Great news for the Hurricanes.
You probably already know by now that UM basketball player DeQuan Jones has been reinstated by the Hurricanes and is available to play immediately. In fact, although the Canes left for Charlotte (they play Thursday) today without DeQuan, UM associate athletic director for communications Chris Freet told me the Canes are doing everything possible to get DeQuan to Charlotte for Thursday's game.
UM's written statement on the matter:
"The University of Miami, after consultation with the NCAA, has announced that senior basketball player DeQuan Jones can return to competition immediately. In order to protect the integrity of the ongoing joint inquiry, the University will not comment further at this time."
People are asking if that bodes well for UM. Obviously it's a good sign for DeQuan -- very good sign. But I can't really say how it will affect the NCAA's UM-Nevin Shapiro investigation as a whole. Remember, it allegedly was former assistant Jake Morton who asked Shapiro for $10,000 to secure the commitment of then-recruit Jones. And remember, it's Shapiro who alleged all this stuff. And we all know how trustworthy he is. But then again, we also know that some of the stuff he alleged was true, unless the suspensions of all those football players were under false pretenses.
Interesting that the NCAA came out today with its 34-page public infractions report in the Ohio State case, that at first centered around some free tattoos for several players and then expanded from there. The Buckeyes received a bowl ban for 2012, which would be Urban Meyer's first year as head coach at Ohio State. NCAA found that there was a "failure to monitor'' OSU's athletic programs.
The Buckeyes also lost an additional five scholarships. They already had self-imposed four. The nine scholarship losses are over a three-year period.
Former Buckeyes football coach Jim Tressel got a five-year "show-cause'' order which basically prevents him from coaching for five years.
"Of great concern to the committee was the fact that the former head coach became aware of these violations and decided not to report the violations,'' the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions included in its report.
Tressel is now on staff of the Indianapolis Colts as a video-review coordinator, the AP wrote in its story.
The NCAA's investigation into UM and Nevin Shapiro isn't yet done, and from what I've heard, is progressing, but not close to being completed. It's interesting to me that UM hasn't self-imposed any scholarships. But the Canes did a smart thing by forgoing the bowl game after a 6-6 season. I still think they'll get another bowl ban, but again, we'll see.
I think the most damage for UM will be from any wrongdoings of former coaches Jake Morton or Frank Haith or former football recruiting point man Clint Hurtt. If you're working for a university, the NCAA has the right to interview you. Depends on what they said, I guess, or what the NCAA decides (through its investigation) is the truth, regardless.
Ohio State is on probation through Dec. 19, 2014.
USC's probation following the Reggie Bush situation was much worse: the loss of 30 scholarships over three years and a two-year bowl ban.
OSU AD Gene Smith said in statement, "We are surprised and disappointed with the NCAA's decision. However, we have decided not to appeal the decision because we need to move forward as an institution. We recognize that this is a challenging time in intercollegiate athletics. Institutions of higher education must move to higher ground, and Ohio State embraces its leadership responsibilities and affirms its long-standing commitment to excellence in education and integrity in all it does.''
SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN