University of Miami football practice was affected because of a lightning delay Wednesday, so reporters did not have the customary 15 minutes of viewing.
However, UM did try to get us out there, and while we were waiting to see if we could get through the gates to Greentree Field, I did notice that as far as I could see, there were no Hurricanes in the orange jerseys that are given to players on offense who are doing well or considered first-teamers.
Please note that we were standing very far away, but I did not notice anyone in orange.
I did notice a few players in the coveted black jerseys given to outstanding defensive players. The few I noticed included safety Dallas Crawford, defensive end Anthony Chickillo, safety Deon Bush, linebacker Thurston Armbrister and tackle Calvin Heurtelou. There might have been more.
After practice, Al Golden spoke to us for about five minutes.
InsidetheU reported Tuesday that freshman safety Kiy Hester, who had to go back home to Wayne, NJ to tend to a family matter that apparently involves an illness, would be seeking a release from UM to transfer somewhere closer to home -- possibly Rutgers.
When asked about the situation, Golden said, "Kiy Hester is working through a personal problem and I’ll release that when…it’s a personal family deal. When we have resolution there, I’ll release that.”
Golden was then asked, Is there a chance he could leave the program?
“He’s got a personal issue,'' the coach said. "In deference to him and his family, and respect that, and that’s it. I can’t say it enough. I know you guys have to chase down rumors. I don’t like to deal in the rumor world. When it’s official one way or the other, we’ll make an announcement or go from there.”
As for defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad, who did not play Monday, I saw him in uniform at practice speaking with defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio.
Golden has not elaborated on the talk about Muhammad possibly being suspended for Louisville. The coach was asked Tuesday in the day-after teleconference if a report that said Muhammad did not play against Louisville "because of a conduct issue that needs to be resolved" was accurate.
Replied Golden: “That was my decision not to play him last night. As I say, with all these instances, if a young man is going to be suspended or is suspended from the University or athletic department it will come from [the sports information office] or it will come from [athletic director] Blake James. … I have a responsibility that we handle everything the right way. It was my decision not to play him. If there’s anything from a suspension standpoint we will release it to you guys.’’
I asked D'Onofrio today if he expected Muhammad to play this Saturday.
“I’m not going to comment on that,” D’Onofrio said.
I asked the coach how Muhammad is doing in practice.
“He’s doing great.”
Golden said the Canes' first practice Wednesday since the game was "good,'' but there was plenty of regret.
"You know they left plays out there, so however that manifests itself – whether it’s regret, disappointment, not discouragement, but there’s disappointment; there’s a lot of regret... Duke’s long catch, first-and-goal there; so, that’s three first-and-goals inside the 10, right, and I think we got three points out of that; kickoff returns – one guy out of the lane and a safety go back door on us; there are other plays, obviously, but those ones bring the most regret, for sure.’’
Talk about regret, we talked to senior defensive linemen Shane McDermott (center) and Jon Feliciano (left guard) about the deficient play of the offenseive line. They were not happy about it.
"We just didn't execute,'' McDermott said. "They played a great game against us. We just had to execute better.''
Feliciano: "They just beat us. They did better than we did. We lost the game for our team. That's the first time since I've been here that I feel like we were the reason we lost.''
SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN