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23 posts from May 2011

May 30, 2011

Canes headed back to Gainesville for regionals -- meet Jacksonville at noon Friday

Maybe the third time will be the charm.

The Miami Hurricanes (36-21) learned Monday afternoon they'll have to get through the Florida Gators (45-16) if they're going to earn their first trip to Omaha since 2008. 

Second-seeded UM was placed in the Gainesville Regional and will open NCAA Tournament play at noon Friday against third-seeded Jacksonville (36-22). The double elimination tournament also features fourth-seeded Manhattan (34-17). The Gators, ranked No. 1 in the final Baseball America poll, are seeded second overall in the 64-team tournament behind Virginia. All games at the Gainesville regional will be broadcast live on ESPNU.

The Hurricanes, who are making a record 39th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance (but have only hosted a regional twice in the last six years), have been eliminated by Florida each of the past two seasons. Last year, UF knocked UM off in the Super Regional. In 2009, the Gators eliminated UM in the regional round. Earlier this season, UM was swept in Gainesville by scores of 8-3, 1-0 and 5-3. The Gators have won nine of the last 10 meetings overall.

UM, ranked 16th by Baseball America, is 79-19 all-time against Jacksonville and has won eight in a row in the series dating back to 2004. The Dolphins finished second in the Atlantic Sun Conference with a 19-11 record and was ranked in the top 10 nationally in several offensive categories. The Dolphins’ signature win was an 11-2 victory over No. 2 Florida at McKethan Stadium on May 17, while also going 9-7 against team ranked in the top 60 in RPI

The winner of the Gainesville Regional is scheduled to meet the winner of the Georgia Tech Regional. The Yellow Jackets (49-19) are the top seed and are joined by second-seeded Southern Miss (39-17), third-seeded Mississippi State (34-23) and fourth-seeded Austin Peay (33-22). The Canes were swept by Georgia Tech at home back in late March.

May 29, 2011

Hurricanes don't host NCAA baseball regional -- no surprise

     The NCAA Division I Baseball Committee on Sunday revealed the 16 schools, with their corresponding sites, that will be hosts for the 65th annual Division I Baseball Championship that begins this weekend.

       As expected, the University of Miami (36-21), which has been host to the first-round regional part of the tournament 23 times but did not get into the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament final, was not selected. FIU (40-18-1), which lost to Arkansas-Little Rock in the Sun Belt championship game Sunday, also will travel to its regional.

    The complete first-round regional pairings and site assignments won’t be announced until Monday.

      The 16 regional sites, with host institutions and records: Georgia Tech (40-19), Atlanta; Texas (43-15), Austin; Cal State Fullerton (39-15), Fullerton; North Carolina (45-14), Chapel Hill; Virginia (48-9), Charlottesville; Clemson (41-18), Clemson, S.C.; Texas A&M (41-18), College Station; South Carolina (45-14), Columbia; Oregon State (38-16), Corvallis; TCU (42-17), Fort Worth; Florida (44-16), Gainesville; Rice (41-19, Houston); UCLA (33-21), Los Angeles; Vanderbilt (47-9), Nashville; Florida State (42-16), Tallahassee; Arizona State (38-16), Tempe.

     Several of the host schools listed above play late Sunday in their conference tournaments.

   For those who don't know, a school is not allowed to play in a regional hosted by a team in its own conference. Since the Atlantic Coast Conference led all leagues with five schools selected to host, that leaves a possibility of 11 sites for Miami. However, since the Canes will likely be a No. 2 seed, there are certain schools more likely than others that might get them in their regional.

   Each regional field features four teams that play in a double-elimination format. All 16 regionals will begin Friday and run through Sunday or Monday, June 6. Some possibilities for the Canes among the 11 sites: South Carolina in Columbia, Texas A&M at College Station, Oregon State in Corvallis (groan! Too far), Rice in Houston, Arizona State in Tempe (another groan! Too far).

   The Canes also could be sent to Gainesville, of course, as well as Cal State Fullerton (no way!), TCU in Dallas, UCLA in Los Angeles (no way!), Texas in Austin or Vanderbilt in Nashville.

      The remaining at-large teams, top eight national seeds and full 64-team field will be announced at 12:30 p.m. Monday on ESPN.

    Tune in tomorrow.

   --SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

 

May 27, 2011

Sounds like Tate Forcier has more problems than not having a football team

By now it seems obvious that the Hurricanes escaped future problems -- and that's likely an understatement --  by not getting former Michigan quarterback Tate Forcier.

The whole Forcier situation with Miami seemed strange from the beginning. We all read about his sulking on the bench at Michigan, his seemingly poor sportsmanship, his poor academics resulting in being ruled academically ineligible for the Gator Bowl, his big ego.

And I heard some other things that would definitely not have made Miami coach Al Golden happy.

Then we learned a couple weeks ago that Forcier, who signed with Miami in February and was supposedly set to transfer, was no longer coming to UM. Talent? Yes. Head case? Yes. Problem child? Apparently.

The latest Forcier news was first reported Thursday by WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids. According to the report, police in Grand Rapids said a woman called them because Forcier locked himself in a third-floor apartment bedroom on April 22 and was hanging out of a window and the woman feared that he was going to jump.

Police officers came to the scene and convinced Forcier to open the bedroom door. The report said he was not arrested but was taken to a hospital.

Forcier never showed up on UM's campus after signing his papers. He told ESPN recently he wanted to stay closer to home. One of the teams on his wish list was USC, but ESPN said USC basically isn't interested.

I left a message for Forcier's father when we learned he wasn't coming to UM. He never called back.

In an earlier interview with Manny Navarro in February, Tate's dad, Mike Forcier, had a couple of comments that did not shed an especially positive light on his son.

"He was at the airport [Wednesday afternoon] getting ready to fly back to Michigan when he gave me the news, " his father Mike of his son's former commitment to Miami. "He called me and said, 'Dad, I'm going to transfer to Miami. It just felt too comfortable. I went ahead and committed. I hope you and mom will respect my decision and support it. And I love you.' "

You would think that a college student would want his parents' opinion, or at least discuss the situation with them privately before he publicly commits somewhere.

"I thought he was going to sit on it for a day, wait to decide. That's what I recommended, " Mike Forcier said. "But joining Miami was like buying a Ferrari. You can't wait."

 Also from Mike Forcier:

"Some of the criticism he got in the past are from people who misunderstand him as 'cocky.' Really all he has is a lot swagger. I know the players at Miami are all about that. He's just misunderstood. He's confident. He knows he can play. He's played since he was a little baby.''

As a freshman in 2009, Forcier started all 12 games for Michigan and completed 165 of 281 passes for 2,050 yards and 13 touchdowns. The Wolverines finished 5-7.

 Forcier was named to the All-Freshman Big Ten team after the season, but lost his starting job last season to former Deerfield Beach star Denard Robinson. This past season, he appeared in eight games as a backup and completed 54 of 84 passes for 597 yards with four touchdowns and four interceptions.

 The 6-1, 192-pound native of San Diego, was rated a four-star prospect by rivals.com and scout.com. In his high school, he completed 529 of 760 passes for 7,448 yards and 61 touchdowns and rushed 231 times for 2,049 yards and 24 TDs.

Forcier is the third Forcier quarterback brother to transfer from their original schools. Jason, the oldest, left MIchigan to go to Stanford in 2006; and middle son Chris went to Furman from UCLA in 2009.

--SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

May 25, 2011

Dorsett misses big award -- for good reason

Congratulations to incoming University of Miami receiver Phillip Dorsett, who Wednesday morning was named the Miami Herald's Class 6A-4A Broward County Male Athlete of the Year.

Dorsett also today was named the Miami Herald's Broward County Track Athlete of the Year.

Dorsett is already on campus taking classes at UM, and missed the ceremony. His father, Phillip Sr., accepted the trophies on behalf of his son.

Incidentally, another recent UM signee, running back Kevin Grooms  of South Broward High, was a finalist for the Male Athlete of the Year -- and named to the first-team Class 6A-4A offense in football. He also received honorable mention recognition for basketball.

Dorsett helped lead St. Thomas Aquinas to the 2010 state football championship and the 2011 state track title.

He finished second in the 200 meters, third in the 100 and second in the long jump. Dorsett ran the second leg of the winning 4X400 relay.

In football, Dorsett, 5-9 and 170 pounds, had 35 receptions for 806 yards and 12 touchdowns as a senior.

Six members of UM's 2011 signing class have enrolled in the Summer I session that began classes last Wednesday: Dorsett, quarterback transfer  (Memphis) Ryan Williams, defensive back transfer (Wake Forest) Michael Williams, wide receiver Rashawn Scott, defensive tackle Darius Smith and linebacker Gionni Paul.

"We are excited to have the group of young men on campus for summer session,'' UM coach Al Golden said this week in a written statement. "It is very advantageous to the guys who are here early. They get ahead in academics, get a feel for the lay of the land, get to know their teammates and not only do they get a leg up on conditioning, but they begin the adjustment process sooner.''

SHENISE JOHNSON AMONG 14 FINALIST FOR 2011 USA BASKETBALL WOMEN'S WORLD UNIV. GAMES

Here's the release:

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – University of Miami guard Shenise Johnson has been included among 14 players that were named finalists for the 2011 USA Basketball Women’s World University Games Team.

The finalists were selected after three days of trials with 35 of best collegiate basketball players in the nation. The trials were held at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) and the eventual 12-member team will look to defend the USA's 2009 gold medal at the 2011 World University Games women's basketball competition August 14-21 in Shenzhen, China.

“I was happy to even be invited out here, but I feel like the work isn’t done yet,” said Johnson. “So, I’m going to go home and practice and train. It’s definitely and honor.”

The 2011 ACC Player of the Year was a member of the 2009 FIBA U19 World Championship Team that earned an 8-1 mark en route to the gold medal in Bangkok, Thailand, where she averaged 9.4 points and 6.9 rebounds per game.

Still in the hunt for one of the final 12 spots on the 2011 USA World University Games Team along with Johnson are: Elena Delle Donne (Delaware/Wilmington, Del.); Skylar Diggins (Notre Dame/South Bend, Ind.); Jacki Gemelos (USC/Stockton, Calif.); Keisha Hampton (DePaul/Philadelphia, Pa.); Glory Johnson (Tennessee/Knoxville, Tenn.); Lynetta Kizer (Maryland/Woodbridge, Va.); Natalie Novosel (Notre Dame/Lexington, Ky.); Chiney Ogwumike (Stanford/Cypress, Texas); Nnemkadi Ogwumike (Stanford/Cypress, Texas); Devereaux Peters (Notre Dame/Chicago, Ill.); Odyssey Sims (Baylor/Irving, Texas); Shekinna Stricklen (Tennessee/Morrilton, Ark.); and April Sykes (Rutgers/Starkville, Miss.).

Athletes will return home today, May 25, and USA team training will resume at the USOTC July 31-Aug. 8, prior to the team's departure for Shenzhen, China, and the 2011 World University Games.

--SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

May 22, 2011

Pairings announced for Canes baseball in ACC Tourney (UM women's tennis falls to Florida Gators in NCAA quarterfinals -- again)

The Hurricanes will have their hands full next week in the Atlantic Coast Conference baseball tournament.

Of course, they've had their hands full all season.

The ACC announced the pairings and seedings for the 8 teams in the ACC Tournament that begins Wednesday at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham, N.C.

Fifth-seeded UM  (34-20, 19-10 ACC) will be in Pool A with No. 1 Virginia (45-9, 22-8), No. 4 North Carolina (44-12, 20-10) and No. 8 Wake Forest (25-28, 15-15).

The Canes open play against UNC at 11 a.m. Thursday, May 26. They play Virginia at 11 a.m. Friday and conclude pool play against Wake at 3 p.m. Saturday.

The good news for the Hurricanes is that they were 6-3 this season against the other three teams in their pool. Also, if Miami ends up doing well, it definitely helps its cause with an RPI as it relates to the regional.

The championship game will be at 1 p.m. Sunday between the winner of Pool A and Pool B -- No. 2 FSU (40-15, 19-11), No. 3 Georgia Tech (39-17, 22-8), No. 6 Clemson (39-17, 17-13) and No. 7 NC State (33-23, 15-15).

HORN NAMED TO RIMINGTON TROPHY WATCH LIST

    UM senior center Tyler Horn was named to the 2011 Rimington Trophy Watch List. As a junior last season, Horn started all 13 games at center and finished tied for third in both pancake (39) and lumberjack (7) blocks.  

UM WOMEN'S TENNIS WAS JUST ELIMINATED BY THE FLORIDA GATORS IN THE NCAA QUARTERFINALS FOR THE SECOND YEAR IN A ROW. THE GATORS WON 4-1.

SEASON ENDS FOR UM AS A TEAM, BUT BIANCA EICHKORN AND ANNA BARTENSTEIN WILL STAY IN STANFORD, CALIF. TO COMPETE IN THE NCAA INDIVIDUAL CHAMPIONSHIPS. THEY WILL EACH PLAY SINGLES, AND ALSO PLAY DOUBLES TOGETHER.

--SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

 

Fifth-ranked Canes meet top-ranked Gators today in NCAAs

The University of Miami's highest-ranked team takes on the Florida Gators at 3 p.m. today (Eastern time) in the quarterfinals of the NCAA women's tennis tournament in Stanford, Calif.

The Canes are seeded seventh in the NCAA tourney. The Gators are seeded No. 2 (host Stanford is No. 1).

The Gators (28-1) are a women's tennis power, making their 29th appearance in the 30-year history of the NCAA Championships. They won national team titles in 1992, 1996, 1998 and 2003 and have advanced to at minimum the NCAA semis 19 times in the past 23 years.

Last year, the Gators beat the Canes 4-0 in the NCAA quarterfinals.

The Canes (21-6) lost to the Gators 4-1 on Feb. 18. But that was early in the season and only top Canes Bianca Eichkorn and Anna Bartenstein were playing in the same positions they are now. ACC Player of the Year Eichkorn lost a rare match Saturday to MIchigan's eighth-ranked Denise Muresan. Today, Eichkorn will face seventh-ranked Allie Will, who beat Eichkorn in three sets when they last played.

You can watch all of these players live on their respective courts today. Just go to hurricanesports.com, where a link to live video and results will be provided.

--SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

 

May 18, 2011

UM announces addition of DT Corey King

Defensive tackle Corey King, a graduate of West Boca Raton Community High School, has officially signed on to play football for the Hurricanes. King, who has four years of eligibility remaining, will join the team when camp begins in August.

“Corey King is a great addition to our already deep class,” defensive coordinator Mark D’Onofrio said in a statement released by the school. “He has tremendous strength and athletic ability. He is weight-room strong, benching 400 pounds.”

As a senior at West Boca Raton in 2010, King recorded 56 tackles, seven sacks, three forced fumbles and an interception. He was selected to the National team at the Outback Bowl – the annual South Florida high school football all-star game.

The announcement of King’s signing comes a little over a week since it was announced that quarterback Ryan Williams, who led Miramar to the Class 6A state title in 2009, was transferring to Miami from the University of Memphis. Williams and King mark the 17th and 18th members of the 2011 signing class, after 16 newcomers signed on National Signing Day.

> Here are King's 2010 highlights. By the way, I'm working on my own mixtape of video highlights. In fact, everyone should have one.

May 17, 2011

Storm Johnson's father said Canes backfield was 'crowded' for his son

There will be one less breakaway running back in the Hurricanes backfield next season.

Storm Johnson Westleigh "Storm" Johnson, coming off a freshman season in which he carried the ball just nine times for 119 yards, but showed a lot of promise with his 71-yard touchdown run in the regular season finale against South Florida, informed coach Al Golden Tuesday afternoon he would like to transfer.

“As of this afternoon, Westleigh Storm Johnson is no longer a part of the University of Miami Football program," UM coach Al Golden said in a statement released through the school Tuesday night.

"When these situations arise, we always assist the student-athlete and his family in the transfer process. We wish Storm success in all future endeavors.”

Johnson's father, Wes, said his son had spoken to Golden "multiple times" about leaving since he took over as coach.

"He wanted to be closer to home. He's a mama's boy and the backfield is crowded," Johnson Sr. said. "Life is full of surprises. We're not broken up. It's his life. Sometimes you have to make hard decisions."

Johnson, who finished this spring as the team's No. 3 running back, was one of six players reportedly suspended for the season opener against Maryland – a report coach Al Golden would neither confirm nor deny during spring practice.

Johnson (6-0, 216) also was reportedly involved in an April 27 incident at a UM residential hall for which school police were called to the scene.

Johnson Sr. said he had been told his son he was "not suspended" and that none of that played into his son's decision.

"He's coming home, going to relax, get into a workout regime and he'll decide within then next couple weeks what he's going to do," Westleigh Sr. said. "There's nothing else that needs to be said."

Johnson is the fifth player to seek transfer out of UM since the end of the spring. Earlier this month, UM announced linebackers Travis Williams and Kevin Nelson and defensive backs Jamal Reid and Devont'a Davis were no longer with the program. Defensive lineman Jeffrey Brown, arrested on sexual battery charges, was suspended indefinitely from the team.

MORE TIDBITS

> So who becomes the backup if Lamar Miller or Mike James twists an ankle? That would be redshirt freshman Darion Hall. Here's a nice story on Hall by his hometown newspaper The Naples Daily News from the spring.

The Canes could also given incoming freshman Kevin Grooms a shot. He was a standout at South Broward High the past two seasons. Or, they could move redshirt sophomore Eduardo Clements back from cornerback. UM has one of the nation's top tailbacks committed in its 2012 class, Miami Norland's Duke Johnson.

> In other UM news from Tuesday, the Hurricanes received a commitment from 2012 linebacker Raphael Kirby. The 6-1, 215-pound prospect from Stephenson High in Georgia picked UM over Florida, LSU, North Carolina and South Carolina.

These commitments of course are non-binding until they sign a National Letter of Intent in February. Kirby has teammates headed to Florida and it wouldn't be a surprise if in the wacky world of recruiting he pulls a "late surprising switch."

> The Hurricanes men's basketball team will play at Purdue in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Nov. 29. The rest of UM's 2011-12 schedule has yet to be released.

-- MANNY NAVARRO AND BARRY JACKSON

Former UM great Russell Maryland speaks about his election to College Football Hall of Fame (He thought Cortez Kennedy was playing a joke)

 

     Add another Miami Hurricane to the College Football Hall of Fame.

      Former Hurricanes defense tackle Russell Maryland undoubtedly had one of the thrills of his life Tuesday morning when he was named to the College Football Hall of Fame and then got to officially open the NASDAQ stock market in Times Square.

        Maryland, 42, won national titles with UM in 1987 and 1989. He was the first UM player to win the Outland Trophy as the nation’s top interior lineman in 1990. That year he had 96 tackles and 10.5 sacks. He was a consensus All-American and finished his career with 279 tackles, 25 tackles for loss and 20.5 sacks. He was then drafted first overall by former UM coach Jimmy Johnson’s Dallas Cowboys.

      Johnson, who went to Arkansas, was one of nine coaches nominated this year for the College Football Hall of Fame. But Johnson was not elected to the Hall.

      I talked to Maryland this morning, shortly after he helped open the stock market. It was pretty funny, actually, because they were about to interview Maryland before the stock-market opening, and some lady rushed up to the podium and told them they HAD to open the market on time. They were running way late, so nobody got interviewed live on the web, and Maryland, along with fellow new Hall members Lloyd Carr (former Michigan coach) and former Alabama DT Marty Lyons rang the bell (actually it was pushing a button) together.

     "They open the stock market at 9:30,'' Maryland said. "They can't be listening to me talking about my old Miami days and then stand there waiting on the floor for me to stop talking to conduct business.''

    Maryland said the whole experience has been very exciting. He wore a dark green (of course) suit and pumped his fist when he opened NASDAQ trading. He said he first learned the news recently when he was contacted by phone by National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame president and CEO Steve Hatchell.

    "He said, 'You know, you have to keep this under wraps,''' Maryland said of Hatchell. "But when he first contacted me I thought it was [former UM DT great] Cortez Kennedy or somebody close playing a trick on me. I was like, 'Come on Now!' I didn't even know I was nominated until Cortez called me when the nominations came out in March.

    "He said, 'Go to the website.' And the website has hundred and hundreds of names of guys who are great players. And I'm like, 'I can't believe this.' I see my name in the midst of them and I'm like, 'OK, I probably won't go in this year but there's always hope.''' 

     The National Football Foundation on March 7 announced the names of the 79 players (and the nine coaches) from the Football Bowl Subdivision who were nominated for induction.

      Maryland played defensive tackle in the NFL with Dallas, the Oakland Raiders and Green Bay Packers for 10 seasons.

      The other UM players in the College Football Hall of Fame are quarterback Gino Torretta, running back Don Bosseler, defensive end Ted Hendricks and safety Bennie Blades. Former UM coaches Jack Harding and Andy Gustafson are also in the Hall.

     "When Steve Hatchell called me a couple days ago and said, 'We want you to come to New York,' I was like, 'Man, this is probably real -- actually surreal.' It's an honor and a blessing to be named among the cream of the crop of college football athletes."

    For all you Canes fans who haven't kept up lately with Maryland's whereabouts, he now lives in Southlake, Texas, a suburb of Dallas. He was formerly a salesman for an electronics company in Dallas, but he's currently not working. His aspiration is to work in an official role with NFL or college athletes ("Maybe even high school athletes,'' he said) to help mentor athletes -- counsel them. Russell earned his degree in psychology from the University of Miami.

   Russell, who grew up in Chicago, is married to Rose, a Miami Edison High alum, and has three children: 14-year-old daughter Kyra, 11-year-old daughter Iris, and 6-year-old son Russell Jr.

    Congratulations to Russell!

    SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

  P.S. I'm still working on getting my first 1,000 followers on Twitter @smillerdegnan. I have 934 followers now and I thank each one of you!

 

 

 

May 16, 2011

Will Russell Maryland (or JJ) be ringing the NASDAQ opening bell?

Whether Russell Maryland does or doesn't ring the NASDAQ stock market's opening bell Tuesday morning at 9:30 a.m., all indications point to him being one of 14 former players about to be named to the College Football Hall of Fame later Tuesday morning.

Also nominated in the coaching category: Canes icon Jimmy Johnson.

At about noon today, UM coach Al Golden tweeted: "Exciting news on a Miami alum just hit my inbox. Formal announcement is coming tomorrow. Any guesses on the good news?"

The National Football Foundation on March 7 announced the names of 79 players and nine coaches from the Football Bowl Subdivision who were nominated for induction -- Maryland and Johnson among them.

I remember two years ago when former UM quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Gino Torretta had the honor of ringing that bell.  Pretty cool. The other UM players in the College Football Hall of Fame are running  back Don Bosseler, defensive end Ted Hendricks and safety Bennie Blades. Former UM coaches Jack Harding and Andy Gustafson are also in the Hall.

 Russell Maryland won the Outland Trophy in 1990, when he had 96 tackles and 10.5 sacks. He was a consensus All-American and finished his career with 279 tackles, 25 tackles for loss and 20.5 sacks before being drafted first overall by Jimmy Johnson's Dallas Cowboys in the 1991 draft.

JJ had a 52-9 record in five seasons (1984-88) with the Hurricanes. He led UM to its second national title in 1987.

I know JJ went to Arkansas, but I have this feeling Al Golden would still consider him a UM "alum'' -- at least an honorary alum. It would  be fitting if both JJ and Russell got into the Hall, but still great if one of them makes it.

HURRICANES BASEBALL NOTE

After winning the opener at Virginia, UM lost the last two games of this past weekend's series. They lost each game by one run, 3-2 on Saturday and 5-4 on Sunday. Turns out that the lone win and close losses actually helped UM (although slightly) in the ranking. Can you imagine if they would have not let that last game get away from them?

In the polls that just came out, Miami is ranked 16th by Baseball America (FIU jumped into the polls at No. 24 in Baseball America).

The Canes are ranked 22nd (up one spot from last week) in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches' poll; and 15th in Collegiate Baseball (up one spot from last week).

Miami (32-18) meets FAU (30-20) at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Alex Rodriguez Park.

This will be UM's final nonconference game. The Canes play Duke in a three-game series beginning Thursday, then get set for the ACC Tourney.

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN



 

 

 

 

May 14, 2011

Baseball, tennis, track & field (with football players) & new senior associate AD

The UM baseball team did itself a huge favor by upsetting the No. 1 team in the nation last night -- the Virginia Cavaliers.

The 16th-ranked Canes (32-16, 17-7 ACC) scored five runs in the first inning and defeated UVA 6-2 in Charlottesville in front of a sellout crowd.

As UM baseball fans know, UM is only 4-9 against ranked teams this season, so this victory was very, very big. Kudos to the Canes, who beat arguably the top pitcher in college baseball and a sure first-rounder in the upcoming draft (Danny Hultzen). That was only the Cavs' SIXTH loss all season. They're 43-6 and 20-5 in ACC.

Last year I covered the series in Miami, and UM won the opener and lost the other two. If the Canes can win today at noon or in Sunday's finale, and wrap up the season nicely at home next week (followed by a decent showing in ACC tourney), they should feel much more secure about hosting a regional.

Today's game is the “ACC Game of the Week” televised on Fox Sports. Eric Whaley (7-3, 2.99 ERA) will pitch for the Hurricanes, while Virginia goes with Tyler Wilson (5-0, 2.85 ERA).

From UM sports information on Friday night's UM pitching performance.

B-RADical on the mound
Making his 13th start of the year – and his second against a top-ranked opponent, freshman left-hand pitcher Bryan Radziewski earned his eighth win of the year, and the first against a top five team. Radziewski pitched seven innings against the Cavaliers, allowing just two runs (one earned) on four hits scattered, one walk and striking out seven UVa batters.

For Radziewski, the performance was his seventh quality start of the year, while the Hurricanes moved to 10-3 on the season when he toes the rubber.

TENNIS TEAMS ADVANCE

Congratulations to Paige Yaroshuk-Tews and Mario Rincon, two really fine coaches and people.

FIRST, THE FIFTH-RANKED WOMEN

Yaroshuk-Tews won her 200th match Friday at UM when her women defeated FIU in the NCAA regional opener 4-0. UM plays Texas at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center on UM campus (it's right next to the Hecht Center) at 11 a.m. today for the right to advance to the Sweet 16 that begins late next week at Stanford in Palo Alto, Calif.

For those that don't know, the UM women are the nation's fifth-ranked team, making the Canes women's tennis team the highest ranked team of any UM sport.

I will be at UM covering tennis today.

NOW, THE 27th RANKED MEN

UM's men also will play in an NCAA regional final today -- against the Florida Gators at 3 p.m. at Linder Stadium on the University of Florida’s campus. The Gators are ranked eighth.

UM advanced to the final by defeating Nebraska 4-3 on Friday. Freshman Gabriel Flores had a hard-fought match, winning 7-6 (8-6), 4-6 and 6-2 at the No. 5 position. Flores clinched the victory.

UM's singles victors: Flores, Christian Blocker, Eduardo Pavia and Diego Soto.

TRACK AND FIELD

Devon Hill, a junior hurdler, outraced 11 other athletes at the North Florida Invitational in Jacksonville Friday in the 110-meter hurdles and will compete this afternoon in the final. Hill, an exceptional athlete, had his best time of the season and would have tied the school's all-time record had the result not been wind-aided. His time: 13.65 seconds.

Freshman Bassim El-Sabawi had a personal best in the 100-meter dash, finishing in 10.67 seconds.

As for the football players (had to get football in here!), (receiver) Travis Benjamin, (cornerback) Brandon McGee and (tailback) Lamar Miller will make up three of the four-member 4X100m relay team that competes today at 2 p.m. Hill or El-Sabawi will run the remaining leg as the Canes want to better their season-best time of 40.56 seconds so they can qualify for the NCAA East preliminary round, which will be at Indiana University May 26-28.

WATERFIELD JOINS CANES FAMILY

From UM Sports Information folks:

 Director of Athletics Shawn Eichorst announced the hiring of Steve Waterfield to the position of Senior Associate Athletic Director for Strategic Planning at the University of Miami.

"I am extremely pleased that Steve will be joining our senior management team at the U," said Eichorst. "I have had the great pleasure of working with him the past five years and he is one of the most talented and well-respected young administrators in college athletics."  

Waterfield will join the senior management team within the athletics department and will have the following primary responsibilities:

                - Sport oversight of men's and women's basketball
                - Strategic operations
                - Facilities and maintenance
                - Departmental policies and procedures
                - Capital projects and construction                
                - Sports medicine and drug testing

Waterfield joins UM after seven years at the University of Wisconsin (UW), where he served under Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez and with Eichorst on senior staff for three years.  Before departing UW, Waterfield was an associate athletics director for student services and oversaw compliance, academic services, sports medicine, drug testing, student-athlete discipline, departmental policies, coordinated department head meetings, direct sport oversight of men's and women's soccer and the men's and women's swimming and diving programs. Waterfield came to UW after spending five years as an assistant director of compliance at Ohio State University.

-- SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

 

May 13, 2011

Tate Forcier NOT coming to Miami Hurricanes

Former University of Michigan quarterback Tate Forcier will not be coming to the Miami Hurricanes as originally planned, a University of Miami official said Friday.

No reason was given. However, it is believed Miami did know about Forcier changing his mind about Miami before former Memphis quarterback Ryan Williams of Pembroke Pines signed with the Hurricanes last Friday.

Forcier and Williams would have joined current Canes scholarship quarterback Stephen Morris in competing for the starting job in 2012, as transfers must sit out one season before playing, per NCAA rules.

Any thoughts on Forcier not coming? Is that bad for the Canes?

--SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

May 12, 2011

Ryan Williams (UNLIKE Tate Forcier) goes from one UM to another.

So, we have learned this morning that former Michigan quarterback Tate Forcier will not be transferring to Miami, a UM official told me, and apparently the Hurricanes knew about it before Ryan Williams signed his scholarship papers...

NOW, the original blog minus Tate information:

Except for "fan day" last Aug., new #UM #Canes QB Ryan Williams wasn't allowed to speak to the media last season at the University of Memphis.

I asked him Tuesday if it would have been nice to have been able to deal with the media.

"Yes and no,'' he answered. "I mean, I was used to talking to newspapers and stuff in high school, but that was coach's policy and something you got used to. I never complained about it. It never caused any problems because I guess I didn't really want to deal with all the questions during that bad season anyway.''

"Bad" might be an understatement.

Memphis went 1-11 in 2010. Here are some of the Tigers' final NCAA team stats: 116th of 120 Football Bowl Subdivision teams in rushing offense; 81st in passing offense; 117th in total offense; 119th in scoring offense; 81st in rushing defense; 115th in total defense; 117th in scoring defense; 120th in punt returns; 117th in kickoff returns; 118th in turnover margin; 116th in pass defense; 112th in sacks allowed; 105th in sacks.

Yikes!

No wonder Williams is ecstatic to be back home (his family lives in Pembroke Pines) and about to play at the program he loved as a young boy.

Some things you might not know about Ryan:

He's an excellent student (3.8 grade point average at Memphis).

He's real serious --  not very talkative or emotive, but supposedly very focused.

His mother attended Ohio State (oops!). She became a huge UM fan (seriously) last Friday when Ryan signed with the Canes.

Ryan was born in Shreveport, La., home of former UM quarterback transfer Brock Berlin. Ryan lived there, in New Orleans, Hot Springs, Ark., and then Louisville before moving to Pembroke Pines with his family as a 7-year-old.

Ryan's dad played defensive end at Tulane.

Ryan went to Canes games growing up.

Ryan attended several quarterback camps over the years, including the Manning Passing Academy in South Louisiana, Tommy Bowden's camp at Clemson, UM's Nike Camp, Nick Saban's camp at Alabama and Les Miles' camp at LSU. He was awarded "outstanding quarterback'' at Saban's camp.

Ryan's birthday is in November, so he's still only 19.

Ryan's fiancee played soccer on a scholarship at Jackson State in Mississippi. But she had back problems and can't play anymore. She's transferring to FIU to be near Ryan, who has been given permission to live with her near campus in an apartment.

Ryan was roommates with former Hurricanes QB Cannon Smith last season. The two are good friends. Smith, by the way, is now a safety.

Ryan said he wants to become "a better game manager and continue to make better decisions on the field and continue to work in the weight room.'' He's almost 6-6 and 220 pounds.

When Ryan is a senior, the Hurricanes will play Memphis in Miami.

 

Have a good night and great Friday everyone!! My Ryan Williams story will be in the Miami Herald Friday.

--SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

P.S. Please follow me on Twitter @smillerdegnan, where I have a meager 915 awesome followers and am painstakingly trying to get to 1,000 -- then onward!! :)

 

 

 

 

May 11, 2011

OSU Buckeyes at Miami in prime time! (and more)

Canes fans, Your chance for redemption will come at either 7:30 p.m. or 8 p.m. Sept. 17 at Sun Life Stadium. The game will be televised on either ABC or ESPN. And if the Canes get in the ACC championship game (yes, I'm an optimist), that game will be played Dec. 3 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C., with an 8 p.m. kickoff.

ABC has already committed to a previously announced day-after-Thanksgiving Friday afternoon game Nov. 25 with Boston College at Miami (3:30 p.m.).

UM's Thursday-night game at home vs. Virginia on Oct. 27 will be shown on ESPN. And, of course, there's the UM opener at Maryland at 8 p.m. Labor Day night (Sept. 5).

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

P.S. Thanks to Vincent Buccellato, a Canes fan, for letting me use his computer to write this blog!

May 07, 2011

After testing NBA waters, Reggie Johnson decides to return to UM

Reggie Johnson is coming back.

Reggie Johnson The 6-10, 300-pound sophomore center tested the waters of the NBA Draft without hiring an agent, and participated in a combine Saturday at the Nets’ practice facility in East Rutherford, N.J., in front of scouts, coaches and personnel from approximately 27 NBA teams. 

But upon further review, Johnson realized his best move was to come back and continue to work on his game.

“It was great to go through this process and have the chance to talk to some teams,” Johnson told UM's Sports information department. “I got positive feedback about my hands and footwork, but I decided that it would be best for me to come back to school and continue to work on some things to get to that next level.

“I feel like we have a great team returning next year, and I want to work with my teammates at Miami to make the NCAA Tournament. The opportunity to do that is a big part of my decision to come back.”

Coach Jim Larranaga was obviously happy to hear the news. “We’re very happy that Reggie has decided to return to our program at Miami,” Larranaga said in a statement released by the school. “I’m looking forward to working with him and his teammates to win an ACC Championship and compete in the NCAA Tournament.

“Reggie is a big, strong man who we expect to anchor both our offense and defense next season.”

UM loses just one player (Adrian Thomas) from a team that went 21-15 and advanced to the NIT quarterfinals. The new additions are 6-11 redshirt sophomore Kenny Kadji (Florida), 6-5 redshirt junior Trey McKinney Jones (UMKC) and 6-2 freshman guard Bishop Daniels.

As a sophomore, Johnson was UM's leading rebounder and third-leading scorer, averaging 11.9 points, 9.6 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game. He converted 59.1 percent of his field goals (the third-highest single-season percentage in UM history). He finished the season ranked second in the ACC in offensive rebounds (3.5), fourth in both defensive rebounds (6.1) and overall rebounds and 20th in scoring.

UM football transfer update

Canes fans, I just received this email from the University of Miami football office. So, obviously, it's official:

"As of Friday, Travis Williams, Kevin Nelson, Devont’a Davis and Jamal Reid have informed the UM football program that they intend to transfer to a new institution.  Al Golden and his staff will do everything they can to make sure the players land at another institution with a  full scholarship.

 No other players – including Storm Johnson -- have told UM that they intend to transfer at this time."

--SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

 

May 06, 2011

UM Hurricanes have a new quarterback

UM has a new quarterback in Memphis transfer Ryan Williams of Miramar. He's 6-6 and 220-pounds  and led Miramar High to its first state title. Williams threw for 2,075 yards and 13 touchdowns last season as a true freshman at Memphis -- 1-11 last season.

Unfortunately, Williams also threw 10 picks last season and was sacked 30 times of 37 total Memphis sacks allowed. Miami's offensive line has got to be infinitely better than Memphis', so that likely won't be as much of a concern.

Williams took over at Memphis for former Miami Hurricane Cannon Smith in the Tigers' third game after Smith sustained a concussion during Memphis' second game.

The Memphis Commercial Appeal reported in mid-March that Williams left the program on the opening day of spring practice and that his father, Rich, said his son left because coach Larry Porter was changing the offensive scheme from pro-style to spread.

Williams will sit out next season, as will Michigan quarterback transfer Tate Forcier. After Jacory Harris leaves following the 2011 season, it will be Stephen Morris, Forcier and Williams battling it out for the starting slot -- that is, unless more quarterbacks are on the roster.

-- SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

HERE'S THE UM RELEASE

Quarterback Ryan Williams Officially Joins the Hurricanes

Former Memphis quarterback returns home to South Florida

 

CORAL GABLES, Fla.—The University of Miami has announced that quarterback Ryan Williams has officially joined the football program. Williams played for one season at the University of Memphis.

 A native of Broward County, Fla. and Miramar High School, Williams enrolled early at Memphis in January of 2010 and worked out with the team during the spring season. Williams was named the Offensive MVP of the Blue-Gray game after completing 15-of-17 pass attempts for 186 yards and three touchdowns. 

 “We are thrilled to have Ryan join our offense,” said offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Jedd Fisch. “He has experience starting as a true freshman at the Division I level, he has led a team to a state high school championship in the state of Florida, and now he is home to help us bring championship-level football back to the U.” 

 As a true freshman in 2010, he played in all 12 games, starting 10 and completed 165-of-290 passes for 2,075 yards and 13 touchdowns. Williams earned the starting job over former Hurricane Cannon Smith after only the second game of his collegiate career, and went on to start the remaining 10 contests.

 “With the addition of Ryan Williams, we add toughness, incredible work ethic and smarts on-and- off the field,” said head coach Al Golden. “His innate leadership skills were shown to South Florida as a high school state champion. Those are skills that jump off the film and the reason our entire program is excited to welcome Ryan to the U.”

 Out of high school, Williams was named all-county by the Sun-Sentinel and is the only quarterback in Florida to hold two state championship records.  In his prep career, was named Beef O’Brady’s MVP of the 6A Championship game after finishing 18-of-21 for 254 yards and a state-record five touchdowns to lead Miramar to its first ever Florida State Championship. The 85.7 completion percentage in that game was also a state record.

 The 6-6, 220-pound passer threw for 2,455 yards and 26 touchdowns as a senior. He was named Player of the Week twice by Maxpreps.com. Prior to his senior year, Williams spent the previous two seasons at American Heritage High School before transferring. As a junior he was named team MVP and broke school records for passing yards and most passing touchdowns in a season. During his sophomore campaign, Williams led his team to a perfect 10-0 record.

 

 

 

 

Travis Williams tranferring

Travis Williams, a redshirt freshman linebacker, told InsideTheU.com he is transferring after the spring semester.

The report reflected that Williams was upset with undisclosed people targeting him as a drug user.

InsidetheU.com reported earlier this week that Williams was involved in an incident on April 27 along with running back Storm Johnson, cornerback Devont'a Davis and cornerback Keion Payne at a UM dorm, a situation, the website said, in which UM police got involved. But the website never revealed the specifics of the incident.

One of the website's quotes from Williams: "I didn't like being targeted as a drug user. They can give me whatever test they want, whenever they want. As far as me being regarded as a drug user, I am not. I wasn't happy here. It wasn't about playing time because I was playing in the spring. Things just happened and I can't make everybody happy.''

Safety Jamal Reid told The Miami Herald this week he is leaving the team and transferring. Other players who reportedly have departed the team are linebacker Kevin Nelson, tight end Andrew Tallman.

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

 

 

 

 

 

May 05, 2011

Canes football to meet Boston College on Friday -- day after Thanksgiving!

 

HERE'S THE NEWS RELEASE! GET READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL WHILE YOU'RE EATING YOUR THANKSGIVING LEFTOVERS!!

 

Miami, Boston College To Play On Thanksgiving Friday

Hurricanes, Eagles Football Game to be Nationally Televised on ABC

UM, BC Meet on Thanksgiving Friday for the First Time

Since the Flutie Miracle Game of 1984

 

http://www.theacc.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/050511aab.html

 

        GREENSBORO, N.C.—Miami and Boston College have agreed to play their 2011 football game, scheduled for Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., on the Friday afternoon after Thanksgiving, Nov. 25, with a 3:30 p.m. kickoff.

 

        The game will be nationally televised by ABC.

 

        This year’s game marks the first time Boston College and Miami have met on a Friday since the famed “Flutie Miracle” game of 1984. That day Boston College Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Doug Flutie won the game with a last-play “Hail Mary” pass play which was caught by BC’s Gerald Phelan in the end zone for a touchdown, giving the Eagles a 47-45 victory at the old Orange Bowl Stadium. The dramatic win by the Eagles is still their only victory over Miami in Miami.

 

        The Hurricanes hold a 23-4 lead in the series which began in 1955, including a 15-1 mark in the old Orange Bowl Stadium. This year’s game will mark the first meeting of the two teams in Sun Life Stadium.

 

        While Miami has played its home games at Sun Life since 2008, Boston College does have one previous appearance in the stadium, defeating Virginia, 31-13, in the 1994 Carquest Bowl game.

 

May 04, 2011

Canes DL Jeffrey Brown facing rape charges, suspended indefinitely

HERE IS OUR STORY.

I have a feeling we've seen the last of Jeffrey Brown around UM.

If you're interested in ready the details on the police report regarding the incident, go to the story in MiamiHerald.com sports (it's also on the front page of the website now) and there's a link to the arrest report.

 

By Diana Moskovitz and Susan Miller Degnan
dmoskovitz@MiamiHerald.com
University of Miami redshirt freshman football player Jeffrey Brown was charged Wednesday with sexual battery by Coral Gables police.
Brown, a 19-year-old defensive lineman from Evanston, Il., surrendered himself to Coral Gables police Wednesday. 
Police said the charges were for an attack just before 4 a.m. Saturday at a dorm in the 5100 block of Ponce De Leon Boulevard. 
The woman had returned home to the dormitory, drunk and ill, according to an arrest affidavit. Brown came into her room, “under pretense he was concerned for her well being,” the affidavit said.
But while she slept, Brown raped her, the woman told police, even though she told him to stop, the affidavit said. She couldn’t physically fight him off due to her intoxication and because the lineman, listed by UM as 6-feet 3-inches and 295 pounds, was so much larger than her, police said. 
Police said that at first, Brown denied having sex with the woman but later recanted.
Late Wednesday, UM released a statement saying, “The University of Miami has become aware of the serious charges made against a student athlete, and he has been suspended indefinitely from the football program.”
UM would not comment about Brown’s status as a UM student.
Brown is the second UM football player arrested in less than two months. On March 18, Ramon Buchanan was charged with three misdemeanors and two felonies. 
Buchanan, 21, entered a pretrial diversion program last month. If he completes the program, the charges against him will be dropped.