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Reaction to Randy Shannon firing (updated)

Going to make this a blog where I update and place running news from today. Check for updates throughout the day.

COMPLETE AUDIO OF ATHLETIC DIRECTOR KIRBY HOCUTT'S PRESS CONFERENCE

STATEMENT FROM RANDY SHANNON

"I am proud of the last four years at the University of Miami and what we have been able to accomplish. I have a deep respect and appreciation for the young men who have played here during my tenure.

"We established three winning seasons; continually improved in the Atlantic Coast Conference over the last four years; brought in strong recruiting classes; and just as importantly, made tremendous strides off the field with our academic progress rate and graduation success rate among the best nationally.

"I believe that I leave the Hurricanes football program with a stronger foundation upon which they can continue to build. I thank President Shalala for the opportunity. Those that know my history know of my passion and dedication to the 'U', and only want success for this University moving forward."

> Interim coach Jeff Stoutland: "The reason that I became a coach is to serve student-athletes. We are in a tough situation -- there is no doubt, but that does not change our commitment to the young men on this team. Everyone on this coaching staff remains fully committed to this program and finishing this season the right way. We are going to do everything in our power to prepare for a winning bowl experience, and continue the highest standard of excellence off the field."

RECRUITS REACT

When UM recruit and Tampa Alonso star defensive end Anthony Chickillo woke up Sunday morning he said he had more than 50 missed calls and text messages on his cell phone. The majority of calls? From other coaches trying to convince him to drop UM because the school fired Randy Shannon.

"Even when I committed to Miami, they still kept calling me," Chickillo said. "Coach Shannon had a real special relationship with me. Coach Urban Meyer called me this morning. Florida State called me and left a message. Every school you can think of called me. I haven't had a chance to speak to many of them."

"It really comes down to who is going to be a head coach. My love for Miami doesn't change. I have such a strong relationship with the school itself. It's my dream to go to the University of Miami since i was a little boy. This happening -- it shocked me. And I still can't believe it."

Chickillo said he went to Saturday's game at Sun Life Stadium and was disappointed by the 23-20 overtime loss to USF. But he was also disappointed by what else he saw.

"I went to the game Saturday and saw the plane flying around with the stuff saying fire coach Shannon," Chickillo said. "There weren't a lot of people in the stands. I've been a Miami fan, a Hurricane my whole life. I love the University of Miami. And, it was sad to see. I remember Miami in the hey day in the 2000s, one of the most dominant programs in college football. I don't know what to say or why they lost. They shouldn't have lost to that USF team. I'm trying to be positive about the whole thing and see what happens."

The Hurricanes currently have seven commitments as part of the 2011 signing class. Chickillo has been a vocal leader in trying to recruit other players to UM. But with UM in the midst of a 7-5 season, it has been tough to lure others.

"I need to talk to my family about it," Chickillo said. "I think I'm going to take all my official trips. I just have to see who is going to be head coach. I think that's what everybody is waiting to see. I've heard some names out there. I want to see who comes in as coach and what type of people he brings in. I've established a good relationship with the coaches there for the past three years and now I'm going to have to establish a good relationship with a new staff in a matter of months before signing day. I want to see who the defensive line coach is. That's a real important thing for me and the process."

One coach Chickillo doesn't want to see -- former USF coach Jim Leavitt. "Jim Leavitt wouldn't be a good one I don't think. What happened with the whole USF deal, he's not well liked. I don't think that would be a good situation."

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