I think coach Haith didn’t show me he really wanted me. He came to see me a few times. But he never called a lot. I think it would have been a good situation [coming to Miami]. It’s close to home, Miami is on the rise. I think I could have helped. But it’s a good situation where I'm going too. I like Florida a lot."

> Coming off their second series loss in 23 series in the ACC, UM's baseball team will open a three-game homestand against Florida State this weekend at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field. The biggest news, though, is UM has decided to move No. 2 starter David Gutierrez into the Friday night starter role in place of the struggling Chris Hernandez Gutierrez is 2-2 with a 1.51 ERA. Hernandez is 2-2 with a 5.88 ERA.

By the way, the Canes will honor the 1999 National Championship team before Saturday night's game at 7 p.m. Get there early if you want to catch it.

Comments

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First!

Dos! AWESOME article Manny! I hope they put the ND deal together, I think both programs will be rising at the same time.

As far as the Gator's go, I think we will be running into them going forward with the SEC/ACC matchups with the current bowl structure. I would not be surprised if we played before our scheduled matchup in 2013.

It really doesn't matter whether we play the Gators or not. Our non-conference schedule is awesome, and the ACC has plenty of quality teams to contend with.

If we keep moving forward, everything wil fal into place!

Go 'canes!

Is there anything more ridiculous than hearing about Dwayne Collins leaving early to go pro? He averaged 10 points and 7 rebounds this season, led the team in scoring in exactly one ACC game and was invisible for large stretches -- or entire -- games.

Collins is a man amoung boys. Sure hope he stays and we get a point guard to actually feed him the ball. After watching the millionth 3 pointer MISSED in Canesville during the NIT, I am ready for Miami to show some inside game. If Miami does not increase their inside play, then he should leave.

OBCane2K-I couldn't believe those reports either when I heard them. If he wanted to leave early he would have had a better chance as a sophomore because from what I saw he regressed in every part of his game this year. This was a horrible year for him. Hopefully, he works hard and has a great senior season. He can be so good. He has to work though.

This one's for our dear friend GREEN...


http://macsystems.com/Nov10-2007.jpg

The Gators are such punks. Is good as they claim to be, they never want a piece of us. Yeah, the SEC is murderous, but common...all 3 (FSU) schools should be playing each other. They know their run will end soon, and our 30 year run will start again. And ND? Straight cowards...As far as Kenny Boynton, suprising to hear Haith didn't go at him strong. That might be just talk, but it would have been ashamed to lose him or Brandon Knight if it were for the fact that Haith didn't show enough interest...Glad to see you're still alive Manny.


This one's for our dear friend GREEN...


http://macsystems.com/Nov10-2007.jpg
Posted by: CrazyCane | April 02, 2009 at 02:03 PM

That's the best laugh I've had all day. By far.

I call complete BullsHYTE on Boynton. Haith was the first coach to show Kenny ANY love and that was before the kid had all the goods. Frank made the effort it was Kenny who was too much of a primadonna.

re: DC contemplating declaring for the draft.

What's next? Constatine Popa saying he is making a comeback and plans to play in the NBA in '09-'10? Kirby Freeman saying he expects to be among the top 3 QB's drafted?

See you Frank....ACC to SEC sounds like a step down to me. He could hack it in the ACC as his coaching skills were exposed. Let's hire one of those Duke kids sitting next to Coach K that will bring a winning tradition to UM along with some coaching skills. Let's hire the right guy this time!

http://www.ajc.com/sports/content/sports/uga/stories/2009/04/02/uga_coaches.html?cxntlid=homepage_tab_newstab

UGH

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_SO8Y3MIsoP8/RyZTRut-nhI/AAAAAAAABb8/GBPwWQCQjfw/s400/UF+2007+-+Wallpaper+Go+Dawgs+Bulldogs+scoreboard.jpg

Not what I was looking for of course, but still a favorite. I woulda like to found one of them from the past 25 yrs where we won so many times, but theyr hard to find.

what does this mean for our recruits when haith takes the georgia job--ie durand scott.

jkasse2,

You don't have to find any scoreboards of us beating the Gators. It's still fresh in their minds, that's why they keep comming in here and paradeing their one little victory over us. We still have scoreboard on them in total head to head wins, national championships, and NFL players. Believe me, they know who has the real scoreboard.

Plus, their wussy head coach and their whimpy athletic director are too scared to play us. They would rather have an 11-1 record (they have to have their annual meltdown against an inferior opponent every year) and beat 3 FBS schools, then have a 2 to 3 loss season playing BCS schools.

GO CANES!!!!

Gotta share this with you from allCanesBlog:

"As an Independent, Miami played anyone that would take them on. That was where "anyone, anyplace, anytime" was born.

Let's look at who an Independent Miami played during the 1987 run to the national championship and 12-0 season: #20 Florida, #10 Arkansas, #4 Florida State, #10 Notre Dame, #8 South Carolina and #1 Oklahoma.

Miami has been insignificant in the national title picture since 2006. As recent as 2005 Miami was #3 in the nation late in the year, behind #1 USC and #2 Texas. From 2000-2003, Miami played in four straight BCS games and two title games. Five national championships won in the past 25 years and five left on the field.

25 first round draft picks and 62 overall players drafted since 2000. Damn right "no program in the nation boasts more"."

Preach on preacher!!

CANES RULE!!!

Pretty good article here:

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/147652-hurricane-offense-getting-whipp-led-into-shape

Start an effing stadium fund for a future football stadium that will be OURS. DS is horrible for college football. I'd contribute to the fund every year even if it I knew it wouldn't be built in my lifetime.

ne one know where we can watch mcclinton tonite?

what channel is the college slam dunk contest n 3 point contest on

Start an effing stadium fund for a future football stadium that will be OURS. DS is horrible for college football. I'd contribute to the fund every year even if it I knew it wouldn't be built in my lifetime.

Posted by: DogSh_t Stadium | April 02, 2009 at 05:09 PM

Get over it!

ANYONE, ANYTIME, ANYWHERE

Go 'canes!

Yeah, we could play in that trailor park they call "The Swamp" in Gainsville or in Wembley Stadium, England. It doesn't matter, fact is whomever wants a piece of us, will get us. When approach certain schools (UF), they run for the hills (or swanp).

what does this mean for our recruits when haith takes the georgia job--ie durand scott.

Posted by: shalala is ruining our athletics | April 02, 2009 at 03:56 PM

This post has "Gator fan" written all over it, but I'll play!

When a coach leaves, you lose some recruit's. When the new coach is hired, you pick up some recruit's. It's usually a wash.

I would like Haith to stay, but...We lost every important game that we needed to win in the stretch!

I do not follow BB much, so if the UM BB experts on here want Frank to stay, then I want him to stay. I'm just saying that I did not see anything in the stretch that would tell me we need to "open the bank" to keep him.

P.S. Enough of the "Shalala is ruining UM athletics!" She loves our athletic programs as much as we do! If she didn't shut down the OB, the city code enforcement department was going to. Her fundraising campaign has raised almost $1,000,000,000.00 for the school! (That's a billion for all you Gator Troll's on here!) It's used for academic programs, facilities, and salaries.

Did you really want the university to spend $100,000,000.00 on a OB renovation? If your answer is yes, how many professors/employees/programs would you be willing to get rid of in order to accomplish this? How many academic programs are you willing to eliminate to play 6 or 7 home games a year at the OB? You would have to collect $2,000,000.00 a game to cover over 10 years. It's absurd to even consider it. It's a University, not a sports franchise!

What if we had a T. Boone Picken's type to build us a new stadium? That would be COOL!! What if we had a T. Boone Picken's type, who simply gave the same money to the school, and let the money go to academic programs and scholarships? That would be better!

Auburn has a booster that is so powerful, that he decides what is "best" for the team! He hires and fires the coaches, he tells the coaches how to do their jobs, and he has systematically destroyed their once proud program. (And he will continue to do so until the school gets the BALLS to get off of his t i t!) Is that what we want? Not me!

The fleecing that state schools perpetrate on the taxpayers is criminal! There is no justfication for athletic budget's that are now approaching $100,000,000.00 annually, mainly to cover salaries. This comes at a time when administrators are raising tuition, cutting financial aid, and laying off teachers!

U of Oregon can no longer afford to fund their sports programs with their current budget. This will not be an isolated incident over the next several years. Many, many schools are going to have to cut their spending in order to weather the storm.

The country is on the verge of a complete world wide financial collapse, but Florida Field needs a new $8,000,000.00 Jumbo Tron? Are you kidding me?? Bend over Florida, Ben Hill's family is driving!!

Was Bernie Madoff a Gator????

ANYTIME, ANYPLACE, ANYWHERE (WITH $0.00 TAXPAYER $$$$$)

Go 'canes!

Correction:

...$100,000,000.00 annually, mainly to cover salaries.

I mean the excess is mainly used to cover salaries and facilities, not the whole budget!

Go 'canes!

Miami hopefully is in the early stages of becoming like UF in bball. The article on the great facilities is very encouraging. Lets let Haith grow into the program, as it grows with him.

http://antonazucar.com/


ne one know where we can watch mcclinton tonite?

Posted by: jkasse2 | April 02, 2009 at 05:44 PM

what channel is the college slam dunk contest n 3 point contest on

Posted by: jkasse2 | April 02, 2009 at 06:00 PM

9p ESPN

(Pres. Shalala’s) fundraising campaign has raised almost $1,000,000,000.00 for the school! (That's a billion for all you Gator Troll's on here!) It's used for academic programs, facilities, and salaries.

Posted by: Sarasota 'cane | April 02, 2009 at 08:17 PM

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/breaking_news/story/412525.html

Momentum raised $1.4B …

ABOVE & BEYOND

Anton, your site is AWESOME! The captions are the bomb!

Green, I stand corrected!

P.S. Enough of the 86/Manny feud already! He is a really cool dude, and his site (as well as this site) is loaded with great info!

P.S.S. Your post's are funny, and informative!

Go 'canes!

why would the Canes want to be like UF in hoops? They have missed the tourney 2 years in a row despite paying their savior....er genius...er coach what was the hightest salary in the nation, despite playing in a very weak SEC, and now that Calathes is leaving, make it 3 years in a row. While having thier orgy of money would be nice, there are better programs to emulate, i.e. Duke, Carolina, etc. Will the Gator fans be talking about the 2 national championships when they run Billy D out of town?

Manny,
Any word on basketball player Jimmy Graham working out with and joining the football team? Saw a mention of this on ESPN's ACC Blog.

Gotta agree with SarasotaCane on Haith. I'm not a big enough fan to know anything about college BB. I agree that he looked weak down the stretch but I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Lets go on ahead and stick it out with Haith until we can't anymore would be my input. I think that means at least another 3 years. I am a big enough fan of college FB and I feel that is what Shannon deserves as well. His dedication to the program has earned him that. And that is coming from someone that is a so-so fan of Shannon's. I'm 50-50 on him. I still can't get over that GT game last season. But I firmly believe that Shannon's Coord's last year were the problem. I think that Shannon will get credit for looking the part of genious this year and I'm looking forward to that. Let's go 4-0.

Start an effing stadium fund for a future football stadium that will be OURS. DS is horrible for college football. I'd contribute to the fund every year even if it I knew it wouldn't be built in my lifetime.

Posted by: DogSh_t Stadium | April 02, 2009 at 05:09 PM

Get over it!

ANYONE, ANYTIME, ANYWHERE

Go 'canes!

See, you made an ASSumption that was wrong. The comment isn't about the OB, it's about needing our own stadium (as in one we OWN) to compete in the ever increasing arms race that is college athletics. Owning our own stadium would be huge. It should be a long-term goal.

See, you made an ASSumption that was wrong. The comment isn't about the OB, it's about needing our own stadium (as in one we OWN) to compete in the ever increasing arms race that is college athletics. Owning our own stadium would be huge. It should be a long-term goal.

Posted by: DogSh_t Stadium | April 03, 2009 at 01:03 PM

If you want to dream than go ahead! The OB was the ONLY shot UM had at owning/sharing their own stadium. It's ova Rocky! You want to build a stadium that will only be used 6 or 7 times a year?

You know what's ironic? UM has shown restraint in this "arms race" as you call it, and they should be commended for it! UM needs a new $50-100 million stadium about as much as UF needs a new $8 million JumboTron!

There will never be a "right" time to waste that kind of money. This is WAY beyond keeping up with the Jones'. If one of our boosters wants to spend their money on something like that, then I cannot stop them, but if they asked me, I would tell them to spend the money for the benefit of the entire student body.

One other thing, even if the school had the money for the stadium, where would they build it? The OB site belongs to the city, and they are going to build their new ballpark there. There is no place near campus to build it. Where would you build it?

Posted by: DogSh_t Stadium | April 03, 2009 at 01:03 PM

If you want to dream than go ahead! The OB was the ONLY shot UM had at owning/sharing their own stadium. It's ova Rocky! .


Posted by: Sarasota 'cane

REALITY BITES

Well-informed Miami fan "Monty" writes: Heather, Here's one for ya'. Apparently Miami basketball player Jimmy Graham has been working out with the football team and is expected to play with the football team this upcoming fall. At 6-8 and 240 pounds, he's supposedly working out at the TE position. This is NOT a belated April Fool's joke.

Heather Dinich: Thanks for the tip, Monty, I'll see if I can get a post worked up on it.

Is there any truth to this?

Since you obviuosly can't build a stadium on campus, the most logical place to build a stadium for UM would be at Tropical Park. It's close enough; It's large enough; and you could work a deal with the city for high school playoffs to offset the "lease" of city land for the stadium.

BUT- again it's still a dream. No one is going to pony up that kind of money. Look how long it took to upgrade the baseball stadium even with the big A-Rod donation.

Love to see - Never going to happen.

I am and have always been a cane fan. I also know when it's time for the university to go in a different direction. I like Randy Shannon and the way he handles his players, however he was a much better D Coordinator than a head coach. With Tuberville out there in the waiting why doesn't the U just throw the switch. While Shannon is a good man, he is not a Good coach. Tuberville is waiting on the position at Miami but he will not wait long. If the Cane's don't go after him soon, they will be left wondering what if! Tuberville can turn the Cane's back into the Dynasty that they were. It's embarassing seeing all these Miami high schoolers and top recruits laughing at the thought of playing in Miami. Tuberville would not let this happen. He would again lock down south FL as Cane Country! Shannon should be commmended for getting some of the recruits that he has been able to sign but look how many others the canes probably would have gotten with a more proven coach. Now another year of disappointment with new coordinators, both of whom I believe were good pick ups but won't have enough time to show it as the try to implement their systems. Cane's will be lucky not to be 0-4 to start the season and it will be a rough road to recovery from there. Good luck Miami as I will still be rooting for you but I think a new leader is needed!

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