Cue the music! "At the car wash... At the car wash, yeah..."

IMG_7721 (1)
Al Golden
went through the ESPN Car Wash on Tuesday in Bristol, Connecticut, making a live appearance on SportsCenter late in the morning.

The Car Wash gives guests the opportunity to appear on a variety of shows on TV, radio and digital media platforms throughout the day.

Anchors Chris McKendry and Jay Crawford did the asking.

ESPN: "When you were named head coach you said, 'Look, this thing is coming back to being a national power,' and that’s obviously still a goal. But it’s been a tough road for you so far. You’ve got to go all the way [back] to 2006 for your last bowl game. Why will this year be different for you?"

Golden: "We’re excited. No. 1 we’ve had great focus going into this season. Very few distractions, very quiet, very workmanlike. That’s nice for coaches and that’s nice for coaches in Miami. We have a veteran quarterback, as juxtaposed with a year ago when we were going into the season with a rookie. And we have a very veteran defense coming back for the first time in quite some time – 25 of our top 30 coming back and we’re excited about that."

ESPN: "What more can you expect from Brad Kaaya?"

Golden: "Clearly, there are a couple of things he’s doing better than he did a year ago. No. 1 his command presence, his leadership and his command presence at the line of scrimmage. We could only ask him to be a great teammate a year ago. We couldn’t really ask him to lead because he was just trying to learn everything. His leadership now, you can tell it’s his team.  No. 2 he’s in dramatically better condition than he was a year ago and he’s playing with a more quiet mind right now than he did a year ago."

ESPN, on an "explosive offense'' losing Duke Johnson and Phillip Dorsett, among several others. "How do you make up for those losses?"

Golden: "It's a great challenge. At running back Gus Edwards is certainly a big back. …Joe Yearby, Trayone Gray, Mark Walton. We don’t want to go backwards in that department in terms of our production. It may not be one guy but we’ll let the competition play out.

 "At wide receiver I’m excited about that group. I wouldn’t trade that receiver group for anybody. Rashawn Scott is coming back, Herb Waters had a really good off-season, Malcolm Lewis is as lean and quick as he’s been since his ankle injury, Stacy Coley has had a really good off-season and he looks strong, Braxton Berrios... It’s a nice group and I feel the same way about the tight end group. We’ll see who emerges. The competition is going to be fun, be we certainly don’t want to lose any production there."

ESPN: "Do you think personally this is a must win year for you and your program?"

Golden: "I don’t get into all that. From our standpoint we want to win and we want to win right now. Our team has done everything we’ve asked them to do. We’ve got great leadership right now. Our unity is at an all-time high. Guys are spending more time with each other in and out of the building and we’re ready to put that to the test right now. It’s not going to be easy, we know that. But nothing is going to challenge us or give us that test of who we are and the kind of brotherhood we formed than that schedule and the adversity we face."

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

 

 

 

April 19, 2013

Hurricanes LB Gabe Terry busted for pot (felony because of the amount) and suspended indefinitely

 

  Hurricanes linebacker Gabe Terry, a rising sophomore, was arrested Friday for possessing more than 20 grams of marijuana, a felony; and for "resisting an officer without violence.''

   He has been suspended indefinitely.

Terry, listed as 6-3 and 210 pounds on the spring roster and 6-4 and 185 pounds on the arrest report, played in seven games this past season as a freshman. He finished with five tackles, and blocked a punt against Virginia Tech.

   He was suspended late last season and missed the Virginia and USF games, though UM coach Al Golden never specified what he had done wrong.

   Terry was arrested in eighth grade for burglary and larceny and sent to Boys Town, a center for at-risk youth in Omaha, Neb. He spent more than three years there.

   “Out there I grew up,’’ he said in early November. “I was young, and I don’t even know how to say it, just a little out of control. I had to grow up and learn some social skills and learn how to carry myself like a young teenager. It really did help me.''

   Terry’s father, Clarence Terry, is serving a life sentence in a Central Florida prison for a 2001 murder. The two were huge Hurricanes fans together before Clarence went to prison.   

      --SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN


November 24, 2012

NEWS: #UM #Canes LB & second-leading tackler Eddie Johnson not at Duke game -- UM's final game of season

Here we go again.

Hurricanes linebacker and second-leading tackler Eddie Johnson is not on the travel roster for today's game at Duke -- the final University of Miami football game of the season.

Johnson has violated team rules, said UM athletics director of communications Chris Yandle.

Johnson, a 6-1, 234-pound redshirt freshman outside linebacker who won two Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Week Awards this season (as linebacker of the week and rookie of the week), did not travel to the Virginia game two weeks ago because of disciplinary reasons.

He was reinstated for the USF game last weekend.

On this week's depth chart, Johnson was listed as the backup to sophomore Thurston Armbrister.

"There's a responsibility and level of accountability that we can't move on without, " UM Coach Al Golden said after he announced Johnson's reinstatement the week of the USF game. "It's not, 'Do this for me.' It's, 'Do it because the rest of the team is doing it and because you want to be accountable and you want to be responsible and you want to be a good teammate.'

"Hopefully, he'll come out of it stronger and respond. I've been in situations where two or three years down the road you look back and say, 'That was a moment that I finally realized what I'm giving up or what I'm costing the team.' As a coach, you can't look the other way."

Chatter about Johnson started trickling down on the Internet yesterday.

He has 59 tackles (7.5 tackles-for-loss), a sack, interception, two pass breakups, one quarterback hurry and three forced fumbles in 10 games. He has started eight games.

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

March 13, 2012

NCAA hits UNC football with probation, scholarship losses, post-season ban -- UM Canes still await day of reckoning

After a 16-month investigation, the NCAA announced its sanctions regarding the UNC football program. The Tar Heels had imposed their own sanctions, including vacating all 16 of its 2008 and 2009 football victories, a nine-scholarship reduction over the next three academic years, a $50,000 fine and two years probation.

But note that UNC did NOT self-impose a bowl ban, as the Miami Hurricanes did this past November (the only self-imposed step the Canes have taken thus far in the Nevin Shapiro case), and the NCAA obviously didn't agree with UNC's decision on that.

The NCAA Comittee on Infractions hit UNC with

* Three years' probation from March 12, 2012 through March 11, 2015

* A reduction of 15 scholarships over those three years

* Postseason ban for the 2012 football season.

* A three-year show-cause penalty for former assistant coach John Blake, who, "while employed by the university,'' according to the NCAA statement, "was compensated by a sports agent [now deceased Gary Wichard] for the access he provided to student-athletes and failed to disclose the income to the university." Blake, who was forced to resign from UNC after the scandal broke, will not be allowed to do any recruiting-related duties. Thus, he is expected to remain out of coaching for at least the three years.   

The NCAA said Blake "was also cited for a failure to cooperate and [for] unethical conduct. According to the Division I Committee on Infractions, not only did he refuse to provide information relevant to the investigation, but he also furnished false and misleading information. At the hearing, in a reverasal of his previous refusal to provide information, the former assistant coach expressed a willingness to provide the pertinent records. However, he did not provide the documents for more than three months following the hearing, resulting in a significant delay in bringing this case to conclusion.''

 Some more interesting info on the case from the NCAA findings:

 * "The academic fraud violations stemmed from the former tutor [Jennifer Wiley] constructing significant parts of writing assignments for three football student-athletes... and also provided $4,000 in impermissible benefits, including airfare and paying for outstanding parking tickets, to 11 football student-athletes after she graduated and was no longer a university employee. The tutor also refused to cooperate with the investigation.''

* "This case also included the provision of thousands of dollars in impermissible benefits to multiple student-athletes.'' The NCAA found that seven football players "accepted more than $27,500 in benefits from various individuals, some of whom triggered NCAA agent rules. These impermissible benefits included cash, flights, meals, lodging, athletic training, admission to clubs and jewelry, among others. Whle the value of the benefits the student-athletes varied, one student-athlete received more than $13,500 cash and gifts.''

UNC, by the way, will not appeal the penalties.

UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp called those penalties "more severe than we expected.''

Former UNC football coach (and former UM football coach) Butch Davis, who now is a defensive assistant in the NFL for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, was not cited for any violations in the NCAA report. Davis was fired by Thorp just before fall training camp began last season.

Here's the statement by Davis, that was released Monday, and ran in the Charlotte Observer:

"As was stated by the Chancellor this summer, and has been noted in this report, I was not named in any of these allegations. I cooperated fully with the proper entities throughout this entire investigation. I felt that my staff and I implemented many practices into the program to try to prevent these types of issues. Indeed, the NCAA report stated that 'there was no indication during the joint investigation that student-athletes are not well-educated on regulations concerning agents, extra benefits, and preferential treatment.'

"I am truly saddened this matter has affected so many innocent people. i wish UNC the very best.''

 UNC finished 7-6 last season (losing to Miami 30-24).

Telling quote by NCAA: "This case should serve as a cautionary tale to all institutions to vigilantly monitor the activities of those student-athletes who possess the potential to be top professional prospects. It should also serve to warn student-athletes that if they choose to accept benefits from agents or their associates, they risk losing their eligibility for collegiate competition.''

MY THOUGHTS

I think this is a pretty severe penalty, though, yes it is only the 15 scholarships over the three years (five per year) -- including UNC's nine scholarship losses already self-imposed (Aside: thanks Ken, and have a great day!).

In the mid 1990s, in UM's big NCAA pell-grant case, UM self-imposed seven scholarships and lost an additional 24 through NCAA sanctions, for a total of 31 over three seasons.

Also, please note should UNC qualify for winning the Coastal Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference this coming season, it is banned from playing for the ACC title.

Is UM next? I heard a couple weeks ago that UM's case was still not close to being decided. But with this one over, it could begin to move faster.

UM, understandably, declined to comment on the NCAA's ruling of the UNC case.

UM should hear its fate, for sure, before the end of the 2012 football season -- and possibly before the season begins. Can you imagine if UM were to strike gold and win the Coastal and qualify for its first ACC title, only to be banned from playing in the championship? 

UM's self-imposed bowl ban was definitely a good idea. If the NCAA can prove more of Shapiro's allegations, and obviously some have been proven because of previous football and basketball suspensions, no doubt UM will be losing scholarships. (Will find out more about the status of currently suspended hoopster Durand Scott later; the timing of the last two UM hoopsters' suspensions, just hours before playing FSU, can't help but conjur head-shaking and all kinds of curious thoughts)

I just think it's strange that former UM coaches implicated by Shapiro in this case are seemingly flying high with their respective football and basketball teams. Let's see what happens when this all shakes out.

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

March 03, 2012

UM Canes open spring football practice with news of three suspensions; Al Golden "disappointed.''

Offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson, linebacker Kelvin Cain and cornerback Keion Payne have been suspended for the first weekend of spring practice, UM coach Al Golden said Saturday afternoon.

The three violated team policy, though Golden didn't elaborate.

They will be back for the next practice on Tuesday, the coach said, and rejoin the team for Monday meetings.

Golden used the word "disappointing'' more than once to describe the situation.

Kelvin Cain had been slated to practice at first-team outside linebacker because of the absence of injured Ramon Buchanan (knee), and was still listed as the starter ahead of Eddie Johnson and Josh Witt on the depth chart released to reporters Saturday. Cain will be a junior.

Henderson, a 6-8 and 350-pound rising junior, is listed as the second-team right tackle behind Jermaine Johnson.

Payne, who will be a redshirt sophomore and graduated from Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas, is listed as a second-team corner behind Thomas Finnie.

Golden was asked how disappointing it was to deal with repeat offenders such as Cain and Henderson, who have been disciplined before.

He compared the problem players to, well, weeds in a garden.

"It think it's disappointing for the team, to be honest with you,'' he said. "You can't just weed all the time. If you weed all the time, if you're just constantly weeding, that's the problem. When you're trying to improve the program and move the program forward, you can't just weed your garden, you've got to water your garden, too.

"And so we're sitting here saying to the guys, 'That is an incredible offseason,' and 'Great job,' and then the next day you've got to weed the garden again. It's like after a while, you know, you stop using the weed whacker and you get a shovel and get the whole root. That's kind of where we're at.

"There are a lot of kids on that team that have given up a lot and that will continue to give up a lot, that love the University of Miami, that are trying to do things the right way. As a group and as a team, we're all disappointed because it's really not that hard. What we're asking them to do is not that hard. Just do what we're asking you to do, what everybody else on the team is doing. And that's it. I'm not going to get into it. It's a team. It's a team rule. That's it. Period.''

 Golden seemed very pleased with the initial practice as a whole, saying the players were in much better shape than they were a year ago at this point, and that he doesn't expect them to be in excellent condition yet. That will come in time.

Some of the players he praised: center Shane McDermott, junior-college transfer cornerback Ladarius Gunter, quarterback Ryan Williams, safety Vaughn Telemaque, freshman cornerback Larry Hope. But he especially lauded the talent of Dallas Crawford, who will have a versatile role as a running back, special teams return man and as a slot receiver.

"Dallas Crawford looks like he's really in shape and got his quickness back,'' Golden said, describing his "lateral quickness'' and saying he was a "strong competitor'' and "good with the ball in his hands.. Very versatile. ...Good start for him.''

Quarterback Stephen Morris spoke to reporters but didn't want to talk too much about the reported back injury or give details about his surgery. "I feel fine,'' he said. "Today I was tossing the ball, throwing the ball around.'' Golden said Morris acted as a coach in practice.

Safety Armstrong said he expects to be a leader this season. On his decision to return for his senior season, he said: "I come from a family when you start something you finish it. I started my freshman year so I have to go through the four years and get my degree. If I left last year I couldn't do that... I'm not a finished product yet.''

Armstrong said he tried to get the five underclassmen who left early for the draft "to come back, but they felt that was the best decision...''

The strongest Hurricane pound-for-pound, according to strength and conditioning coach Andreu Swasey? Tailback (and backup fullback) Mike James, who is 5-11, weighs 222 and bench presses 225 pounds for 28 reps with a 400-pound max, back squats 525 pounds and power cleans 308.

Quarterback Williams, who has taken over the first-team responsibilities with Stephen Morris out, said he had a good day. "First practice was good,'' Williams said. "Get out there, get in the flow of things, finally get everything moving with the O-line, the receivers and everything. Just nice to get out on the field and do it for real.''

Don't forget that tomorrow morning's practice on what UM is calling Fan Appreciation Day is open to the public -- as long as you are either a football season-ticket holder or show your ticket for Sunday's UM vs. Gators baseball game at 1 p.m.

The football practice starts at 11 a.m. on Greentree Field and will conclude in time for first pitch at 1 p.m.

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

 

 

 

May 30, 2011

Canes headed back to Gainesville for regionals -- meet Jacksonville at noon Friday

Maybe the third time will be the charm.

The Miami Hurricanes (36-21) learned Monday afternoon they'll have to get through the Florida Gators (45-16) if they're going to earn their first trip to Omaha since 2008. 

Second-seeded UM was placed in the Gainesville Regional and will open NCAA Tournament play at noon Friday against third-seeded Jacksonville (36-22). The double elimination tournament also features fourth-seeded Manhattan (34-17). The Gators, ranked No. 1 in the final Baseball America poll, are seeded second overall in the 64-team tournament behind Virginia. All games at the Gainesville regional will be broadcast live on ESPNU.

The Hurricanes, who are making a record 39th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance (but have only hosted a regional twice in the last six years), have been eliminated by Florida each of the past two seasons. Last year, UF knocked UM off in the Super Regional. In 2009, the Gators eliminated UM in the regional round. Earlier this season, UM was swept in Gainesville by scores of 8-3, 1-0 and 5-3. The Gators have won nine of the last 10 meetings overall.

UM, ranked 16th by Baseball America, is 79-19 all-time against Jacksonville and has won eight in a row in the series dating back to 2004. The Dolphins finished second in the Atlantic Sun Conference with a 19-11 record and was ranked in the top 10 nationally in several offensive categories. The Dolphins’ signature win was an 11-2 victory over No. 2 Florida at McKethan Stadium on May 17, while also going 9-7 against team ranked in the top 60 in RPI

The winner of the Gainesville Regional is scheduled to meet the winner of the Georgia Tech Regional. The Yellow Jackets (49-19) are the top seed and are joined by second-seeded Southern Miss (39-17), third-seeded Mississippi State (34-23) and fourth-seeded Austin Peay (33-22). The Canes were swept by Georgia Tech at home back in late March.

June 18, 2008

College World Series - Day 5: UM loses to Stanford 8-3 and is eliminated from the CWS

What's up gang,

Back at Rosenblatt ready to cover this must-win game for the U against Stanford. Another pretty much sunny day in Omaha. I wish I could send it your way, I hear from Manny that it's been pouring all day in Miami.

I'll be here for the next 4 hours watching every pitch with you and ready to talk Canes, high schools, movies, Omaha, food, drinks, UM rivals, (OK DRE, FOCUS!)

Anyway, Miami is the designated road team. They are 3-0 in the playoffs as the visitors on the scoreboard.

Stanford pulls a switcheroo on who they start. The Cardinal will go with right-handed freshman Danny Sandbrink, who is 2-1, with a 2.85 ERA in 19 appearances, which includes 5 starts. His other numbers (1 CG, 53 2/3 IP, 54 H, 20 R, 17 ER, 18 BB, 27 Ks, .262 opp. avg.).

Miami, as expected, will counter with senior Enrique Garcia (7-2, 4.56 ERA, 15 starts, 81 IP, 89 H, 41 ER, 45 R, 34  BB, 64 K, .278 opp. avg.).

Stanford has four solid home run hitters (CF Sean Ratliff 21, C Jason Castro 14, 2B Cord Phelps 13, and 1B Brent Milleville 11). Garcia has given up the fewest of any UM starter with 2.

Changes in UM's lineup, Jason Hagerty will start as DH, after coming as a PH for struggling Dave DiNatale in the FSU win. Hagerty came through with a 2-run single that drove what ended up being the game-winning runs. The order: 1. Tekotte, 2. Weeks, 3. Alonso, 4. Sobolewski, 5. Jackson, 6. Severino, 7. Raben, 8. Hagerty, 9. Grandal.

Well, I'll be here and back after 1st pitch with updates. In the meantime, feel free to chat away. For continuous updates during the game, visit www.ncaasports.com.

1st inning - UM 1, Stanford 0: Tekotte and Weeks set the table again with infield singles (Weeks' a great bunt between 3rd and the mound), and Sobolewski drove in Tekotte on a sac fly. Inning could have been more productive had Alonso not struck out and Jackson lined out to left. Stanford threatened with singles by Cord Phelps and Jason Castro, but Garcia worked out of it with three fly ball outs, including another solid defensive play in right by Raben.

2nd inning - UM 1, Stanford 0: Hagerty drew a walk, but was left on as the Cardinal 2B Phelps made a tough play on a Grandal grounder. An error by Weeks did not prove costly as Garcia got Jones and Schlander to pop up.

3rd inning - Stanford 2, UM 1: UM blows an opportunity to tack on a run. Tekotte walked and reach third on sac bunt by Weeks and a wild pitch. But Alonso and Sobolewski struck out in succession. Phelps led off the bottom half with a double to left. August singled to center. Castro drove him in with an infield single to short. But more damage was saved by the Mohawk. Dennis Raben with another diving web gem in right field.

4th inning - Stanford 3, UM 1: UM is not hitting. Raben got hit by a pitch after a fly out by Jackson and a ground out by Severino. Hagerty then stranded him with another fly out. Cardinal added a run on a walk drawn by Zach Jones and a bloop single by Joey August. Garcia struck out Castro looking to end the inning.

5th inning - Stanford 7, UM 1: Yasmani Grandal and Tekotte each walked. Weeks, however, popped up a bunt attempt and Alonso struck out for the third time in the game. Sobolewski followed suit to kill UM's best scoring threat since the 1st. The big hits came from Sean Ratliff, who blasted a 2-run shot off Garcia. Anthony Nalepa entered the game. After an error and a single by Jake Schlander, Phelps hit a 2-run triple to center that Tekotte almost caught diving.

6th inning - Stanford 8, Miami 1: Raben hits into a double play. Stanford's Toby Gerhart doubled off Iden Nazario to extend the lead as UM empties its bullpen for the first time in the playoffs. Rene Guerra gets them out of the inning with a strikeout. Yasmani Grandal blasts a solo shot to center field.

7th inning - Stanford 8, Miami 2: Weeks got hit by a pitch and Alonso broke out of the funk with a single. But once again a golden opportunity wasted as Sobolewski flies out to right. After a leadoff walk, 3 up, 3 down for Guerra.

8th inning - Stanford 8, Miami 3: Three straight singles by Jackson, Severino and Raben got the UM fans here excited. But only one run scored on a sac fly by Hagerty. Grandal and Tekotte then struck out. 3 up, 3 down for Guerra, who's looked good for someone that hasn't pitched in a month.

Final - Stanford 8, Miami 3: Another promising inning ends like a promising season. Weeks walked, Alonso doubled, but closer Drew Storen got Sobolewski to pop up to first, Jackson to strike out and then snared a line drive from Severino (a play that should make Sportscenter) to end UM's season.

A little more about Stanford

Hey guys,

Andre Fernandez back here in my 5th day from Omaha.

Just got back to the hotel after driving around the city.

With a few hours left before Miami takes on Stanford, I just wanted to give you guys a little more info on the Cardinal for those that don't know much about what the U will have to deal with to keep the dream alive.

A pitching update, looks like Austin Yount will not be the starter today. Erik Davis continues to look like the best bet since he hasn't pitched yet. Left-hander Jeremy Bleich (3-2, 1.02 ERA) would be the other. He already threw an inning against FSU, but he was their ace at the start of the season before getting hurt and missing the majority of it. He came back in their regional.

The top guys Enrique Garcia will have to contend with are C Jason Castro (.379, 14 HR, 72 RBI), CF Sean Ratliff (.293, 21 HR, 69 RBI), 2B Cord Phelps (.345, 13 HR, 55 RBI).

I know everyone is wondering which Carlos Gutierrez will show up if he's called in to protect the lead. The one that was dominant most of the season, or this alter-ego that Canes fans want to burn at the steak...I mean stake. Sorry, clear sign I'm in Omaha.

But the true key to this game, in my opinion, is Garcia.

If he performs the way he has recently and shuts down this powerful lineup, I don't see why UM can't get the bats going and get just enough runs to advance.

UM's lone senior, as he said yesterday, needs to "get UM to Friday."

Jemile Weeks and Blake Tekotte have homered in each game so far, and Yonder can tie the UM single-season record for HRs if he hits one more. Sad part is he should already have it since 2 were wiped out in a rain out vs. Wake Forest.

June 17, 2008

The Omaha trip off the field so far, some updates on UM

UM spent its off day touring the Boys Town school here in Omaha, a school that gives troubled youths a second chance.

Before their practice, Miami toured the expansive campus that has at least three football fields and a baseball field that schools in Miami would kill for. One reporter from the Omaha World-Herald said to me that field is no big deal. I was like if any Dade school had it, they'd become the envy of the town.

The Hurricanes then visited the school's football team and spoke to them at their practice field.

For the fans faithfully following the Hurricanes' stay in Omaha back in Miami or other parts of the country, you do have to try the steaks.

There's a couple of really good places like Cassio's and a nice hang-out spot called Old Chicago where I've already eaten twice. The Little King sub chain has some pretty good sandwiches that have kept me going during game days.

The whole city is excited about this event. Everywhere you look there are signs and fans of all 8 teams walking around.

The team's with the top followings are LSU and Georgia. The Bulldog fans packed Rosenblatt both Saturday and last night vs. Stanford. I'm sure they'll be huge this weekend. It'll be fun if Miami's the one they have to root against.

And looks like the "Geaux Tigers" signs will be displayed a little longer after that comeback by LSU against Rice.

Does that team ever get tired of breaking other teams' hearts up here? GRRRRR!

Oh well, UM must worry about Stanford first.

Enrique Garcia will start for UM. He will go against either RHP senior Erik Davis (7-3, 4.71 ERA) or right-handed junior Austin Yount (6-4, 3.53 ERA), the nephew of Hall of Famer Robin Yount tomorrow. The Cardinal haven't decided yet.

David Gutierrez has what equates to bruised shoulder. He can't really lift his arm without pain from what J.D. Arteaga and Jim Morris told us at practice today. But Arteaga said they're hoping he'll be back for Saturday if they make it that far.

Looks like the potential plan would be Garcia, then come back with Chris Hernandez and him against Georgia, hoping to conserve Erickson if they pull off getting to the finals. Of course, I'm getting ahead of myself. It's all on Garcia and the bullpen to get them past Stanford.

UM-FSU follow-up reaction to the highly-discussed "non-handshake."

Hey guys, many of you have commented since yesterday about how ESPN pointed out FSU coach Mike Martin staying in the dugout after the game instead of shaking hands with UM coaches, including Jim Morris.

Here's a bit of reaction from each side:

After UM's win against FSU Monday, players
shook hands on the field. But ESPN announcers pointed out that
FSU coach Mike Martin chose to remain in the dugout and not
shake hands with UM coach Jim Morris.

   "I was just concerned about what we were doing," Morris
said. "If he decided to stay in the dugout, that's his
choice. That's fine."

   Martin issued a statement Tuesday in response to questions
regarding the decision.

   "I wasn’t expecting a handshake following Monday’s College
World Series game because the Florida State and Miami coaching
staffs have not shook hands for the last few seasons but have
always made sure our teams shook hands," Martin said. "It
certainly had nothing to do with the well-played game that was
just completed between two rivals. We regret that this has
taken attention away from our team’s accomplishments and
well-deserved accolades.

   "We certainly support our fellow members of the Atlantic
Coast Conference and wish continued success to Miami and North
Carolina during the rest of their time at the College World
Series."

June 16, 2008

Day 3 - College World Series, UM eliminates FSU 7-5

Hey gang,

Ready for the big must-win showdown between UM and FSU at 2 p.m. here at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha. The winner moves on to play the loser of the Stanford-Georgia game later on. That game would be Wednesday night at 7 p.m.

I'll be here live again during the game, available to chat about the game or anything in general as we both watch Miami try to keep its memorable season from ending sour.

UM is trying to avoid going 0-2 for only the second time in 23 appearances at the CWS. More importantly, it is trying to avoid the added insult of being eliminated from Omaha by their arch rivals from Tallahassee.

UM is trying to rally to win the national title after losing Game 1 for the first time ever. It's a hard task, but it has been done recently as Oregon State did it in 2006 after coincidentally UM beat them in the first game. The hardest one is the first one today. A win and you start believing again, everything feels a little better, and you start picking up momentum.

Plus, if the move by Jim Morris to start David Gutierrez pays off, he'll have his usual 2nd and 3rd starters - Eric Erickson and Enrique Garcia - ready for the next game, and so on.

In six starts this season, Gutierrez is 4-0 with a 3.48 ERA. He's won his past 3 starts (Georgia Tech, North Florida, Virginia), albeit spread out, and has a 3.18 ERA in those games. That's better than Erickson's 6.58 ERA his last 3 starts, but a little worse than Garcia's 2.41 ERA.

Gutierrez, however, has not given up more than 3 earned runs in any of his five starts this season.

Bottom line, Miami needs to hit consistently like they did in Game 2 against Arizona. That and game 3 of the Regional against Ole Miss are the only games where they consistently hammered the ball.

This team hasn't caught fire at the plate for more than one game yet in the playoffs. If they do, suddenly coming back looks a lot more realistic. All the best teams over the years I've watched this event have certainly had good pitching, but they've also had at least a couple of games where they've lit up another team the way Stanford and Fresno State have so far.

It should be a fun game. Jemile Weeks said it would be intense. We'll see soon. I'll be back at game time to follow it with you. For continuous game updates, also check www.ncaasports.com.

1st inning - FSU 1, UM 0: Jason Stidham was caught stealing at 2nd, after a base hit. But Buster Posey singled, Jack Rye walked, and Dennis Guinn hit a double to give the Noles the lead. Yonder doubled with two outs for UM, but Sobo popped up to strand him.

2nd inning - FSU 1, UM 0: David Gutierrez exited after a Tommy Oravetz line drive hit him just below his throwing shoulder. Erickson came in and gave up a single, but no runs. Adan Severino singled for Miami with one out, but Raben and DiNatale each hit liners right at people for outs.

3rd inning - UM 4, FSU 1: Nice glovework by Ryan Jackson on a grounder to short and a clutch strikeout by Erickson of Stuart Tapley got Miami out of a bases loaded jam.  Then Jemile Weeks hit his 2nd HR of the young tourney to put UM up after Grandal walked and Tekotte bunted him over. After a fly out by Alonso, Sobo walked, Jackson reached on an infield single to short and Severino walked to load the bases. Mohawk Man...I mean, Dennis Raben, singled in two runs.

4th inning - UM 4, FSU 2: Buster Posey delivered on an RBI double that scored Mike McGee from first base. A walk to Tekotte and a single by Alonso meant the end of the day for FSU starter Elih Villanueva. Ryan Strauss came in and induced Sobolewski to fly out to left.

5th inning - UM 4, FSU 2: A rare error by Ryan Jackson and a bloop single by Oravetz put 2 runners on for FSU. They executed a double steal to each move into scoring position. But Erickson worked his way out of it by striking out Tapley and inducing McGee to ground out to Sobolewski. Jackson led off with a single, but was stranded.

6th inning - UM 4, FSU 2: Great play by  Dennis Raben, who made his second tough catch in right field on a liner by Jason Stidham and then he doubled up Tyler Holt at 1st.  UM was retired in order in the bottom half.

7th inning - UM 6, FSU 2: Kyle Bellamy came in to relieve Erickson after a leadoff walk to Dennis Guinn. He struck out Delmonico, then gave up a single to Oravetz. Then, he struck out Tapley and got pinch hitter Ohmed Danesh to fly out to deep left. Sobolewski and Jackson singled, prompting an FSU pitching change to righty John Gast. Gast walked Severino to load them up. Jason Hagerty delivered a 2-run single to right that scored Sobolewski and Jackson, barely beating the throw from Rye.

8th inning - UM 7, FSU 2: Tekotte hit a solo shot to right field to extend the lead after FSU stranded its 14th baserunner in the top half of the inning. UM going to Carlos Gutierrez in the 9th.

Final - UM 7, FSU 5: Another scary ninth inning as FSU bats around, scores 3 runs off Carlos Gutierrez, but leaves the bases loaded. FSU left 17 runners on base.

June 14, 2008

Day 1 of the College World Series - UM upset by Georgia 7-4

What's up, Eye on the U faithful!

It's Andre Fernandez back for some more UM college baseball.

Manny Navarro is celebrating the big 3-0 back in the MIA today, so I'll be here blogging live from the College World Series in Omaha at Rosenblatt Stadium. This is a real treat for me as someone who has been watching this event annually since 1992 when Pepperdine won (I was 12 years old!)

I saw the heartbreaker in 1996 and the triumphs in '99 and 2001, as well as the other trips in between. But being here live is an experience. Everything in this town is centering on this event...and it's only day 1.

At the airport in Miami and Chicago on my way in, I saw several UM fans, as well as UNC, FSU, Georgia, LSU and Stanford faithful that were making the trek to the Heartland.

The parking lot is packed with tailgaters, some from teams that aren't even playing today.

Anyway, once again I will be here to chat during the Canes game and I'll be giving you some updates as the game goes along. The NCAA will have its gametracker going all day at www.ncaasports.com

We're starting now at 7:15 EST, National Freshman Pitcher of the Year Chris Hernandez on the mound for UM (11-0, 2.62 ERA, 112 Ks, 17 BB, .218 opp. avg.) vs. Georgia's Trevor Holder (8-4, 4.34 ERA, 59 Ks, 24 BBs, .293 opp. avg.)

1st inning - UM 1, Georgia 0: Jemille Weeks gets Miami started with a towering solo shot to right field. Chris Hernandez looks good so far, 3 up, 3 down with 2 Ks.

2nd inning - UM 1, Georgia 0: Hernandez struck out the side. Severino stranded after solid hit up middle due to DiNatale double play grounder.

3rd inning - UM 3, Georgia 1: Freakish line drive that went off the glove of Hernandez and Weeks allowed Ryan Peisel to drive in Joey Lewis with the tying run. Lewis roped a double off the left field wall to lead off the inning. Hernandez was pitching phenomenal before that. Blake Tekotte picked his team up with a 2-run shot to right that went farther than Weeks' blast in the 1st.

6th inning - UM 3, Georgia 3: Bulldogs tie it on a  2-run shot by Ryan Peisel off Hernandez. Miami leaves two runners on base after DiNatale and Grandal strike out back-to-back courtesy of reliever Alex McRee.

7th inning - UM 4, Georgia 3: Mr. Clutch does it again for Miami. Yonder Alonso hits an over 400-foot shot to left center to give the Canes the lead in the bottom of the seventh. The Bulldogs had a serious threat in the top of the inning with runners on second and third. But Kyle Bellamy got a big strike out of pinch hitter David Thoms on a called strike three by third base umpire.