Unless you were completely zeroed in on the NFL playoffs or sleeping all day Saturday you know by now the arrival of the Letter of Allegations from the NCAA is imminent.
A source interviewed in the investigation I spoke to Saturday told me that several former assistant coaches from UM have been told to wait by the phone Monday to hear from the NCAA, who will be sending them their own letter of allegations as it pertains to them. That's the sign the investigation is wrapped up and UM will be notified itself of what's in store.
Does that mean we will know what penalties UM is facing this week? Absolutely not. That comes later, much later, likely May or June. But at least this long drawn out investigation will be over. UM could ultimately tell us absolutely nothing pertaining to the letter it receives this week because it is a private institution. We suspect, though, some information will be released and the rest will drip-drop out (as usual for UM).
As for the program, this will be the fourth time the football
team comes under NCAA scrutiny for breaking major rules (1954, 1981, 1995) and the sixth time overall the school is cited for major infractions (1964 men's basketball, 2003 baseball). Part of my job here in preparation for all this has been reviewing past cases against The U. Although most of you remember the pell grant scandal of 1995, I was only three years old when UM got hit in Nov. 1981 for major violations involving the team.
I was surprised to see just how similar today's allegations involving jailed booster Nevin Shapiro and former UM assistants are to what the school faced back when Howard Schnellenberger was building Miami into a winner. From 1976 to 1980, boosters and assistant coaches were found to wreak all kinds of havoc in terms of giving improper benefits to players and recruits. In fact, it almost seems like what the Canes were accused of doing back then was worse. You can find every NCAA investigation into major infractions here on the NCAA's Legislative Services Database (just type in the University of Miami to do a search on the Canes and the cases).
Again, I don't bring this up to rub salt on the wound of Canes fans. I've applauded Al Golden and the school with how they've handled this mess, skipping two post-seasons to show the NCAA they take these allegations seriously and want to move forward. But you can always learn something new from history. Here is a short summary of the 1981 case with information provided from the NCAA.
THIRD NCAA CASE OF INFRACTIONS AGAINST THE UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI
> Ruling date: Nov. 3, 1981
> Sports involved: Football
> Summary of Violations: All violations took place from 1976-80. Improper financial aid and extra benefits (booster gave cash gifts to a player for his good play; down payment for a car); out-of-season practice conducted by the staff (couple times including once involving a recruit); improper recruiting contact (12 cited cases involving staff and impermissible off-campus contact), employment (multiple examples of boosters and assistant coaches hiring a recruit prior to the completion of their senior year of high school to help in the recruiting process), entertainment (boosters, assistant coaches and one former head coach provided recruits and family members with food, drinks, "improper entertainment," tickets to pro games, a party on a yacht), inducements (booster offers to pay airfare for parents, plus provide spending cash; assistant lends his car to a recruit; recruits given free t-shirts, jerseys, equipment; free housing to two recruits on campus for five-to-six weeks), lodging (booster and assistant coach provided some on a few occasions), publicity (contact with media at the time a prospective student-athlete signed a National Letter of Intent with the university), transportation (17-related incidents); tryouts; improper administration of financial aid; certification of compliance.
> Summary of NCAA penalties: Two years probation; no bowl game following the 1981 season (UM finished 9-2 and ranked 8th in the Associated Press poll); reduction of scholarships from 30 to 20 for the 1982-83 season; reprimand an assistant coach for lying in reporting facts relating to a violation. UM did not appeal the findings or penalties. The committee found violations of NCAA legislation related to the principles governing extra benefits to student-athletes, financial aid, practice seasons, various recruiting regulations and certification of compliance with NCAA legislation.
Again, for a complete detailed look at previous UM cases and all cases involving major violations and other programs click on the link above to visit the NCAA website. It's all there.