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Northwestern coach: "There is no rift with UM"

Miami Northwestern, the elite high school football program in Miami-Dade County, has long been a pipeline to the University of Miami. And despite what other "sources" may be saying, Bulls coach Billy Rolle, a longtime friend of Hurricanes coach Randy Shannon, told me Wednesday afternoon that won't be changing. 

Billy_Rolle "This thing is plain and simple: it's a big misunderstanding," said Rolle regarding reports that say a rift has been created between the Canes and its biggest feeder school. "I don't have any problem with the University of Miami, no matter what anybody might think or say. No one here does. The recruiting process is the recruiting process and sometimes kids don't know what it's about. They don't know it's a business. And some of our guys had to learn that, the hard way."

Rolle is of course referring in part to the recruiting saga of highly-touted defensive tackle Todd Chandler, who committed to Miami as a junior (right after the Bulls won the mythical national title with Jacory Harris and seven other future Canes in 2008) but is no longer a Canes recruit. 

Tuesday, ESPN.com ran an article, quoting Chandler (as I did back in December) voicing his frustration with the Hurricanes and his understanding that he once had a scholarship offer from Miami, but had it taken away." The article also quoted Terrence Craig (as a Northwestern assistant) saying "the people in the community here at Northwestern won't forget this." Other news outlets later quoted sources saying a rift between UM and Northwestern had grown so big, the Bulls wouldn't send future players to UM until Shannon and Rolle resolved the issue. 

According to Billy Rolle, all of it is hogwash. Craig, he says, wasn't even a part of his staff this year at Northwestern. Craig, a former Bulls offensive line coach, left the program last year for Miami Southridge, which is closer to his home. And those sources, Rolle said, "I'm not sure sure who they are."

"Some people do a lot of talking, they like to be spokesmen," Rolle said. "But they don't know. You know me. I don't like talking on the phone. I'm a face to face guy. I talked to coach after I read something in the paper... We ironed it out."

What also got ironed out, Rolle said, was the situation regarding Chandler. Rolle admitted he was shocked when he first heard Chandler was no longer headed to UM. But he said after he looked into the situation, spoke to Shannon and Chandler, Rolle said he came to "a clear understanding" of why Chandler won't be playing for the Hurricanes.

"A kid may commit early, but a school can change their mind the way a kid changes their mind," Rolle said. "It was just one of those things, a kid commits early and trusted the situation. But it's a business. s years go by, the recruiting process changes. Unfortunately, the recruiting process probably changed for Miami. Like coach told me, they had a lot of injuries this year, young guys and old guys coming back. It was a numbers thing. At first, Todd was kind of distraught, he really didn't understand it. But after we talked to him and things like that, he understood by taking trips to other schools -- he understood what went down with him.

"I was just shocked because he wanted so badly to go there because of the guys who were there previously. He had a nice little bond with the guys who were here before and because he was one of the younger guys who started and played here a lot when they were here. He had decided before anything that's where he wanted to go play. At the time, it was something big going on with us, winning the national title. So, everybody was excited, thought it was only natural Todd would go to Miami too. He made a commitment to himself to commit to Miami because he was sold on it.

Randy Shannon "But usually, when a school offers a kid, the coach gets a letter. That's the thing. I never got a letter for Todd. I looked for it, didn't find it. That's how [UM] covered their butts."

Rolle said the situation with Chandler proved to be a valuable lesson for his entire team. He said he recently had a scout explain how programs "have different needs" each and every season. 

"People assume the best players at Northwestern should go to Miami. And to me, that's how I believe it should be," Rolle said. "When you go to Alabama, the best players from Alabama go to Alabama. Same at Texas, LSU, Georgia. You may see one or two guys from other parts, but that's it. Me, personally as a coach, I always tell the kids to look around, don't say no to a school just because you've chose one. You never know what can happen. A coach might get fired or leave to another school. Now, that school doesn't want you anymore.

"Sometimes, kids just love a school so much, they don't want to hear 'No.' If you look at Antonio Bryant and Torrie Cox, my guys here from the 1998 team. They were going to die if they didn't go to University of Miami. And here comes this guy from Pittsburgh. Torrie was going to die if he didn't play running back. I showed him a media guide of all these cornerbacks and their bios about how they were running backs. What happened? Torrie went to Pittsburgh, got drafted in the third round and is still playing. Same for Antonio. The point is, Miami ain't always going be ready for you. But I think us being right here in Miami, UM should get its choice and all the coaches around the county should support that."

Rolle insists the Canes haven't loss any ground -- or faith -- from other potential recruits at Northwestern. In fact, he said UM is on solid ground with three of the Bulls' premier 2011 recruits: quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, receiver Eli Rogers and linebacker Lyndon Edwards. In fact, Bridgewater, considered the top player in the state in 2011, told me his love for the Hurricanes hasn't changed.

"I've always a good feeling about the Miami Hurricanes," Bridgewater said. "They're my hometown school and I've watched them put a lot of players in the NFL. As far as Jacory, I watched him as much I could this season and picked up as many things as I could from him. I like the way he puts touch on his passes.

"What they did to Todd Chandler, it's just what college is. It opened some eyes. You may be committed to a college and you never know what can happen. In the end, Miami did what it had to do. Since my ninth grade year, I've seen a lot of my teammates go there and play. Right now, I'm wide open. I've got six offers -- Florida, Miami, Tennessee, West Virginia, Rutgers and FIU. My plan is to take as much time as I need to figure it out."


> Rolle said he's been very happy with the Hurricanes have handled the current Bulls at UM and he hasn't heard any complaints from his players. When I asked him about receiver Kendal Thompkins possibly seeking a transfer, he said Thompkins continues to work out at Northwestern with his UM gear and hasn't mentioned a work to him about leaving the program.

"I tell the kids all the time, when you go to college there are going to be five, six guys just like you, you have to compete," Rolle said. "Personally, I think a lot of luck is involved. Injuries could get you. But luck is big. You might make one catch in a game or practice that catches the coaches eye. You just have to be ready when the opportunity comes. Kendall hasn't told me once he isn't happy there. I haven't asked him either. But the kids coming back to me complaining? No. It's not happening."

> If you are wondering where Northwestern's best players will be heading this year, it looks like Louisville is the destination. Coach Charlie Strong visited with Rolle Wednesday right before I got to Northwestern. Running back Corvin Lamb, offensive lineman Torrian Wilson, receiver Michaelee Harris and Chandler will likely be signing with the Cardinals. Oddly enough, former Hurricanes recruiting coordinator Clint Hurtt will be the guy coaching Chandler. 


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Do I win a T-shirt or something? LOL

I like all the posts Manny, you give good solid information full of interviews and investigation. For a while there you had disapeared, but now you're doing great. Keep up the good work

Thanks for the update!!!!

Manny -

Any word on Miami's chances at Seantrel Henderson? I normally don't pay much attention to the recruiting service rankings, but this guy looks like a physical freak. Is UM in the running?

UM recruiting class sucks. This is not helping.

Finally some answers... doesn't look good on RS part though, one scholly? couldn't sacrifice just one? Randy c'mon

thanks Manny


Miami's class is awesome. Filling all needs beautifully. Manny thank you for a dose of reality in this crazy recruiting world. Go Canes! Beat Ohio St!

Great material as always Manny. Coach Rolle speaks with extreme political correctness, but nothing in his words diminishes the apparently extremely poor treatment that Todd Chandler received from the U. We'll certainly never know the whole story, but inarguably the U should have been much more forthright with Chandler about retracting his scholarship offer. The U is looking at a major damage control campaign to clean up this mess.

I love it!!! Let's keep the haters hating. It's the way it has always been and the way it will continue to be us true CANES.

Randy & Co. - great job this year on recruiting and filling needs! I LOVE THIS CLASS! Can't wait for NSD, if your on board then welcome to the U, if your not on board best of luck and we will move on and be just fine without U!

This is so much better than that clown at the sun-sentinel that calls himself a canes beat writer.

Good info. I trust Randy and I believe that he will succeed and win big.....eventually.

DavidJ, what part of "I never got a letter for Todd" don't you understand, that's not PC, that's quite frankly...being frank...


Great job as usual my man!

Keep up the good work!

The podcasts with Blu and the boys was awesome.



good digging. This is what we expect. Keep doing it.


this kind of reporting will open doors for you.


I like Billy Rolle. He speaks the truth.

However, please, is NW the only source of players for UM? Other than a 9-4 record, did that "super" class win us a NC? or an ACC ch.?

Where was Spence last yr?
Where was Forston?
J-12 fell apaprt towrds the end

Go elsewhere then, if theyre going to act like Primadonnas- How about St Thomas? Miramar? central? gainseville?

Did the bulls win the state ch this yr?

Is Chandler the right fit?

But heres the real question- Did any of what is claimed (the removal of the scholie, etc etc) really happen, or is it a gross exaggeration?
Is Todd Chandler stretching the truth? Did he or not qualify academically? Was he seen not to perform to UMs expectations?

If Miami never offered him a scholarship then UM did nothing shady at all. It was Chandler's fault to just assume that as a 4 star DT from MNW he could just decide that he was going to UM. UM isn't obligated to take someone just because they want to go there.

I have to agree that this does not sound good. I like to think that a man's word is his bond. Once there's a handshake, then it's sealed. If Miami pulled Chandler's scholarship because of a personnel numbers game as is reported here, after initially promising him a football scholarship, then they were wrong. When poor personnel management goofs up after a promise is made, there's only one right way to keep it right. U eat it and move on. That's called program integrity and that's supposedly a pillar of what Shannon's supposed to be selling to potential recruits.

That said, we haven't heard Coach Shannon's response to all this, so I'm not ready to crucify him. I would like to see the flip side of this because as written, it smells like dead fish.

you don't need stars to grade a class wait 3 or 4 years go canes

i wish chandler, harris, and wilson were in our class but at least theyre going somewhere respectable like louisville(NOT THE GATORS... OR FSU... OR USC...) i think its good that all those MNW kids get to stick together with hurtt and strong. despite hating the gators i have alot of respect for charlie strong. hopefully those guys are successful and i wish them luck.

UM is in the running Imac EGO and Henderson.
Shirley. Whitiker and Coleman showing up for show I heard but who knows. Coach Shannon haters been quiet on the message boards today. I guess you realize can't believe evrything you read. Now the rumor is Chandler was dropped for stealing. Thats a terrible claim to put on a kid if not true.

Good job Manny.It's nice to hear the facts instead of the rumors.I'm surprised that miami did'nt offer chandler a scholarship,there seems to be a need for good DT's on that defense.Overall i think this class might be a little underrated or maybe i just hope so.

I don't like the tone of Rolle. How do you not take Chandler - a four star recruit? There's so much more to it than tha Manny.

Rolle sounds like a "company man" staying loyal to the cause. I think Shannon screwed the pooch on this one. I hope this doesn't set the program back in the future.


So it's cool for UM to leave this kid hanging like that? UM promised him a scholorship and didn't deliver...kind of messed up if you really think about it.

manny, do know what the deal is with CB darius robinson out of westlake h.s.? insidetheu.com reported miami was back on him about a week or two ago. any validity to that story? cause our class could seriously use more CB help. we cant keep trying to shift guys like shields, thompkins, and clements over to corner.

Lets remember that we picked up Taylor for a DT. So let me get this straight.. We don't have room for a four start DT but do have one for a two start (BIG TIME PROJECT) kid who has played 5 total games in his high school career...

Having a roster spot is BS

The Chandler thing is now more stupid to me than ever. The kid LOVES the U, the kid wants to be a CANE, the U recruits his school, the Kid is GOOD, give him a dang SCHOLLY. If Kirby Freeman, Robert Marve, Alex Uribe, Buffalo commits, and two-star Oregon midgets can get a scholly, Chandler should get two Schollys. Stupid, stupid, and stupid to break the Northwestern pipeline.

WHy did miami choose to pull the scholarship from a 4 star kid who played in the under armour game and is rated 7th best DT in the country? THAT"S WHAT I WANT TO KNOW? Did he suck this year? He couldn't have he played in a prestigious national all star game. I want to know why miami is passing? Grades? Can't be numbers we're signing a couple of DTs rated much lower than Chandler

All this crap about Randy Shannon this Randy Shannon that....for all of you so-called Hurricanes fans and haters i got one thing for you all.......eat a dizzle....this "U" will reign forever !!!!

chandler is too short maybe 6 feet. he is another teraz mccray. look at the size of the other defensive lineman being recruited and on the roster. the staff wants big players. its a parcells-belicheck theory. big teams win.

For you simps out there You need to thank your lucky stars for Manny Navarro. He got off his fat latino butt and drove to MNW to get the REAL story behinds ESPN's lies. Chandler was given a verbal offer hence not a written not a formal offer a verbal offer under conditions none of us know except Billy Rolle Todd Chandler and Randy Shannon. For Whatever reason Chandler verbal offer was pulled. Could be for guns grades or any number of things we can think of. But it was prolly for something we haven't thought of like Demar Taylor is better. Only time will tell but the Shannon not knowing nothing bashers should hush until the REAL reporting is made. And Manny you should have never ran that rift story until you got the source(Coach Rolle). I mean ESPN got a comment from an EX-coach who coaches miles away R U KIDDING ME and thats what they ran with.................UM WILL ALWAYS BE US AGAINST THE WORLD.

maybe Chandler didn't receive a scholly because he was MANHANDLED by UM commit McDermott in the under armour game... don't feel bad chandler so was ND commit louis nix...

LOL @ some of the comments here. It's almost as if folks want it to be a rift just to bash RS. Why would Rolle cover up for a person that is not his employer, but he is willing to let a school crap on his kids? I do not buy that. I feel bad for Chandler if he recruited the U & now his feelings are hurt. This is a life lesson for the young fella. If I recall both RS & Rolle played HS ball together, so I am sure RS did not stab the kid in the back. Either way, I can only go by what we read. He never recv'd a letter. End of story.

Now this is reporting and getting to the truth. THANK YOU MANNY!

As for Coach Rolle, I have more respect than ever. Talk about a stand-up call it like he sees it kind of guy.

It's unfortunate that Randy and other NCAA coaches aren't permitted to address these things.

Thanks Manny and Coach Rolle. Good luck Chandler. Don't hate on the U because you are a 305 kid and we will root for you.

I don't know if some of you missed the part in the article that said that Miami never offered Chandler a scholarship. Miami can't pull something that was never offered to him.

Why would Miami not recruit and sign a so-called 4 star player at a very important position if there wasn't a good reason. Obviously there is a lot more to this story the persons involved don't want to disclose. To assume Miami just dropped the kid without explanation defies all logic, especially considering the school involved.

Thanks Manny. Too bad we can't hear from the Canes to find out what really happened.

Amazes me all these other posters who just jump to conclusions. They should invent a board game, call it "The Jump To Conclusions Game".

I don't believe the numbers reason because we are offering other DTs. So either he wouldn't qualify academicaly, we didn't think he can play, or "other" issues.

Either way thanks for the report Manny, Can't wait for next Wed!

Rolle definitely seems disappointed and losing 3 big time local players to Lousville does not bode well. 2 of which are big needs (OL, DL) Hurtt, our ex-recruiting coordinator is wasting no time picking up while Shannon's slipping up.

One more reason im very scared we will be losing many more NW players in the future to Lousville, Florida and FSU is because Rolle is disappointed with Shannon...Look at this quote from the article... "People assume the best players at Nothwestern go to Miami. And to me, thats how i believe it should be," Rolle said.

"But usually, when a school offers a kid, the coach gets a letter. That's the thing. I never got a letter for Todd. I looked for it, didn't find it. That's how [UM] covered their butts."

Did the kid really get an offer or was he just blowing smoke? From the sound of it, he was just blowing smoke.

see here's why im not so sure that thats how it all played out: the kid committed way back in his junior year right? so why did the coaches not tell the kid over a year ago: "hey you dont have an offer from us so you should look elsewhere and stop considering yourself a UM commit." heck he went to all their practices and stuff thinking he was a cane. you'd think at one point they'd tell him the truth (that he wasnt wanted) and not just let him hang around and give him the silent treatment til he went away. did no one really have the heart to tell him that? i think this is a PR move by both sides to keep things on the DL til it all blows over after NSD.

i just think its dumb we dont go after a kid who bleeds orange and green, plays for MNW pipeline, is a talented 4 star, undersized but has a good work ethic, plays against the best H.S. competition in miami, and has friends at UM. but we'll go for 2 star guys from no mans land, or longshot project guys. you cant tell me there wasnt a scholly for this kid. c'mon now...

WTF, it would be great to know the issue, size? seems lame, work ethic grades,

Also I am warming up to this recruiting class, needed O-line and Shannon delivered, key RB's, DB's LB's.

Our d-line was average at best - and at time downright bad last year and decimated with injuries. How could we not use another decent d-lineman in the rotation? Makes ABSOLUTELY no sense. There must be another side to this story...

chandler is too short maybe 6 feet. he is another teraz mccray. look at the size of the other defensive lineman being recruited and on the roster. the staff wants big players. its a parcells-belicheck theory. big teams win.

Posted by: waltercamp | January 28, 2010 at 12:27 AM

Jim Burt was 6 foot at best and played for both Miami and Parcells... ?

wheres my post?? all i said was chandler may have NOT gotten a scholly, because he was MANHANDLED by UM committ, McDermott.... Chandler shouldn't feel that bad because ND commit Nix was too....

Those in the "KNOW" know the real reason chandler is not coming to the "U"

I hope all you Randy haters heard this and i am sure you all know a lot more about football and the UM then JJ does:

quotes form JJ interview this am.

Q: What kind of a year do you think Randy Shannon had with the Hurricanes?

A: "Randy Shannon had a really good year. When you consider all the injuries they had and how young the team was . . . I thought he had a good year. Now, you'd like the team to finish on a winning note against Wisconsin. But I think they'll be much better next year."

Q: With National Signing Day less than a week away, are all those recruiting lists overrated as far as where UM ranks?

A: "I think Randy and his staff have zeroed in on what they need to improve as a team. Look at some of the great classes that we had. Jimmie Jones did not have a single offer. Russell Maryland had one offfer. Rob Chudzinski . . . Villanova was the only offer. So we took a lot of players that we wanted, but weren't highly recruited. I think Randy is doing the same thing. He has proven in the last few years that he knows talent and he knows how to recruit."

Man that's crap. I gave TC the official Offer that UM sent to Todd on the 1st day they could offer a Jr. The original FAX. That's BS, he did have an official offer. They are lying @ UM to cover their butts. He HAD AN OFFICIAL OFFER

Don't come at us with the we'll coach them up business. Wen you don't teach football you'd better not recruit projects.

JJ and staff knew how to develop players...Randy Shannon and staff do not.

We messed up with chandler. We messed up with nix. We messed up with Bryce brown, for every recruit Shannon snags, he loses a much higher more talented recruit. People that keep saying 'he is just filling needs' need to wake up. We are losing talent, and games, because Randy shannon won't stray from 4-3 on defense, and it's so vanilla defensive players run away, and I would to. Finally about this Chandler issue, this is why I want Shannon fired. Because u have this kid who is everything I want in a hurricane, bleeds orange and green, and we do that to him?lastly, sidenote: I was at a gas station at one am and saw a guy decked out in canes gear....in ironton, Ohio. Pretty sweet.

Chandler was treated poorly by THE U...however, considering RANDY SHANNON'S SMUG-NESS, and how he thinks that he's NEVER WRONG, NEVER DOES ANYTHING WRONG, I'm not surprised.
That Smug-ness will be gone very soon...the UM donators are "THIS CLOSE" to calling for his head, along with Haith's...so, don't be surprised if Randy and Haith are not at Miami after next year!!
They've both had enough time to do something...look at what Saban (the jerk) did at Alabama in THE SAME AMOUNT OF TIME THAT RANDY HAS HAD AT UM TO DO SOMETHING...however, like I said, Shannon is so cocky and thinks he's dealing with kids in the military.
It's getting to the point where I can't stand to hear what he has to say anymore...enough with all the excuses he comes up with...enough with all the lame-a** quotes he comes up with...it's time to produce.
People can BASH COKER all they want, but guess what? He knew what to do with the talent that he had on his team, regardless of HOW that talent got there...Randy is proving just the opposite...he's recruiting the talent, but he's not getting all he can out of that talent.
Time to clean house at UM - that goes for SHALALA, TOO...that disgusting little GNOME/PARASITE that somehow crawled out from under a rock, has turned back UM football by 25 years, starting with moving UM to the edge of Broward County to play their home games...no other school in DIVISION ONE has to travel so far to play home games, nor do their students!
As I said, the Alumni and major $$$ donors to UM have had it...you'll all see what I mean real soon.
Still...GO CANES!!

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