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13 posts from May 2012

May 31, 2012

Baseball tournament time at UM: Canes vs. Seawolves at 7 p.m. Friday and UCF vs, Missouri State at 2 p.m. Will Peter O'Brien be healthy enough to play?

I just did the math. The Hurricanes have indeed been an amazing baseball program. They have won 23 consecutive regionals and five consecutive super regionals at Mark Light Field in Coral Gables.

Simply incredible.

Will the streak continue?

It for sure will become a lot harder if usual catcher Peter O'Brien does not play this weekend. Hard for me to believe that will happen, but UM coach Jim Morris told us at a press conference today that O'Brien (.338 batting average, 10 home runs, 39 RBI, .633 slugging percentage in 39 games) is questionable for the regional because of wrist pain.

O'Brien missed the last 17 regular-season games and the first game of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament with a broken left wrist.

Here's what Morris told us Thursday:

"First of all he’s done everything he possibly can do to get ready to play. He wasn’t able to [hit] yesterday so that’s not a good thing. We didn’t practice Monday. Tuesday we didn’t hit because we got rained out before we started our bp. Wednesday -- yesterday -- he couldn’t hit , so that’s not a good sign. I don’t know where he’s at."

Morris told us just before noon Thursday that O'Brien had texted him Wednesday night to say he felt better, and that he would try to take some swings Thursday. The team had gone out to local batting cages because tarp covered Mark Light Field and no team could practice there. O'Brien was scheduled to see the team doctor Thursday afternoon.

 "There's nothing that he can’t do that will hurt him physically other than being able to deal with the pain. He’s having trouble rotating his wrist when he follows through, so it’s creating pain -- and he’s having to let go of the bat.

 "It’s just a question of how much pain he can tolerate and how he feels. Hitting is a thing where you need to feel good, because it’s the hardest thing to do in any sport. I don’t know. I’m hoping when I wake up and come to the ballpark tomorrow he can play.

 "He swung the bat better last week in the ACC tournnaent on the first day than he did the second and third days."

Morris was asked: "Is this a situation where if it was midseason he might not play?" He answered, "For sure. Of course, he may not. But it’s do or die now. If he can play we want him in the lineup. He’s a force when he’s healthy. We all know that.

He’ll either be at first base or DH, one of the two. It actually bothered him a little bit catching ground balls yesterday, which I was very surprised when he told me that. If that bothers him then he will not play first base I assure you. Because the No. 1 thing we need is his bat in the lineup.''

As for the pitching situation, Morris made an unusual move by announcing he'll start Friday-night lefty Eric Erickson (8-5, 2.84), instead of expected starter Steven Ewing, who has pitched Sunday games until his recent switch to Saturday nights. No one can recall Morris throwing a Friday-night guy against a No. 4 regional seed. He basically said the matchup with Erickson was better, without elaborating. He didn't specify who will pitch Saturday.

You might know by now that America East team Stony Brook of New York has the top winning percentage (.807) in Division I. You also might not know that as of Thursday at noon, UM still had not gotten any tape on the Seawolves. Morris said he had hoped to at least watch them in batting practice, but tarp on the field prevented that, and all four teams had to take bp at local batting cages.

Stony Brook doesn't play competition near the caliber of the teams in the ACC, but they have some fine players nonetheless, and I'd say they'll have that much more of a chance if Peter O'Brien isn't in the lineup.

Some facts about Stony Brook: they've won their last 22 of 23 games. They've been to four regionals since 2004. Their center fielder, Travis Jankowski, is excellent. He's hitting .411, eighth best in the nation, and was the Cape Cod summer league's most valuable player last summer. He hit .600 during the recent America East conference tourney. He's also super fast.

Right-handed senior ace Tyler Johnson (9-1, 1.78) will start Friday for the Seawolves.

Third baseman Willie Carmona is batting .380 with a conference-leading 10 home runs and 60 RBI; and Maxx Tissenbaum is batting .400 and leads the nation in fewest strikeouts, with four Ks in 200 at-bats.

P.S. The forecast calls for rain Friday and Saturday, and possibly Sunday. Hope for sunshine!

A Missouri State note: Sophomore Nick Petree (RHP, Clinton, Mo.) has been named the The Louisville Slugger NCAA Division I National Player of The Year, released Thursday as part of Collegiate Baseball newspaper's annual All-America Team announcement. Petree has the lowest ERA of starting pitchers in the nation at 0.92 over 15 appearances (107 1/3 innings) with 109 strikeouts and 34 walks.




May 30, 2012

UM Canes Coach Golden talks ESPN-ACC TV deal, while FSU & others have all eyes on Big 12 Meetings

While we await the Canes' opening round of the NCAA baseball regionals (great time of year) at 7 p.m. Friday against Stony Brook, below is a statement released Tuesday by football coach Al Golden on the Atlantic Coast Conference's new Television contract through 2027 with ESPN -- announced May 9th.

The deal is worth $3.6 billion over the next 15 years, according to the Associated Press. Each of the league's 12 schools now are paid an average of about $13 million per year in rights fees -- but will eventually (after incremental increases) get an average of about $17 million apiece with the addition of new ACC members Syracuse and Pittsburgh.

GOLDEN: "The new ACC-ESPN television deal achieves many things that are essential to us as a conference, institution and program. The ACC is ESPN’s only all-in conference partner and this provides marquee Thursday and Saturday coverage with the multi-platform promotional power that only the World-Wide Leader in Sports can provide. There is no doubt that national sports fans tuning in to normal ESPN programming will be exposed to more of the ACC brand over the next decade than any other league in the country. The ACC’s footprint extends from Boston to Miami and, with the addition of Syracuse and Pittsburgh, it now encompasses nine of the top 25 media outlets in the nation. This increased TV exposure will help recruits identify with the University of Miami Hurricanes and showcase ACC football, not just to the eastern half of the United States, but to the rest of country as well. The ACC-ESPN television pact is historic in nature and a strong indication of the future of the Atlantic Coast Conference."

Wow. That's a very long statement, with some significant ACC and ESPN-pumping.

The Big 12 meetings have begun in Kansas State, and though it's doubtful anything major will happen this week, you probably are aware by now of the rampant talk regarding Florida State and Clemson (and, initially, spurred by TCU athletic director Chris Del Conte, also the Miami Hurricanes) being open to pondering a jump to that conference.

The Big 12, which voted to add TCU and West Virginia to its conference, still has not announced its pending TV deal with ESPN and FOX (as previously reported by SportsBusiness Daily being worth $2.6 billion over 13 years for first-tier rights, which means for nationally televised football and/or basketball games. The $3.6 billion ACC deal over 15 years is the figure that encompasses all sports). The Big 12 TV deal could eventually end up netting more money for each school.

 UM has made it clear it is sticking with the ACC. Barry Jackson reported recently that the subject of exiting for the Big 12 "hasn’t been discussed inside UM,'' according to two Board of Trustees members "and they could not envision Miami being interested. One pointed out UM would need to pay more than $15 million in ACC exit fees even if it wanted to move."

FSU reportedly (Tallahassee Democrat) has a $20 million ACC buyout fee from the ACC.    

 Still, most of these decisions, when you get to the nitty-gritty, usually come down to money. I'd love to have a looking glass 10 years into the future to see how it all shakes out. But I'm wondering how you'd all feel if FSU, first and foremost, bolted for another conference. That would certainly shake the foundation of the ACC, and make things rough football-wise. 

Also wondering how you'd feel if UM ever left. I remember when we first heard the Canes were contemplating leaving the Big East. It was thrown around for years, with UM saying "No,'' and was huge news when it finally happened. Now, with the landscape of college sports in continual flux, nothing seems crazy or strange anymore.

Will have some baseball availability Thursday at The Light, where we'll shift into full baseball mode.





May 28, 2012

UCF, Missouri State, Stony Brook will be in Coral Gables Regional with Canes

The NCAA released its field of 64 bracket in baseball Monday and the good news for the Hurricanes is that No. 1-seeded Florida and No. 3-seeded Florida State can't hinder them from getting to Omaha this year.

UM, selected as one of 16 host sites on Sunday, learned Monday that UCF (43-15), Missouri State (39-20) and Stony Brook (46-11) will be the three teams coming to Coral Gables this weekend to compete in the double elimination regional tournament.

The winner of the Coral Gables Regional would then face the winner of the Baton Rouge Regional, where No. 7-seeded LSU (43-16), Oregon State (38-18), Belmont (38-22) and Louisiana-Monroe (31-28) are.

The Hurricanes (36-21) haven't been to the College World Series since 2008. They've lost each of the last three seasons to Florida in either the Regional or Super Regional round.

UM split its season series with UCF this season. The Knights are ranked higher than UM (22nd, 21st) in both the Collegiate Baseball News poll (21st) and USA Today/ESPN College Coach's Poll (18th).

UM will open tournament play Friday at 7 against the fourth-seeded Seawolves of Stony Brook, who earned a berth by capturing their fourth America East Conference Championship in program history. The Hurricanes have faced the Seawolves only one time, winning their March 19, 2003 match-up in Coral Gables by a final score of 9-8.

Despite dropping their most recent match-up, the Hurricanes hold a 16-4 all-time advantage overUCF. The Knights will open its postseason at 2 p.m. against Missouri State. Similar to their brief history with the Seawolves, the Hurricanes have little experience facing the Bears of Missouri State.

Miami has taken the only two head-to-head match-ups with the university, formerly known as Southwest Missouri State. Miami enjoyed an 8-2 win in the Austin, Texas regional of the 1996 postseason, and also captured a 7-5 win on June 17, 2003 during the College World Series in Omaha.

May 27, 2012

Canes to host 24th NCAA baseball regional

Guess the experts were wrong.

Despite losing the ACC championship game to Georgia Tech and being projected to be a road team by most experts, the 21st-ranked University of Miami Hurricanes were one of 16 teams selected as hosts for the NCAA Tournament Sunday, which begins Friday.

It's the 24th time and first time since 2010 UM will host a regional. The Hurricanes have been to the Tournament an NCAA-record 40 consecutive years, but haven't reached the College World Series since 2008. 

They've lost to the University of Florida in the tournament each of the last three seasons -- whether in the Regional or Super Regional round.

The fact UM (36-21) was named one of the 16 host sites for the regional round came as a bit of a surprise despite being ranked 10th in RPI. Baseball America Magazine and ESPN both projected the Hurricanes as a No. 2 seed -- and likely headed to Gainesville.

UM is one of five ACC schools to serve as hosts.

The other 15 regional sites, with host institutions and records are as follows: LSU (43-26), Baton Rouge, La.; North Carolina (44-14), Chapel Hill, N.C.; Virginia (38-17), Charlottesville, Va.; Texas A&M (42-16), College Station, Texas; South Carolina (40-17), Columbia, S.C.; Oregon (42-16), Eugene, Ore.; Florida (42-18), Gainesville, Fla.; Purdue (44-12), Gary, Ind.; Rice (40-17), Houston, Texas; UCLA (41-14), Los Angeles, Calif.; Stanford (37-16), Palo Alto, Calif.; NC State (39-17), Raleigh, N.C.; Florida State (43-15), Tallahassee, Fla.; Arizona (37-17), Tucson, Ariz.; Baylor (44-14), Waco, Texas.

The last season Miami hosted a regional was 2010, when the Hurricanes went on to win the Coral Gables Regional with wins over Texas A&M and Dartmouth.

Ticket packages for the entire Coral Gables Regional are $90 for field box, $60 for chairback, $45 for adult general admission and $30 for youth, seniors and students. Those packages will go on sale at 9 a.m. on Tuesday. Individual day passes will go on sale later this week.

The Coral Gables Regional field will be announced Monday at 12 p.m. on ESPNU.

The University of Miami and the ticket office are closed for Memorial Day on Monday but normal hours will resume on Tuesday, May 29. To order tickets, click here or call 305-284-2263. The UM ticket office will be open Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Canes taking on Georgia Tech at noon for ACC title -- but even with win hosting regional is unlikely

With North Carolina's 4-0, 12-inning win over North Carolina State late Saturday night, your 21st-ranked Miami Hurricanes earned a spot in today's ACC Championship game against eighth-seeded Georgia Tech -- and potentially a shot at hosting a regional.

But that shot at hosting a regional -- Baseball America college baseball expert Aaron Fitt says -- really isn't that good.

Even if they win today, most expect Florida State, North Carolina and North Carolina State to be the only ACC teams to earn host sites. UM's ranking in the RPI is 10th.

The NCAA will announce its 16 host sites at around 3:30 p.m. today, Fitt said.

"In my opinion what happened this week really didn't matter in terms of hosts," said Fitt. "It's nice they got some momentum back here. But they're probably behind some other teams in the pecking order in this conference. Miami got swept by [fourth seeded] Virginia, and Clemson also won two of three against them in the regular season -- in addition to N.C. State beating them at the tournament. Those teams just have more quality wins, a better body of work. It's nice Miami got hot a little bit here so maybe it will carry over with them next week. But the hosts are probably set right now."

First pitch for the ACC title game is at noon on ESPN2. The game can also be heard on 560 WQAM and WVUM 90.5 FM.

UM will start sophomore right-hander Javi Salas, while Georgia Tech will counter with freshman right-hander Josh Heddinger. UM took two of three from the Yellow Jackets last week in Atlanta.

UM is making its return to the championship game after a three-year hiatus. The last time the Hurricanes made it to the tournament's finale was in 2008, when they beat Virginia 8-4.

UM finished Pool B round-robin play tied with the Tar Heels at 2-1 and advanced to the championship via head-to-head tiebreaker.

Georgia Tech won Pool A by finishing a perfect 3-0 in round-robin play. After opening their tournament with an upset of No. 1 Florida State, the Yellow Jackets reeled off a 17-5 win against Virginia and a 5-1 win over Clemson on Saturday afternoon to earn their spot in the championship.

The complete NCAA Tournament brackets are scheduled to be revealed at noon Monday on ESPNU. The Hurricanes, who entered the ACC Tournament seeded sixth, have been projected for weeks to be the No. 2 seed in Gainesville.

But Fitt said he doesn't think the NCAA selection committee will send UM to face the Gators yet again.

"I hope they get sent somewhere else this year. They need some variety," Fitt said. "I have a feeling they will get sent somewhere else. There are a few other two seeds you can send to Gainesville that are close by. Miami can go out West or go to a place like LSU. But I see them traveling this year."

May 21, 2012

Canes are seeing results in the weight room, closing in on 40/10 goal

CORAL GABLES -- The last thing Al Golden said at the end of the 2011 season was that he wanted his team to get stronger. 

Seantrel_Henderson"There are too many times when you look on the field, we're getting pushed around," Golden said in November. "... we have to get that fixed."

Looks like that's really starting to happen for the Hurricanes.

Strength and conditioning coach Andreu Swasey, whose had the team since spring football ended April 14th, said Monday the Hurricanes have made drastic improvements in his weight room -- and credits Golden for a lot of it.

According to Swasey, UM currently has 36 players who are bench pressing 225 pounds (the NFL combine testing standard) 20 times and seven more who are doing it 30 times. A year ago, Swasey said, he only had 11 players on the entire roster who could produce 20 reps of 225 pounds. The goal, Swasey said, is for the team to eventually have 40 players who can do 20 reps of 225 and 10 who can achieve 30 reps by the time fall practice begins.

Andreu SwaseyThat's why players were wearing new U Tough t-shirts Monday with the numbers 40/10 across the front of it.

"All of us are shocked how strong we've gotten," said senior Ben Jones, one of the seven to achieve 30 reps. "Everybody is buying into the program now and believing in what coach is saying and are ready to just go for it. I wouldn't say it wasn't happening before. But it's just a new energy around here."

That new energy, Swasey said, has to do with the level of competition Golden has created with the off-season programs. Swasey the combination of the Fifth Quarter program (extra workouts), the competition to wear black jerseys (starters) and now having players get tested in what they would do at the NFL combine has created a year-round competition for starting jobs and kept the team hungry.

"I think everybody needs rewards and challenges," Swasey said. "I've been with four different head coaches... this reminds me more of how Butch [Davis] did it. With Butch we had the morning runs. Here, it's U tough... Competition and development -- that helps guys strive for things and challenges them."

Jones agreed. "Everybody cares a lot because they know all this means something," he said. "You have a chance to compete for a starting job. Everybody wants to go hard to reach the black shirt, go for the most on 225 [pounds], U tough and everything they can so they can stand out and say 'Coach I'm ready for this opportunity.'"


> So who are the seven players with more than 30 reps? Jones couldn't remember them all, but mentioned defensive tackles Darius Smith and Corey King as well as left tackle Malcolm Bunche and starting right guard Brandon Linder. Swasey said Smith leads the team with 36 reps. For the record, Memphis defensive lineman Dontari Poe had the most reps at the NFL combine in April with 44.

Sophomore middle linebacker Denzel Perryman had 23 reps according to Jones. Boston College's Luke Kuechly, the ACC Defensive Player of the Year, put up 27 reps at the combine. Jones said a couple of defensive backs have broken the 20-rep mark -- safeties Andrew Swasey and Kacy Rodgers.

> Asked to pick his weight room freaks, Swasey mentioned Bunche and receiver Phillip Dorsett.

The sophomore out of St. Thomas Aquinas has gained 20 pounds since arriving at UM and is now 185 pounds. Perhaps more impressive is that he's taken the title of fastest man away from cornerback Brandon McGee. According to Swasey, Dorsett ran a 4.36 recently. McGee, who is up to 190 pounds, ran a 4.55. UM, though, won't officially test the 40 until later.

"Dorsett is kind of the freak," Swasey said. "He'll be a guy who will really surprise."

> Maybe it's just surprising to me, but right tackle Seantrel Henderson isn't among the big freaks in the Canes weight room. In fact, the 6-8, 332-pound junior is barely scraping by at 20 reps of 225 pounds. Henderson admits he's never been a big weight room guy. His long arms are partly responsible for his light lifting numbers. Last year Henderson said he lifted 225 pounds between 12 and 15 times.

"In high school I wasn't a big weight room guy," Henderson said. "But I feel like I've improved a lot."

As for why Henderson remains at right tackle and isn't competing for the left tackle job, well, we now have some clarity. "My left hip is kind of weaker than my right so I feel more comfortable kicking with my right [leg]," Henderson said. "So, I feel like when I get my strength back in my left hip I'll be versatile again. But until then, I feel comfortable at right [tackle]."


May 20, 2012

Canes to open ACC Tourney play vs. NC State Wednesday

If the Miami Hurricanes are going to serve as a host for an NCAA regional and avoid hitting the road yet again, they're going to have to perform really well -- and probably win it all -- at this week's ACC Tournament in Greensboro, N.C.

UM (34-19) is seeded sixth out of eight teams at the tournament and will open play Wednesday in Pool B against third-seeded N.C. State at 3 p.m. Thursday at 3, they'll take on No. 2 seeded North Carolina, whom the swept earlier this season. They'll then close out pool play Friday night against 7th-seeded Wake Forest.

The championship game is Sunday at noon.

Pool A consists of top-seeded Florida State, Virginia, Clemson and Georgia Tech.

May 18, 2012

UM gets QB commitment

The father of Wayne Hills (N.J.) quarterback Kevin Olsen told The Herald's Barry Jackson within the past hour that his son is committing to UM. Kevin Olsen, brother of former UM tight end Greg, is rated the nation's seventh best Class of 2013 quarterback by rivals.com and 131st overall. For details on this, and highlights of what Stephen Morris and Ryan Williams said today, go to the sports home page and click on Florida Sports Buzz.


May 15, 2012

Canes projected to go back to UF for baseball regional

There was probably no one as disappointed as Miami Hurricanes’ third baseman Brad Fieger when Tuesday night’s game against Florida Gulf Coast was cancelled due to lightning and rain.

Fieger hit a two-run homer to left field in the first inning. It would have been his fourth homer of the season and his second in consecutive at-bats, counting the grand slam he hit in Sunday’s win over Wake Forest.

But because the game was cancelled – Miami led 3-2 in the fourth when it was called – none of the statistics count.

The Canes (32-18), though, could sure use Fieger’s suddenly hot bat. They will play the rest of their season on the road, starting with a trip to Atlanta Thursday through Saturday for an ACC series against Georgia Tech.

After that, the Canes will play in the ACC Tournament, which is set for May 23-27 at Greensboro, N.C.

Judging by projections, the Canes would then play an NCAA regional on the road. ESPN, for example, projects the Canes as a No. 2 seed at Gainesville, behind Florida and together with Washington and Florida Atlantic.

In other Canes news, since Tuesday was the last scheduled home game for Miami, the team announced its year-end awards, and there were at least a couple of surprises.

It’s not often an MVP award goes to a middle reliever, but that’s what happened with A.J. Salcines, who had a team-best 1.39 ERA along with four saves.

The MVP award almost surely would have gone to catcher Peter O’Brien had he not broken a bone in his left wrist, missing 13 games. O’Brien, who hopes to return for the Georgia Tech series, still hit .354 and won awards for fan favorite and top home run hitter (10).

Eric Erickson was named top pitcher and was also given an award for exemplifying what it means to be a winner.

Garrett Kennedy, who stepped in for the injured O’Brien at catcher, was named the top freshman. He hit just .150 with four RBI in 23 starts but was praised for his defense.

Other freshmen who saw significant time this season were infielders Esteban Tresgallo (.246 in 39 starts) and Jarred Mederos (.231 in 36 starts).

-- These notes were sent in by Miami Herald writer Walter Villa, who covers the baseball team frequently.

Jimmy Johnson joins rare Canes company in College Football Hall of Fame

Former University of Miami head coach Jimmy Johnson was named Tuesday as one of the 17 former players and coaches that will be inducted in the 2012 class of the College Football Hall of Fame.

Jimmy JohnsonJohnson, who compiled a 52-9 record and guided the Canes to the 1987 National Championship, becomes the third coach from UM to earn such an honor, joining Jack Harding (1980) and Andy Gustafson (1985).

Amazing at it sounds, Johnson becomes just the ninth man with ties to UM to be selected into the College Football Hall of Fame joining players Don Bosseler (1990), Ted Hendricks (1987), Gino Torretta (2009), Arnold Tucker (2008), and Bennie Blades (2006) and Russell Maryland (2011) – who both were coached by Johnson.

The program has won five national titles and has produced countless Pro Bowlers and first found picks.

Johnson left UM after the 1988 season to replace Tom Landry as coach of the Dallas Cowboys. His five-year stay in Dallas culminated with back-to-back Super Bowl wins in 1992 and 1993. Johnson is one of just six men to coach consecutive Super Bowl champions.

In 1987 under Johnson, UM went a perfect 12-0 and defeated six nationally ranked teams, including a 20-14 victory over then-No. 1 Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl.

After his team’s win over the Sooners, Johnson said: “We played our way to this championship. We have the best record versus anybody in the country ... We beat Oklahoma three in a row, Florida State and Notre Dame three in a row, Florida a couple.. What is sweetest is that we did it as a team. We lost starters and had other guys come in and played magnificently.”

Including his five seasons as the head coach of Oklahoma State, Johnson’s career collegiate record stands at 81-34-3.

May 13, 2012

Former athletic director Paul Dee passed away Saturday night

Sad news regarding former Canes athletic director Paul Dee, who passed away Saturday night at age 65.

Dee was UM's AD for 15 years before stepping down in 2008. Dee, who was about as passionate about the Hurricanes' athletic program as anybody who held the post, recently had been hospitalized for cancer treatment. He also had open-heart surgery in 2008.

When he became athletic director in 1993, he inherited a program facing NCAA violations and succeeded in cleaning it up with coach Butch Davis. Dee then oversaw UM's move from the Big East Conference to the Atlantic Coast Conference and helped the school build an on-campus basketball arena as well as new practice facilities and Cobb Stadium.

Dee was also in charge, though, when Ponzi schemer and rogue booster Nevin Shapiro got involved with players and gave them illegal benefits. The program is still awaiting word from the NCAA on future penalties it may face because of it.

May 12, 2012

Happy 22nd birthday, Jacory. UM Canes former QB signs rookie free agent contract with Eagles; and congrats to the new UM grads

I'm happy for Jacory Harris, who signed a rookie free agent contract with the Philadelphia Eagles, as announced by the Eagles on Friday.

With Harris' signing, the Eagles reached their 90-man limit.

It's Jacory's 22nd birthday today as he starts rookie mini-camp, and I hope he does well.

Harris went undrafted recently, but at least he can now say he had a shot, no mater how daunting it seems it will be for him to turn heads among a crowded Eagles quarterback group that includes Michael Vick, Mike Kafka, Trent Edwards and third-round draft pick Nick Foles from the University of Arizona.

Harris, 6-4 and 195 pounds, passed for 8,826 yards, completed 60 percent of his passes and threw 70 touchdowns passes in his UM career. Unfortunately, as we all know too well, he also threw 48 interceptions.

Last season, Harris threw for 2,486 yards with 20 touchdowns and nine picks.

He finished his career ranked second in school history in both yards and touchdowns, behind Ken Dorsey (9,486 yards; 86 touchdowns).

I just got off the phone with Rodney Harris, Jacory's dad.

"He's real good. Cory doesn't get down about a whole lot of things,'' Rodney said. "He stays positive and upbeat.

"He's really excited. He has to be. All he ever wanted was an opportunity. If we feel he could get into a good system, he'll have a good shot of making someone's team.''

Joining Harris at camp will be Eagles draft pick Brandon Washington, a former teammate of his at Miami Northwestern High, as well as Canes tight end Chase Ford. Former Canes running back Graig Cooper will also be on the minicamp roster as a free agent.

Harris graduated in December in sports administration. He's not even talking about what happens if he doesn't make an NFL roster.

"That'll be Plan B,'' Rodney Harris said. "Cory said take care of Plan A first and then we won't have to rely on Plan B. Plan A is focusing on making that football team with Philadelphia."

So, in closing, Happy Birthday Jacory, and good luck to all the Canes out there trying to make teams.

"He's probably going to be busy all day today so we'll send him a little text or note saying that we miss him,'' Harris' dad said. "We're very proud of him."

2012 UM Hurricanes graduates

Also, congratulations to the 44 student-athletes who received their degrees Friday at UM! They include 13 football players -- newly drafted receiver Tommy Streeter among them.

Women's Basketball

Sylvia Bullock
Shenise Johnson

Men's Basketball
Reggie Johnson
DeQuan Jones
Trey McKinney Jones
Ryan Quigtar

Travis Benjamin
Ramon Buchanan
Cameron Dean
Chase Ford
Sean Goldstein
Jeremy Lewis
Andrew Smith
Tommy Streeter
Andrew Swasey
Vaughn Telemaque
Kendal Thompkins
David Thompson
Jake Wieclaw

Women's Golf
Patty De Arana
Jennifer Hirano



May 02, 2012

Randy Shannon back in news - he sues University of Miami for money he says it owes him. Oh yes, he wants Sun Bowl bonus! (If only the Canes weren't thumped by Irish)

Former UM football coach Randy Shannon has sued the University of Miami, asking for the money that he claims UM still owes him, relating to his employment.

Shannon, hired by the Hurricanes as head coach in December 2006, was given an extension in May 2010 through Jan. 31, 2014.

But he was fired Nov. 27, 2010.

Shannon's salary was paid to him in four equal installments yearly. His last payment, on Nov. 1, 2010, came before he was fired. According to the lawsuit, UM believes he is not entitled to those last two months for which he was paid (Nov. 28, 2010, until Jan. 31, 2011). So, what UM did to offset the extra two months the school thinks was not rightly his (because he already had been fired), was to reduce his buyout ("fixed sum'') that is given for being fired without cause.

The lawsuit, filed April 27 in the Dade County Circuit Court, contends "there is nothing in the Employment Agreement or Guaranty Agreement that authorizes UM to prorate the guarantee or reduce the amount of Shannon's fixed payment.'' Shannon wants UM to pay "in a lump sum, all past shortages'' in the monthly buyout payments -- with interest -- as well as the approximately two months salary he feels he got shorted.

He also wants the Sun Bowl bonus he earned. After all, it was his coaching that got UM into that bowl. Never mind that UM (especially poor Jacory Harris) was humiliated by the Fighting Irish and that it was Jeff Stoutland who coached them in that bowl, because it was, indeed, Coach Shannon who coached them to that point. I have no idea if Shannon is owed that money, because I'm not a lawyer, and I haven't seen his contract (no salary has been disclosed).

I did reach Randy by phone earlier tonight, but he told me he was "in a conference'' and couldn't talk.

UM won't discuss the case.

All I know is that this stirred up some bad memories from 2010. Some of those losses were maddening (FSU, VA, VT, USF to name some really ugly ones).

The more I think of those days, the more I think Al Golden and his coordinators are integral in bringing this program back. I also wonder how long they'll stay, depending on future circumstances we all are awaiting. Still don't know when the NCAA will decide UM's fate.

UM needs some happy news. How about at least a couple wins against Bethune-Cookman University. At this point even two sounds decent.