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47 posts from February 2013

February 28, 2013

Hurricanes (9-0) baseball to meet Gators (3-6) in three-game series at Gainesville

You'd have to go back three years (or almost three years) to find the last time the Miami Hurricanes baseball team defeated the Florida Gators -- March 6, 2010, a 9-6 UM victory in Coral Gables, when Miami was ranked 10th and the Gators, fifth.

Since then, 11 consecutive losses against the nemesis Gators. 

Now, the Canes, who traveled by bus to Gainesville Thursday, go into hostile territory with a 9-0 record -- while the Gators are an uncharacteristic 3-6 after an extra-inning loss to North Florida Wednesday night.

“I’m just a little disappointed,” Gators head coach Kevin O’Sullivan said in a story on GatorZone.com. “This is not a time to panic or start pointing fingers; we just have to play better. It’s like we’re playing back on our heels a little bit, and that’s what’s disappointing. We spent a lot of time the last few days talking about that issue and we just have to play a little bit better. We’re just not playing very well and we need to get it going. We have to learn from our mistakes. We have to move on. We’re going to coach them up and be ready to play Miami.”

Meanwhile, UM coach Jim Morris is not about to apologize for an exceptional start -- even if some of those wins came in late comeback situations against teams of lesser talent or in lower divisions or from the snowy north.

"We're a pretty young club and we still have some questions to be answered,'' Morris said, "but it's a good start for us. I'm looking forward to the challenge of going up to Gainesville.''

Morris said pitchers Bryan Radziewski and Eric Whaley, who both pitched for the first time in a game Tuesday after shoulder surgery, will continue to be eased in during relief stints. 

 The coach said his team's defense has impressed him the most at this point, considering three of the players in the infield are new (first baseman David Thompson, shortstop Brandon Lopez and second baseman Alex Hernandez). He said he's also impressed with the starting rotation of Chris Diaz (1-0, 0.75 ERA), Javi Salas (2-0, 0.00) and Andrew Suarez (1-0, 1.80). 

   "Offensively,'' Morris said, "we've done a good job of doing little things to win games -- moving runners over or putting the ball in play to make things happen.''

   Morris was asked about the nine-game win streak, and how he keeps it in perspective, knowing the competition the Canes have faced and what they have ahead. The Atlantic Coast Conference schedule begins March 8 against Duke.

   "Typical games we've played,'' Morris said, "whether it's a Rutgers or FAU. The people we've played... are the same people we play every year [to begin the season].

   "That's part of getting ready, When you play an inner-squad game, it's hard to tell about your team. Everybody we face, we face their ace -- whether it's last night against Barry. We face good pitching.''

    Right fielder Chantz Mack (.303), a senior, said the Canes "really want to turn this over, get over the hump, get over this losing streak we have against Florida. ...Yesterday, after the game in the locker room we kind of talked about that we need to change things, and we're ready this year. Everyone was pumped up, everyone was riled up. We have a good winning streak going and we just want to keep it going.''

    Mack said of his team's flawless record, "People think we haven't really played anyone, but the way we've won games and the way that different people have stepped up and the trust we've begun to gain in each other -- guys you wouldn't even expect to get the clutch hit and make the big play, they're doing it -- and that's really big for our momentum, for our psyche, for our chemistry.''

  Freshman David Thompson is on a tear, hitting .323 with a team-leading 14 RBI and six doubles, while getting accustomed to playing first base.

"It's been a good start so far,'' Thompson said. "The season is still real young. I've still got to get a lot better. Our team is playing real well right now, a lot of guys stepping up in different spots.

 "It's a lot different [from high school],'' he said. "Obviously the pitching is way better. You've really got to earn your hits now.''

   Thompson was asked his mindset when players are on base and he's at bat. "Still just try to drive the ball up the middle and take what the defense gives you.''

  The first two games of the weekend series will be televised -- Friday night's 7 p.m. game by Sun Sports/FOX Sports Florida; and Saturday night's 7:30 p.m. game by Sun Sports. 



February 27, 2013

Previewing Spring Practice for the Canes

With spring football practice set to begin Saturday (scrimmages are set for March 23rd at Traz Powell, April 5th in Naples and April 13th at Sun Life Stadium) here is a look at the top story lines at each position entering camp. (FYI, UM is expected to release a new spring depth chart in the coming days.)

- Only five seniors who appeared on the two-deep were lost to graduation: running back Mike James, offensive tackle Ben Jones (one start), backup left guard Jeremy Lewis and receivers Kendal Thompkins and Davon Johnson

That hardly seems tough to replace, but the big transition here is coaching. Offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch (Jacksonville Jaguars) is gone along with receivers coach George McDonald (Syracuse) and running backs coach Terry Richardson (Jacksonville Jaguars). James Coley comes over from Florida State with only one year of play-calling experience to take over for Fisch as offensive coordinator. UM promoted Hurlie Brown to running backs coach and hired Larry Scott away from USF to coach tight ends after Brennan Carroll made the move over to receivers coach. UM ranked 37th in total yardage offense (25th in passing; 87th in rushing) and averaged 31.2 points per game in 2012 (49th out of 120 FBS schools).

Returning starter 
17 Stephen Morris (6-2, 214, Sr., Miami Monsignor Pace) 
11 Ryan Williams (6-6, 223, Jr., Miramar High)
13 Gray Crow (6-3, 222, R-Fr., Clearwater Countryside)
12 Preston Dewey (6-2, 208, R-Fr., Austin, Tex.)
19 David Thompson (6-2, 207, R-Fr., Miami Westminster Christian)
Fall arrival
Kevin Olsen (6-3, 196, Fr., Wayne Hills, N.J.)

> STORYLINE: There is no reason to be worried about the starting spot here as it looks like Morris and Coley are hitting it off. But it will be interesting to see who among the returning freshmen catches the eye of UM's new offensive coordinator. David Thompson will not be around because he's playing baseball, but Gray Crow and Preston Dewey will. With Kevin Olsen set to arrive in the fall and 2014 commitment Alin Edouard (Hialeah High) already handpicked by Coley the pressure will be on for Crow and Dewey to do something this spring. If they don't, don't be surprised if they end up elsewhere. 

Returning starters
 8 Duke Johnson (RB, 5-9, 188, So., Miami Norland) 
33 Maurice Hagens (FB, 5-11, 238, Sr., Tampa Bay Tech) 
23 Eduardo Clements (5-9, 192, Sr., Miami Booker T. Washington) 
25 Dallas Crawford (5-10, 190, So., South Fort Myers) 
32 Danny Dillard (6-2, 225, R-Fr., Venice) 
27 Jameson Labady (5-11, 215, Sr., North Miami) 
48 Brandon Yosha (6-0, 183, So., Carmel, Ind.) 
Fall arrivals
Augustus Edwards (6-1, 222, Fr., Staten Island, N.Y.)
Cornelius Elder (5-11, 170, Fr., Nashville, Tenn.)

> STORYLINE: Coming off a fantastic freshman season Johnson should look even bigger and better coming off off-season workouts. The concern here is who backs him up moving forward with Mike James gone. Clements (neck) has health concerns. Crawford carried the ball just six times for 23 yards last season. He will be given first shot and we also should get a good look at Dillard in camp. But those are just two names. Incoming freshmen Gus Edwards and Cornelius Elder won't arrive until the fall. But if Crawford and Dillard don't impress in the spring, Edwards and Elder may actually come in and compete for playing time right away. 

Returning starters
79 Malcolm Bunche (LT, 6-7, 323, R-Jr., Newark, Del.)
70 Jon Feliciano (LG, 6-5, 314, R-Jr., Davie Western)
62 Shane McDermott (C, 6-4, 296, Jr., Palm Beach Central)
65 Brandon Linder (RG, 6-6, 312, Sr., Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas)
77 Seantrel Henderson (RT, 6-8, 340, Sr., St. Paul, Minn.)
74 Ereck Flowers (LT/RT, 6-6, 314, So., Miami Norland)
63 Danny Isidora (RG, 6-4, 312, R-Fr., Weston Cypress Bay)
75 Jared Wheeler (C, 6-5, 312, Sr., Plantation American Heritage)
64 Hunter Wells (OL, 6-4, 300, So., Canton, Ill.)
76 Taylor Gadbois (OL, 6-8, 310, R-Fr., Dallas, Ga.) 
Spring arrivals 
Hunter Knighton (6-5, 265, Fr., Pottstown, Penn.)
Sunny Odogwu (6-8, 311, Fr., Baltimore, Mary.) 
Fall arrivals
Alex Gall (6-5, 295, Fr., Cincinnati, Ohio)

> STORYLINE: The huge bright spot entering camp and the season is the return of all five starters on the offensive line as well as four solid backups in Flowers, Isidora, Wheeler and Wells. Will any of those guys push for a starting spot? Flowers and Isidora probably could. The stories to follow this spring are newcomers Sunny Odogwu and Hunter Knighton. Golden is thrilled about both. They need to show they can be ready by 2014. 

Returning starters
46 Clive Walford (6-4, 248, Jr., Belle Glades Glades Central)
82 Asante Cleveland (6-5, 260, Sr., Sacramento, Calif.)
43 Sean Harvey (6-4, 260, Jr., Largo Indian Rocks, Fla.)
Position switch
95 Jake O'Donnell (DE, 6-6, 243, R-Fr., Doylestown, Penn.) 
Spring arrivals
Standish Dobard (6-4, 255, Fr., Belle Chasse, La.)
Beau Sandland (6-6, 255, Jr., Woodland Hills, Calif.)
Fall arrivals
Ryheem Lockley (6-4, 217, Fr., Middlesex, Va.)

> STORYLINE: Al Golden told our Barry Jackson earlier this month Dyron Dye and David Perry were being switched to defensive end. Why? Because he was bringing in two studs in Dobard and Sandland, considered the top JUCO tight end in the country. Both should look good alongside Walford (25 catches, 451 yards, 4 TDs) as pass-catching tight ends moving forward. 

Returning starters
4 Phillip Dorsett (5-9, 187, Jr., Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas)
1 Allen Hurns (6-3, 195, Sr., Miami Carol City)
80 Rashawn Scott (6-2, 202, Jr., Melbourne Central High)
86 Herb Waters (6-2, 185, So., Homestead)
9 Malcolm Lewis (6-0, 192, So., Miramar)
6 Robert Lockhart Jr. (6-1, 188, So., Delray Beach)
81 Jontavious Carter (6-2, 203, R-Fr., Cordele, Ga.)
15 D'Mauri Jones (6-4, 190, R-Fr., Leesburg, Fla.)
18 Chad Barnes (5-8, 170, R-Sr., Weston Cypress Bay)
37 Alex Irastorza (6-3, 190, Sr., Miami Columbus)
87 Garrett Kidd (6-2, 186, So., Midland, Mich.)
24 Joey McNeill (5-10, 172, Jr., Newton, Penn.)
24 Stephen Sweeney (5-11, 184, So., Ridgewood, N.J.)
Fall arrivals
Derrick Griffin (6-6, 215, Fr., Rosenberg, Tex.)
Stacy Coley (6-1, 175, Fr., Oakland Park Northeast)

> STORYLINES: Dorsett (58 catches, 842 yards, 4 TDs) proved to be the go-to target for most of the 2012 season and will once again enter camp as that guy. The players to watch will be Scott, who was suspended indefinitely after nine games and was having a stellar season (35 catches, 512 yards, 3 TDs) before that and Lewis, who of course was having a great freshman season before dislocating his left ankle and fracturing his fibula. Lewis, I'm told, will not participate in team drills during the spring but will be around.

-- There are only three seniors from the two-deep that are gone: starting cornerback Brandon McGee, backup defensive tackle Darius Smith and backup safety Vaughn Telemaque. But there were other losses. Cornerback Thomas Finnie was booted off the team after being involved in a laptop theft on campus, third-leading tackler Gionni Paul was booted from the team, and fourth-leading tackler and talented outside linebacker Eddie Johnson remains suspended indefinitely.

The Hurricanes had a horrific season in 2012 on defense statistically, ranking 116th in total yardage, 112th against the run, 102nd in pass defense and 82nd in scoring defense (30.5 ppg). They also produced just 13 sacks in 12 games. The good? UM produced 22 turnovers on defense -- 11 INTs and 11 fumbles.

Returning starters
71 Anthony Chickillo (DE, 6-4, 265, Jr., Tampa Alonso)
91 Olsen Pierre (DT, 6-4, 296, Jr., Rahway, N.J.)
96 Curtis Porter (DT, 6-1, 308, Sr., Charlotte, N.C.)
51 Shayon Green (DE, 6-3, 260, Sr., Tifton, Ga.)
94 Kelvin Cain (DE, 6-3, 245, Sr., Clovis, Calif.)
99 Jelani Hamilton (DE, 6-5, 271, So., Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas)
17 Tyriq McCord (DE, 6-3, 236, So., Tampa Jefferson)
92 Jalen Grimble (DL, 6-2, 292, Jr., Las Vegas, Nev.)
66 Dequan Ivery (DT, 6-1, 303, So., Lake City, Fla.)
67 Corey King (DT, 6-1, 292, So., West Boca Raton)
72 Earl Moore (DT, 6-1, 300, So., Tampa Hillsborough)
93 Luther Robinson (DT, 6-3, 290, Sr., Fort Pierce Westwood)
90 Ricardo Williams (DE, 6-5, 251, So., Homestead)
87 Jacoby Briscoe (DT, 6-5, 312, R-Fr., Lafayette, La.)
97 Dwayne Hoilett (DE, 6-3, 247, R-Fr., Vero Beach)
Position switch
49 Dyron Dye (6-5, 258, R-Sr., Sanford Seminole, Fla.) 
85 David Perry (6-7, 265, Jr., University School) 
Fall arrivals
Al-Quadin Muhammad (6-4, 225, Fr., Ramsey, N.J.)
Ufomba Kamalu (6-5, 280, Jr., Butler Community College, Kan.)

> STORYLINE: UM's run defense was a complete joke for most of the season -- surrendering 217.92 yards per game. But over the final three games, the Canes allowed an average of just 137 (that would have ranked 32nd as a season average). The common denominator? A healthy Porter at defensive tackle. He played in just four games last season, starting the final three alongside Pierre. Porter has played in just 15 games over his four years at Miami. Aside from him, it will be interesting to see how Chickillo (team-leading four sacks) bounces back from an average sophomore season. Will he get pass rushing help from any of the sophomores or redshirt freshmen? McCord produced 3.5 sacks last season. Believe it or not, he and Cain (1 sack) were the only other defensive ends to sack the quarterback. Dye and Perry move over from tight end and will attempt to become pass-rushers themselves.

Returning starters
59 Jimmy Gaines (6-3, 232, Sr., Getzville, N.Y.)
34 Thurston Armbrister (6-3, 222, Jr., Hollywood Hills)
52 Denzel Perryman (6-0, 230, Jr., Coral Gables)
31 Tyrone Cornileus (6-2, 215, Sr., Stone Mountain, Ga.)
56 Raphael Kirby (6-0, 223, So., Stone Mountain, Ga.)
58 Gabe Terry (6-3, 215, So., Palm Beach Central)
54 JaWand Blue (6-0, 210, R-Fr., West Boca Raton)
Suspended indefinitely
44 Eddie Johnson (6-1, 234, R-So., Stone Mountain, Ga.)
47 Akil Craig (6-1, 226, R-Sr., Tampa Jesuit)
57 Nantambu Fentress (5-9, 205, Jr., Nashville, Tenn.)
Spring arrivals
Alex Figueroa (6-3, 225, Fr., Stafford, Va.)
Fall arrivals
Jermaine Grace (6-1, 196, Fr., Miramar)
Devante Bond, 6-3, 230, Jr., Sierra Community College, Calif.)

> STORYLINE:  Losing Eddie Johnson could hurt the Canes immensely despite the return of a couple of other veterans. Gaines, Kirby and Perryman are all coming off injury-plagued seasons. It will be interesting to see what they can do when fully healthy and recovered and coming of a good off-season. The new arrival -- Figueroa -- has a chance to put himself in position to compete for playing time. It will be interesting to see just how much talent he has along with Blue and Terry.

Returning starters
2 Deon Bush (S, 6-1, 195, So. Miami Columbus)
37 Ladarius Gunter (CB, 6-2, 196, Jr., Montgomery, Ala.)
30 AJ Highsmith (S, 6-0, 208, Sr., Missouri City, Texas)
29 Rayshawn Jenkins (S, 6-1, 203, So., St. Petersburg Admiral Farragut)
22 Kacy Rodgers II (CB/S, 6-2, 212, Sr., Southlake, Texas)

21 Antonio Crawford (CB, 5-11, 188, So., Tampa Plant)
3 Tracy Howard (CB, 5-11, 185, So., Miramar High)
35 Nate Dortch (CB, 5-11, 175, R-Fr., South Fort Myers)
11 Larry Hope (CB, 6-0, 183, R-Fr., Miami American)
38 Jordan Tolson (6-1, 192, Jr., Inglewood, Calif.)
Fall arrivals
Jamal Carter (6-1, 175, Fr., Miami Southridge)
Artie Burns (6-0, 183, Fr., Miami Northwestern)
Ray Lewis III (5-10, 192, Fr., Lake Mary Prep) 

> STORYLINE: The cornerback position has just one proven starter back in Gunter, but plenty of talent and potential with Howard and Crawford coming back after playing a lot as freshmen. That trio will be interesting to watch throughout camp along with the progress of Dortch and Hope, who were both redshirted last season. The safety position appears to be in much better hands in terms of experience. Can Jenkins and Bush push Highsmith and Rodgers out of the starting lineup for good? Strong reinforcements will arrive in the fall in terms of Carter, Burns and Lewis III. 

18 Matt Goudis (K, 6-0, 172, So., West Hills, Calif.)
46 Ricky Perez (K, 5-8, 182, So., Miami Krop)
88 Zach Costa (K/P, 6-2, 209, So., Hillsdale, N.J.)
88 Ronald Regula (LS/TE, 6-2, 225, Jr., Miami Palmetto)
27 Ricky Carroll (P, 6-3, 185, Sr., Mission Viejo, Calif.)

> STORYLINES: You can't underestimate the losses of kicker Jake Wieclaw and punter Dalton Botts. Both were among the best in the ACC at their respective positions. Now Goudis, who participated in just three kickoffs, is the likely front-runner to handle both of those duties.

UM hires Craig Anderson as its new compliance director

The University of Miami announced the hiring of Craig Anderson as the athletic program's new Associate Athletic Director for Compliance on Wednesday.

Anderson will begin in March. He spent the previous two-plus years at NC State as the Assistant AD for Compliance. At NC State, he was charged with many roles, including monitoring all amateurism and eligibility issues, serving as the liaison to the academic support program for student-athletes, monitoring all initial eligibility/continuing eligibility processes and conducting NCAA rules education for coaches, staff, boosters and general public according to a UM press release.

"Craig brings tremendous experience as a compliance professional, having spent several years within the ACC," Senior Associate AD for Administration and Student Excellence Jennifer Strawley said in the statement released by UM. "He shares our philosophy that compliance focuses on building trust and operating with integrity in all we do. Craig is a rising star in the compliance profession and we are thrilled that he will be overseeing the day to day operations of our compliance staff."

Anderson replaces David Reed, who left for the University of Kansas back in November. Anderson also spent three years at Virginia and began his career at UNLV.

February 26, 2013

New OC Coley flips '14 star RB Yearby from FSU to UM

Joseph Yearby, a 5-9, 190-pound All-State running back from state champion Miami Central, switched his non-binding oral commitment from Florida State to the University of Miami Miami on Tuesday, adding his name to what is becoming a stellar 2014 recruiting class for the Hurricanes.

Yearby, a Seminoles commitment since May 2012, said he flipped to the Canes because of his connection to former Florida State offensive coordinator James Coley, who took over the same title at Miami last month.

Ranked as a four-star prospect by 247Sports.com and ranked the 66th best player in the country in the 2014 class, Yearby ran for 2,160 yards and 24 touchdowns as a sophomore. He followed it up by rushing for 1,448 yards and 20 TDs in leading the Rockets to the state title in December.

Miami Central coach Telly Lockette, interviewed by Miami for its vacant running backs job earlier this month before the team promoted Hurlie Brown to the position, was surprised to learn of the news Tuesday. He said he's up in Oregon for a coaching convention.

"I was surprised to hear it," Lockette said. "Obviously we all know what a great kid and what a great talent Joe is."

UM now has four highly touted commitments as part of its 2014 class -- all of them are local. The others: Miami Central offensive tackle Trevor Darling (6-5, 300), Hialeah quarterback Alin Edouard (6-2, 180) and West Palm Beach Cardinal Newman receiver Travis Rudolph (6-1, 185).

February 25, 2013

ACC releases 2013 football schedule for Miami Hurricanes and all league teams


The Atlantic Coast Conference schedule is out.

The Hurricanes will face FSU in Tallahassee on Saturday, Nov. 2.

The Canes open and close the season on a Friday! They open at Sun Life against FAU. They close at new ACC Coastal member Pittsburgh the day after Thanksgiving, Nov. 29. The Pitt game will be nationally televised by ABC, ESPN or ESPN2.

UM doesn't leave the state until Thursday night, Oct. 17, at North Carolina.

Virginia Tech comes to Sun Life for the second year in a row - this time on Nov. 9.

UM's open dates are Sept. 14 and Oct. 12.

The Sept. 14 date, a Saturday, falls on the holiest day of the year for Jews -- Yom Kippur.

Here's the sched (we still don't know times):



Sept. 7: FLORIDA

Sept. 14: OPEN


Sept. 28: @South Florida


Oct. 12: OPEN

Oct. 17 (Thu.): @North Carolina


Nov. 2: @Florida State


Nov. 16: @Duke


Nov. 29 (Fri.): @Pittsburgh

Home games in CAPS

So, what do you all think?

I think it's a terrific schedule if you're a Canes fan, other than a game that promises to be FREEZING cold on Nov. 29. But I've seen the Canes take care of business at Pitt in the freezing cold before.





Miami Hurricanes 2013 football schedule

Aug. 30​: vs. FAU
Sept. 7​​: vs Florida
Sept. 14​: Open
Sept. 21​: vs. Savannah State
Sept. 28​: at South Florida
Oct. 5: vs. Georgia Tech
Oct. 12​: Open
Oct. 17​: at North Carolina (Thursday), ESPN
Oct. 26​: vs. Wake Forest
Nov. 2​: at Florida State
Nov. 9​: vs. Virginia Tech
Nov. 16​: at Duke
Nov. 23​: vs. Virginia
Nov. 29​: at Pittsburgh (Friday), ABC, ESPN or ESPN2

February 24, 2013

Larry Scott hired to be Canes new tight ends coach

Former USF assistant Larry Scott has accepted the job to become UM's new tight ends coach. Scott will replace Mario Cristobal's spot on the staff. Cristobal left UM for Alabama last week after just a month on the job.

The news was first reported by The Associated Press.

Scott, who was part of the first recruiting class at USF in 1996, has plenty of experience recruiting in South Florida. He was a big part of USF's highly-touted 2009 signing class. He served as tight ends coach at USF for four seasons, offensive lien coach in 2010 and most recently running backs coach in 2012.

Here is Scott's bio:

Larry ScottA member of USF's original recruiting class in February 1996, Larry Scott returned to USF in 2005 as director of high school operations, before first moving into coaching as a graduate assistant in 2006 and later as the tight ends coach, a position he accepted on Jan. 23, 2007.

Scott coached the tight ends in 2008 before switching to the offensive line in 2009. Scott returned to the tight ends in his sixth year with the program in 2010 and took over as running backs coach in 2012.

In his return to the tight end position, Scott and his group helped USF to its fifth-straight eight-win season, making it one of only 15 programs nationally and one of just 10 in BCS leagues that had accomplished the feat.

The offense saw tremendous improvement in 2011 as USF improved its national ranking in total offense 75 spots from 2010 to 2011, the largest jump of any school in the country. The most dramatic improvement came in the passing game, where USF improved by 85 yards per game. Only two teams saw a greater jump in the passing offense national rankings, as the Bulls improved 59 spots. In addition, the Bulls finished first in the BIG EAST in rushing and sacks allowed.

As the offensive line coach, Scott helped mentor center Sampson Genus to a second-team All-BIG EAST honor in 2009 as voted on by the coaches. Florida State defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews called Genus the best center they had seen all season.

In addition, redshirt freshman tackle Mark Popek was named Freshman All-America by both Sporting News and ESPN, while guard Zach Hermann earned third-team honors by Phil Steele.

A unit that had to replace a lot of experience lost from the 2008 team, the 2009 offensive line turned out to be one of the team's strengths after facing question marks across the line coming into fall practice.

In his first full season, USF saw the development of Cedric Hill into one of the most feared tight ends in the BIG EAST. He continued to help the offense and his position group excel in 2008. Hill earned second-team All-BIG EAST honors, while Ben Busbee stepped into a prominent role alongside Hill.

Where Scott has made arguably the biggest impact on USF is in recruiting. His work in Miami and throughout Dade and Broward counties has helped USF reel in a string of highly-regarded classes. In fact, many considered the 2008 class among the best in program history. Then, Scott and the entire coaching staff went out and signed a 2009 class that was ranked as high as No. 21 nationally and was praised again as the best in program history.

Scott first started coaching at Wharton High in Tampa, where he was offensive line coach and run game coordinator from May 2001 to August 2001, when he moved to Freedom High as offensive coordinator and line coach from August 2001 to November 2003.

During the 2004-05 school year, he returned to his high school alma mater - Sebring - where he was an exceptional education teacher and the co-offensive coordinator.

Scott was a three-year letterman (1997-99) as an offensive tackle for the Bulls and a member of the first recruiting class that began practicing in 1996, the year before the first USF football game. Scott arrived at USF after a successful three-sport career at Sebring High School. He was a four-year letterwinner for the football team, playing on Sebring's offensive line, and also earned a pair of varsity letters in baseball his freshman and sophomore years and in wrestling his junior and senior seasons.

Scott and his wife, Shakiera, have three children, sons Larry and Jalen and daughter Jurnee. Scott was born in Sebring, Fla.

If you haven't seen yet: NCAA releases statement supporting president Mark Emmert

For those who didn't see this in the paper today, here it is. The NCAA has put its full support behind president Mark Emmert:

Below is a statement by Lou Anna K. Simon, executive committee chair and Michigan State University president on the NCAA regulatory pathway and Mark Emmert’s leadership:

“The NCAA Executive Committee continues to support the association’s broad-based reform agenda.  This reform agenda must include meaningful change in the regulatory process beyond the changes in enforcement that have already been enacted.

"We, as the Executive Committee, on Friday affirmed our expectation that the association move forward with the next phase of its regulatory review. A thorough examination and subsequent improvement of processes, policies, procedures and investigative tools is necessary. Developing a mechanism for monitoring adherence with policies, while also reviewing the interaction between the legal and regulatory staffs, is key to moving forward. In short, we demand the highest level of integrity and accountability not only from our peers but also from the national office. While progress has been made, additional important work remains.

"Mark Emmert was hired to lead a major transformation of the NCAA.  Much has been accomplished without fanfare, such as academic reforms, enhanced fiscal accountability and organizational transparency. The Executive Committee and President Emmert recognize there is much yet to do and that the road to transformational change is often bumpy and occasionally controversial.  Therefore, on Friday the Executive Committee unanimously affirmed its confidence in Mark’s leadership as president and its support for his ongoing efforts to implement these essential and historic reforms.”


February 21, 2013

ACC releases statement regarding Miami Hurricanes and the NCAA investigation

The ACC released the following statement from commissioner John Swofford on the NCAA's case against Miami:

 "We are supportive of Miami's continued efforts to work with the NCAA on bringing resolution to this case. Miami's cooperation throughout this process should be commended and they have self-imposed significant sanctions. They've been forthright and diligent in their efforts to fully cooperate with the NCAA and it's time for this case to be brought to closure."



February 19, 2013

CANES HOOPS ROLLS ON: Miami Holds Off Virginia 54-50

TWITTER: @GeorgeRichards

Winning ugly has been working for the Miami Hurricanes lately. So why change things?

For the third straight time since running North Carolina out of Coral Gables, the Hurricanes had a fight on their hands -- and held on.

Miami, ranked second in the nation behind Indiana, got a big bucket from center Reggie Johnson with 5.7 seconds left to beat Virginia 54-50 at BankUnited Center in Coral Gables Tuesday night.

"Our last three games have been a good indication as how good the ACC is,'' coach Jim Larranaga said. "The teams in our league have so much physical talent ... We knew we would have to execute very well in the final seconds.''

Virginia tied the score at 50 with 14.3 seconds remaining when Evan Nolte hit a 3-pointer.

Yet with time closing down, guard Shane Larkin -- who scored four points in the final minute -- worked the ball around and found Johnson all along under the basket. Johnson scored and Miami stole the ball on the inbound.

"We just basically ran the same play as we did against N.C. State,'' said Johnson, whose last second tip-in beat the Wolfpack on Feb. 2. "Every time we play Virginia it's a battle."

Miami's Durand Scott gave the Hurricanes -- now 22-3 and 13-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference -- their final cushion by dropping a pair of free throws with 4.1 left.

Earlier in the evening, Indiana beat No. 4 Michigan State -- which UM topped here on Nov. 28.

"Our focus is on us,'' Larkin said when asked about Indiana. "Every thing will settle itself. If we stick to what we do, we'll be happy.''

The Hurricanes have won 14 straight and hasn't lost since losing in a consolation game to Indiana State in Hawaii on Christmas night.

Early Tuesday game, the Canes looked more like the high-flying team that drubbed Duke and North Carolina by average of 26.5 points and less like the UM squad that had to fight to escape Tallahassee and almost lost at Clemson on Sunday night.

Miami was red-hot from the onset in front of another raucous, capacity crowd of 7,972 at the on-campus arena. The Hurricanes opened by scoring on consecutive shots in the first minute and hit their first five from the field.

Like the Seminoles and Tigers before them, the Cavaliers (18-8, 8-5) refused to go away.

Virginia trailed 16-9 but kept chipping away as Miami struggled to score for long stretches in the opening half.

The Cavaliers cut Miami's lead to 2 by halftime and took their first lead of the night with 13:06 remaining when Evan Nolte hit one of two from the stripe.

Miami quickly retook the lead when Rion Brown was fouled while jacking up a 3-pointer. The junior knocked down all three free throws to make it 31-29 with 12:45 left. Miami then made a big defensive stop and fed it inside to Johnson who was fouled while scoring.

The Hurricanes' big man missed the free throw but pulled down a defensive board on Virginia's next trip up the floor.

Moments later, Brown sank Miami's first 3-pointer of the night to give the Hurricanes a seven-point lead -- their biggest since early on.

Virginia, again, wasn't finished as it closed to within a point at 44-43 with 3:33 remaining.

The Canes shooting went cold but a runner from Brown with 3:05 left gave Miami a three-point lead it held heading into the game's final minute.

Virginia's Joe Harris scored to tie it at 46.

With 42.2 seconds left, Larkin's lay-up gave Miami the advantage at 48-46. With 32.8 seconds left, Harris was fouled while missing a layup and hit the front end of his free throws.

Larkin pulled down the rebound on the second and was fouled; with 28.4 seconds left, Larkin calmly hit both to give Miami a three-point lead.

The Hurricanes go for their 14th win in conference play Saturday at Wake Forest.

"It's always important to build and it's easier to build on victories than losses,'' Larranaga said of the close calls.

"You can learn a lot from losses because it shows your limitations and weaknesses. But it's much better -- the guys feel better, their self-esteem grows -- after a victory. This last week has been a really great experience.''

"These guys have been through an awful lot,'' Larranaga said. "They're hungry. They've earned this. None of these wins have been given to them.''

Miami plays two of the ACC's lower teams in the Demon Deacons (4-9 in the ACC) and then play host to last place Virginia Tech on Feb. 27. The Hurricanes then visit Duke for the much-anticipated rematch against the Blue Devils.

The Hurricanes won at Cameron Indoor Stadium for the first time last season.

Shalala releases statement on NOA


“The University of Miami deeply regrets and takes full responsibility for those NCAA violations that are based on fact and are corroborated by multiple individuals and/or documentation.  We have already self-imposed a bowl ban for an unprecedented two-year period, forfeited the opportunity to participate in an ACC championship game, and withheld student-athletes from competition.

"Over the two and a half years since the University of Miami first contacted the NCAA enforcement staff about allegations of rules violations, the NCAA interviewed dozens of witnesses, including current and former Miami employees and student-athletes, and received thousands of requested documents and emails from the University.  Yet despite our efforts to aid the investigation, the NCAA acknowledged on February 18, 2013 that it violated its own policies and procedures in an attempt to validate the allegations made by a convicted felon.  Many of the allegations included in the Notice of Allegations remain unsubstantiated. 

"Now that the Notice of Allegations has been issued, let me provide some context to the investigation itself:

> Many of the charges brought forth are based on the word of a man who made a fortune by lying. The NCAA enforcement staff acknowledged to the University that if Nevin Shapiro, a convicted con man, said something more than once, it considered the allegation “corroborated”—an argument which is both ludicrous and counter to legal practice.

> Most of the sensationalized media accounts of Shapiro’s claims are found nowhere in the Notice of Allegations.  Despite their efforts over two and a half years, the NCAA enforcement staff could not find evidence of prostitution, expensive cars for players, expensive dinners paid for by boosters, player bounty payments, rampant alcohol and drug use, or the alleged hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and gifts given to student-athletes, as reported in the media.  The fabricated story played well—the facts did not. 

> The NCAA enforcement staff failed, even after repeated requests, to interview many essential witnesses of great integrity who could have provided first-hand testimony, including, unbelievably, Paul Dee, who has since passed away, but who served as Miami Athletic Director during many of the years that violations were alleged to have occurred.  How could a supposedly thorough and fair investigation not even include the Director of Athletics? 

> Finally, we believe the NCAA was responsible for damaging leaks of unsubstantiated allegations over the course of the investigation.   

Let me be clear again: for any rule violation—substantiated and proven with facts—that the University, its employees, or student-athletes committed, we have been and should be held accountable.  We have worked hard to improve our compliance oversight, and we have already self-imposed harsh sanctions.   

We deeply regret any violations, but we have suffered enough. 

The University and counsel will work diligently to prepare our official response to the Notice of Allegations and submit it to the Committee on Infractions within the required 90-day time period. 

We trust that the Committee on Infractions will provide the fairness and integrity missing during the investigative process.”

AP reports UM receives notice of allegations from NCAA

A person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press the NCAA has delivered the long-awaited notice of allegations to the University of Miami, a move that essentially wraps up the findings of a two-year investigation into the school's athletic department.

The AP released the news at 9 p.m. Tuesday.

Details of the NOA are not expected to be released by UM. The school is not obligated to release the information because it is a private school.

Next up: The sanctions phase, where UM's penalties will be decided. The Hurricanes have already self-imposed several sanctions, including sitting out two bowl games and a conference football championship game.

UM President Donna Shalala said Monday she believes those punishments should be enough.

NCAA President Mark Emmert said Monday the case would go through to the Committee on Infractions, who will decide whether those sanctions would be enough.

The NCAA reviewed and threw out 20 percent of its investigation into UM that was bungled by enforcement officials, who paid Nevin Shapiro's lawyer for help. 

UM adds highly-touted Texas WR/TE Derrick Griffin to 2013 signing class

Just when you thought the Canes had wrapped up the 2013 Signing Class, Brennan Carroll's bat signal on Twitter went off again Tuesday evening.

Derrick Griffin, a 6-6, 210-pound receiver from B.F. Terry High School in Rosenberg, Texas who also is a budding basketball star, faxed a signed a National Letter of Intent to Coral Gables Tuesday afternoon, UM's sports information staff confirmed.

Griffin, listed as a four-star receiver by 247Sports and the third-best receiver in the country overall by Rivals.com, becomes the third player to sign with UM after National Signing Day. The 2013 signing class is now up to 19 players total.

His signing comes as a bit of a surprise since he hadn't even officially visited UM yet and had long been a commitment to Texas A&M and was also talking to Auburn. InsideTheU.com reported Griffin will take his official visit to UM this weekend.

"I had a [basketball] tournament down there for AAU and I liked the surroundings," Griffin told 247Sports.com. "I just really liked the area and what they are about as a program. They have sent a lot of top players to the NFL.

"The Miami coaches were really excited when I told them I wanted to commit. They were all yelling and telling me they were happy to have me as a part of their family now. That made me smile."

Griffin finished his senior season with 592 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns on 36 receptions. He has been clocked at a 4.5 in the 40. He also becomes the second wide receiver in UM's 2013 class, joining Broward's top player, Northeast High star Stacy Coley.

Griffin could also end up playing basketball at Miami. Listed as the 26th-best small forward in the country by ESPN, Griffin is reportedly averaging 25 points a game for his high school team.

"This year Miami's basketball team is looking really good," Griffin told InsideTheU.com. "They are No. 2 in the country and they have a real chance to win a National Championship. I want to try and play college basketball too, so that is a big reason why I like them too."

A timeline of the NCAA's inquiry into UM, Shapiro, his lawyer and the conduct of the enforcement staff

In case you didn't have the time to read all 52 pages of the external review committee's findings into the conduct of the NCAA enforcement committee on Monday, here's a timeline of facts and events as it pertains to the UM investigation.

It might provide a clearer picture for you of who, what, when, where and even why as we move forward in all this. 


> August 2010: Former booster Nevin Shapiro tells our Barry Jackson he's prepared to write a tell-all book that will bring the University of Miami football program down. 

> February 2011: Shapiro sends email to Rich Johanningmeier, Associate Director of Enforcement at the NCAA. Shapiro makes allegations that over nearly a 10-year period he colluded with student-athletes and coaches to provide improper benefits. The NCAA buys Shapiro a disposable cell phone and expends roughly $8,200 to fund communications with Shapiro. At one point they transfer $4,500 to his prison to pay for the communication expenses.

> April 2011: Johanningmeier makes contact for the first time with Shapiro's attorney, Maria Elena Perez, after Shapiro requests she be informed of his cooperation with the NCAA investigation.

> April 21, 2011: NCAA asks for copies of Shapiro's FBI 302 reports. A week later, Perez tells the NCAA she is not able to provide copies of the FBI 302 reports but offers to "extract the information regarding any reported NCAA violations or the like." In a email later, Perez tells the enforcement staff she can prepare summaries of Shapiro's 302 reports at a rate of $575 per hour and provide a retainer for the agreement.

> May 2011: After speaking to Shapiro for months, NCAA enforcement staff members Ameen Najjar, who heads the NCAA's investigation, and Johanningmeier meet with Shapiro in jail twice. Najjar visits alone a third time. In one visit, Shapiro provides the enforcement staff with four boxes of documents related to his allegations.

> Aug. 2011: The enforcement staff briefs NCAA President Mark Emmert for the first time in the investigation. Shortly thereafter, Johanningmeier and Najjar meet with UM President Donna Shalala to present her with a notice of inquiry.

> Aug. 15, 2011: UM equipment manager Sean Allen is interviewed for the first time. He later tells The Miami Herald and other publications he lied through his teeth in the initial interview.

> Aug. 16, 2011: Yahoo! publishes its expose of Shapiro's allegations. A day later, UM coach Al Golden said he was blind-sided by the story and had no idea when he was hired UM was facing an investigation.

> Aug. 25, 2011: UM declares 13 football players ineligible and eight serve suspensions.

> Sept. 28, 2011: Perez proposes the idea of leveraging the subpoena process in Mr. Shapiro's ongoing bankruptcy proceedings to compel certain witnesses to provide the testimony they were seeking. Perez tells Najjar that Shapiro wants to help because it helped the Bankruptcy Trustee and because it would help Shapiro "get revenge on the University of Miami and its student-athletes who had turned their back on him."

Despite the advice of the NCAA's legal staff not to retain Ms. Perez, the enforcement staff proceeds with Perez's idea. The notes from the NCAA investigation case strategy meeting suggest the Bankruptcy Trustee did not intend to depose Shapiro's former bodyguard Mario Sanchez, Allen (UM's equipment manager) or Michael Huyghue, Shapiro's business partner at Axcess Sports Agency. That evening Najjar reports the idea to Julie Roe Lach, the Vice President of Enforcement, and Tom Hosty, the managing director of enforcement.

Lach later tells the outside counsel hired by the NCAA she could not recall Najjar's email had not heard of Shapiro's lawyer before that date. Hosty said he did not know about the UM case until August 2011, but he had been briefed on interviews with Mr. Shapiro and knew of Ms. Perez prior to receiving the September 28, 2011.

> Oct. 4, 2011: Perez provides the NCAA with a written proposal to conduct depositions of nine individuals including Huyghue, Allen and Sanchez and her "expenses and legal fees" are estimated to be at $20,000.

> Oct. 10, 2011: UM's counsel of Judd Goldberg and Michael Glazier knew of Perez's proposal before it is presented to the NCAA supervisors for approval. In a conference call with Najjar and Johanningmeier they raise three concerns: 1. That Perez would leak information because she was not bound by the NCAA's confidentiality policy; 2. Perez was not trustworthy; 3. Perez was not listed as an attorney in Shapiro's bankruptcy and did not have the authority to issue the bankruptcy subpoenas.

In another email, Najjar tells Perez the NCAA only wants to depose Sanchez, Allen, Huyghue and only two other individuals of the nine mentioned in her proposal. Another person not named by Perez, but named by the NCAA is basketball booster David Leshner.

Najjar then sends an email to Lach and Hosty about hiring Perez to conduct depositions of the six individuals he previously listed and informs them it could cost roughly $20,000 for the work. Najjar tells the outside counsel later he sought approval simply for the expenditure and to get the guidance whether the arrangement was permissible under NCAA bylaws.

Hosty replies to Najjar's email that same day saying: "Most intriguing. I don't know what we can afford from costs, but this could be a creative solution for bigger breakthroughs on evidence."

Lach emails Isch to green-light the funding. She then emails Hosty to clear the proposal with Naima Stevenson, a member of the NCAA's legal staff.

> Oct. 13, 2011: Hosty forward's Najjar's email to Stevenson asking her if she saw any legal issues. She promptly reviewed the email and said it raised two concerns: 1. Only the legal staff could hire outside counsel and 2. She saw the arrangement as an effort to circumvent the limits on the NCAA's authority to compel cooperation from third parties. She emailed Najjar and Hosty to touch base so she could receive additional information regarding the proposal.

> Oct. 21, 2011: After consulting with her boss, Donald Remy, Stevenson sends an email to Najjar advising him not to use Perez in the proposed manner and offered several explanations for why she and the legal staff believed it was inappropriate.

She warns Najjar using a criminal attorney to conduct depositions would be inappropriate. "Any information obtained through such a manner for use in the NCAA process would be subject to significant scrutiny to the extent any decisions were based on that information if those decisions were to be subsequently challenged," she wrote. Lach, Hosty and Najjar explained the advice "created a significant impediment to our investigation" and asked for a meeting.

> Oct. 25, 2011: After exchanging emails, Najjar and Stevenson agree to meet to discuss the Perez proposal. Stevenson, Remy and Najjar attended the meeting. Lach participated via phone. Remy spoke during the meeting and reiterated Stevenson's message, saying they could not retain legal counsel to represent the interests of the NCAA, but could attend any public depositions or copy transcripts thereof. They also cited concern Perez's proposal could be an inappropriate circumvention of the NCAA's investigative limits. Lach later couldn't recall the meeting and said she was out of the office that day sick. But Stevenson said Lach did "appear to accept" the legal opinion.

A review of Lach's cell phone records show she received a call from the NCAA and was on the phone during that meeting for 11 minutes. Najjar later said he had no recollection of that meeting, but did recall the email of rejection.

Minutes after that meeting, Najjar sends Perez a text message saying he ran into a legal problem retaining her but "there's a way around it.

> Oct. 27, 2011: Najjar has Perez send him her tax information so she can receive payment. Less than a month later he texts her to assure her "everything was approved." Lach later says it was her understanding from emails through Najjar that her and Hosty were told the legal staff had approved the circumstances under which Perez had been retained.

> November 19, 2011: UM self imposes a bowl ban and then announces it will extend the contract of coach Al Golden through the 2019 season.

> Dec. 7, 2011: Perez provides Najjar a list of seven individuals she is prepared to depose.

> Dec. 13, 2011: Perez contacts Najjar to inform him Allen's deposition had been set for Dec. 19, 2011 and Huyghue's deposition was scheduled for Dec. 28, 2011. She also noted a deposition for Leshner on Dec. 27, 2011 and was in the process of trying to serve a fourth witness, Mario Sanchez.

Najjar and Perez also discuss the preparation of questions for the depositions. She tells Najjar that if he is unable to attend he should send questions. Although, she noted, "I believe Mr. Shapiro has all the questions covered."

> Dec. 18, 2011: Najjar provides Perez with a list of 34 areas they would like for her to "explore" with Allen. It was focused on identifying student-athletes who may have received prohibited entertainment and gifts from Shapiro. Najjar's list of areas to explore included questions such as "When Allen was employed/associated with Axcess Sports, which UM players did he recruit for Axcess and what monetary benefits did he provide or was aware were provided for them?"

UM's counsel of Goldberg and Glazier later say Najjar was reluctant to disclose information about the depositions and noted that Najjar never mentioned to them that Allen's deposition had taken place.

> Dec. 2011 to July 2012: Perez sends four invoices to the NCAA (Dec. 20, 2011; Jan. 3, 2012; Jan. 10, 2012; July 13, 2012) requesting reimbursement for court reporter fees, copying costs and conference room rental for a total of $8,467.

> May 2012: Johanningmeier retires from the NCAA. Najjar is fired. Stephanie Hannah takes over the investigation.

> July 20, 2012: Yahoo! reports links Golden to using Allen to help him recruit local players.

> Aug. 2, 2012: Perez sends nine invoices requesting payment of billatable time spent on the NCAA's investigation from Oct. 11, 2011 to July 31, 2012 at an hourly rate of $350. She requests a total payment of $57,115.

> Aug. 29, 2012: Hannah forwards Perez's email to Lach who says the NCAA agreed to pay far less, roughly $15,000.

> Sept. 18, 2012: The NCAA pays Perez for six invoices of her work, totaling $10,500.

> Sept. 28, 2012: Hannah reviews Pere'z invoices with Stevenson for the propriety of certain charges. Stevenson is surprised to learn that Najjar had retained Perez after she and Remy had told him not to. Stevenson meets with Lach and they agree to discontinue all work with Perez in the bankruptcy proceedings.

> Fall 2012: The Enforcement and Legal staff undertake a series of measures to review what happened and agree to pay Perez a final amount of $18,000. To ensure that the parties at risk of the investigation suffer no prejudice from the use of the NCAA's bankruptcy proceedings, the NCAA's Enforcement and Legal staffs decide to remove any information directly or indirectly derived from the work of Perez.

> Oct. 2012: The Legal Staff, in consultation with the NCAA President and Chief Operating Officer agree to remove evidence derived directly or indirectly from the Perez depositions. Remy explains the decision to exclude information was not based on a particular NCAA administrative Bylaw or policy, but instead inspired by the criminal law concept of excluding illegally obtained evidence and its "tainted fruits" to ensure that investigative targets are not prejudiced by any improper investigative techniques.

The staff determines any statements made by Allen in his voluntary interviews with the NCAA, both those that occurred before and after his sworn deposition, would be excluded as well the 13 subsequent interviews of others. They also determine portions of 12 additional interviews conducted after Allen's deposition would be excluded.

> Late November 2012: UM self imposes another bowl ban and announces it will also skip the ACC championship game in football.

> Jan. 11, 2013: The enforcement staff notifies UM and the subject parties of its conduct involving Perez and its decision to exclude any evidence directly or indirectly derived from them.

> Jan. 22, 2013: NCAA retains Cadwalader to conduct an outside investigation of its NCAA enforcement staff and its conduct with Perez.

> Jan. 23, 2013: The NCAA holds a press conference and issues a press release describing the enforcement staff's missteps in conjunction with Perez.

> Feb 18, 2013: Cadwalaer attorneys release their 52-page finding to the public. Lach is fired from the NCAA.

Based upon the review of over 75 interview transcripts and voluminous other records (including bank accounts, receipts, photographs and other records) it is the opinion of Cadwalaer the NCAA's investigative record on UM is not based on evidence that was improperly derived directly or indirectly from the depositions done by Perez. The outside hired counsel estimates 20 percent of the case against UM has been tossed out.

Emmert says the NCAA will continue with its case against Miami and there will be no settlement. He says the Committee on Infractions will have to determine the validity of the case.

UM President Donna Shalala releases a statement firing back at the NCAA, showing signs for the first time in the 22-month investigation the school may actually be digging in its heels for a fight and taking legal action. Shalala says in her statement she wants a quick resolution to the matter.

February 18, 2013

Shalala releases statement on NCAA, wants quick resolution

University of Miami President Donna E. Shalala made this statement concerning the external Enforcement Review Report the NCAA issued earlier today regarding the improper handling of its investigation of the University of Miami.

"The University takes full responsibility for the conduct of its employees and student-athletes. Where the evidence of NCAA violations has been substantiated, we have self-imposed appropriate sanctions, including unilaterally eliminating once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for our students and coaches over the past two years, and disciplining and withholding players from competition.

"We believe strongly in the principles and values of fairness and due process. However, we have been wronged in this investigation, and we believe that this process must come to a swift resolution, which includes no additional punitive measures beyond those already self-imposed.

"In September 2010—two and a half years ago—the University of Miami advised the NCAA of allegations made by a convicted felon against former players and, at that time, we pledged our full cooperation with any investigation into the matter. One year later, in August 2011, when the NCAA's investigation into alleged rules violations was made public, I pledged we would 'vigorously pursue the truth, wherever that path may lead' and insisted upon 'complete, honest, and transparent cooperation with the NCAA from our staff and students.'

"The University of Miami has lived up to those promises, but sadly the NCAA has not lived up to their own core principles. The lengthy and already flawed investigation has demonstrated a disappointing pattern of unprofessional and unethical behavior. By the NCAA leadership's own admission, the University of Miami has suffered from inappropriate practices by NCAA staff. There have also been damaging leaks to the media of unproven charges. Regardless of where blame lies internally with the NCAA, even one individual, one act, one instance of malfeasance both taints the entire process and breaches the public's trust.

"There must be a strong sense of urgency to bring this to closure. Our dedicated staff and coaches, our outstanding student-athletes, and our supporters deserve nothing less."

Cristobal hired to become Alabama's new offensive line coach

Mario Cristobal's fourth stint at the University of Miami sure didn't last very long.

Hired by coach Al Golden to serve as associate head coach and tight ends coach a month ago after being fired as the head coach at FIU, Cristobal on Monday accepted a job offer to become the new offensive line coach at Alabama according to multiple reports.

UM has yet to confirm it.

Cristobal, 42, replaces former Hurricanes offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland, who was recently hired by new Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly.

Cristobal, who played and won two national titles at UM and served as an assistant coach from 2004-06, interviewed for the job on Friday in Tuscaloosa and was weighing the decision on whether or not to take it over the weekend, a source said.

UM hired Cristobal on Jan. 10 and then his former offensive coordinator at FIU two weeks later in James Coley. The two are solid recruiters in South Florida.

NCAA: Only 20 percent of tainted info will be tossed out of UM investigation, process will move on

For those of us hoping for some finality in the two-year NCAA investigation into alleged rule-breaking at the University  of Miami, that day wasn't Monday.

Here is what you need to know: The NCAA has fired people on its enforcement staff, admits again it screwed up, but the case is proceeding to the Committee on Infractions. There will be no settlement. About 20 percent of the investigation has been dubbed "tainted" and has been tossed out. What's tainted? The interviews conducted by Nevin Shapiro's lawyer with Sean Allen and subsequently 13 other interviews and portions of 12 others after that.

When will the Notice of Allegations be sent to UM? President Mark Emmert wouldn't say. "I'm not giving it a timetable," he said.

> Here is the audio of the teleconference with reporters.

> Here is a link to the 52-page report released by the External Review committee on the NCAA's investigation into UM and the NCAA press release on the findings.

February 14, 2013

Batter up! Opening night for Hurricanes baseball is Friday at The Light (aka Alex Rodriguez Park)

   It seems as though the last official Hurricanes' baseball game at Alex Rodriguez Park's Mark Light Field was yesterday. And I know those Canes that were there for the 12-2 whuppin' by Missouri State to end the season, preceeded by a 10-2 whuppin' by Stony Brook, couldn't get back on the field fast enough to start their newest campaign.

    The 2013 season begins at 7 p.m. Friday against Rutgers. The first two games of the three-game series will be available on ESPN3. In total, 15 games so far have been slated for live broadcasts.

    Unfortunately for the Canes, two of their top starters are not ready to pitch yet. Eric Whaley, a 6-3, 190-pound, right-handed senior from Pompano Beach, would likely have gotten the nod for Friday. But Whaley said he has a "tight'' throwing shoulder.

    "Hopefully I'll be ready in two weeks,'' Whaley said Wednesday. "I just started throwing about three days ago and it's feeling  better every day. Just rehabbing right now and taking the process slowly.''

    Left-handed junior Bryan Radziewski, otherwise known as B-Rad, is coming off shoulder surgery and not recuperating quite as quickly as fellow pitcher Andrew Suarez, who also had shoulder surgery. So, B-Rad is unable to go.

   That leaves left-handed sophomore Chris Diaz, out of Gulliver Prep, as the Canes' starter Friday against lefty Rob Smorol (8-4, 3.46 ERA in 2012). Diaz was mostly a middle reliever last year, with a 2-1 record and 4.18 ERA.

   "I just feel blessed,'' Diaz said. "All the hard work is paying off now."

    The UM rotation for Rutgers continues Saturday night with 6-4, 227-pound right-handed junior Javi Salas (6-3, 3.21). Sunday's 1 p.m. finale will have UM sophomore Suarez, a lefty, starting.

    "Absolutely excited,'' Salas said. "We have a good team this year.''

    Also of note: Freshman David Thompson, who also is a quarterback on the football squad, will likely start his first game as the first baseman, coach Jim Morris told me Thursday. Morris said Chris Barr won the defensive battle at first base, but a groin injury to usual right fielder Chantz Mack will likely keep Mack out defensively, so that shifted the lineup a bit.

    As of Thursday, Morris said Mack might be inserted as the DH, with Barr sitting out this game if Thompson plays first. Tyler Palmer would replace Mack in right field, Morris said, if Mack doesn't play defense.

    Morris told me things could still change regarding position shifts.

    Morris said Alex San Juan will start at catcher.

   The Canes are not in the Top-25 in any of the baseball polls, despite having the ninth best recruiting class, according to Collegiate Baseball; and the 10th best, according to ESPN.

    "It's a clean slate for all of us, but we definitely have to put our name on the map again,'' Salas said.

    Morris said this is one of the hardest working teams he has ever coached, and he said he's looking forward to getting back among the top. Morris will be coaching third base this season, with assistant Gino DiMare coaching first. DiMare was a smart, aggressive base runner when he played at UM, and he will likely bring that same aggressive philosophy coaching first.

     * Also on the Horizon for UM fans: Ron Fraser's Celebration of Life commemoration, honoring the UM legend who died Jan. 20. That commemoration is from 4 to 6 p.m. Feb. 23 at the Knight Sports Complex on the UM campus. The Fraser family will be in attendance at the event, which is free and open to the public. after the celebration, fans can proceed to A-Rod Park for the 7 p.m. game against Milwaukee.


February 13, 2013

Canes land commitment from hungry, versatile, athletic 2014 Hialeah QB Alin Edouard

Just when you thought the recruiting news had reached an end point down in Coral Gables, here is some more for you: Al Golden and his coaching staff have landed a commitment from another quarterback of the future -- 2014 Hialeah High standout Alin Edouard.

The 6-2 3/4-inch, 185-pound signal caller, who stood out at UM's Junior Day last weekend, picked up three new offers around lunchtime Wednesday: Boston College, Penn State and Miami. By dinner, he made up his mind. He called UM associate head coach Mario Cristobal and told him he wanted to be a Hurricane.

"When I went to Junior Day at Miami I felt like I was already home," Edouard said. "I was the only QB there. I got a chance to speak with [offensive coordinator James] Coley for awhile just one-on-one. He basically wanted to find a quarterback who could run and throw, have accuracy and be a leader on the field. He said I had all those tools.

"When I called Coach Cristobal tonight I don't think he saw [my commitment coming]. I kind of caught him off guard. But he was very happy. So was Coach Golden."

Hialeah coach Mark Berman, a coaching veteran of nearly 30 years in Miami-Dade County, said the Hurricanes have landed a rising star. After starting in a handful of games a sophomore, Edouard started all nine games for the 5-4 T-Breds this past season and put up decent numbers in a Zone Read spread offense. He completed 64 of his 132 attempts for 926 yards, 9 TDs, 9 INTs and ran for a team-leading 559 yards and seven touchdowns. Berman said Edouard has a lot of room to grow because he's only been playing football since the ninth grade.

"When it's all said and done everybody is still going to offer the kid," Berman said. "Miami got in at the right time. He had a great junior day and has really been doing well during 7-on-7. I think Coach Coley saw his arm strength and saw what he can do when he takes off running. Alin runs a 4.6.

"Everybody in college football today is running a zone-read, whether it's in a two back or one back spread. UM ran a lot of zone read last year. I think Coach Coley's philosophy is similar to Coach Fisch. What Alin gives you is that extra ability. He can take off any moment and break off a long run. He reminds me of a young Vince Young."

Edouard, the first Hialeah player to commit to UM since defensive lineman Adewale Ojomo, said he grew up a Canes fan since middle school. "I used to watch Jacory Harris in the seventh grade a lot and always admired him," Edouard said. "I've even built a little bit of a relationship with Stephen Morris from going to games.

"I'm going to say this is it for me. I know there are always other opportunities that might come. But I'm sure I'm going to Miami. They want me to play quarterback and that's what I want to do."

Edouard said he had previous offers from Ole Miss, FIU and Louisiana-Lafayette before Tuesday. Berman said Canes fans should follow Edouard closely his senior year and take a look at his junior highlights to see "the kind of hungry player he is."

"He can throw every ball out there. His arm strength is as good as you're going to find. Maybe I'm prejudice. I think he's the best quarterback anywhere around here," Berman said. "He goes all out all the time. The first game of the year we had a running back break like a 70-yard run down the field. You know who was his lead blocker? Alin. He's done it two or three other times. He just loves football."

> Berman said UM has shown interest in a couple others of his talented juniors at Hialeah including center Alique Terry (6-2, 285) and defensive tackle Tony Baxter (6-3, 300). Neither of those players though have offers from the Canes.

Miami Hurricanes welcome another Hurricane to 2013 signing class

  As our Barry Jackson just posted on his blog, the Hurricanes have their 18th football signee for the 2013 class.

  This one -- four-star running back Cornelius Elder, who goes by "Corn,'' -- appears to be a good one. UM badly needed another running back, with Mike James gone and recruit Alex Collins choosing Arkansas. The status of veteran RB Eduardo Clements, wearing a neck brace, is unknown. 

   Elder, from Nashville, Tenn., expects to play football and basketball at Miami.

   Rivals.com has Elder -- listed as 5-10 and 170 pounds -- ranked No. 157 overall in the final class of 2013 football rankings, and has him as a three-star point guard in hoops.

   Elder, who is gettlng lots of "Welcome to the U!'' tweets, posted a tweet earlier today that said, 

"Just committed to the university of Miami been my favorite school since I was little #blessed glad this over with''