Al-Quadin Muhammad missed Thursday's preseason football practice (Day No. 8, session No. 9), and from what I heard, he was supposed to be there.
The Miami Herald caught up with athletic director Blake James a few minutes ago.
When asked if Muhammad (and/or linebacker Jermaine Grace -- please see original post below) was at a disciplinary hearing today or has a university-related disciplinary hearing pending regarding the rental-car case being investigated, James said, "No. There was no disciplinary hearing and there is no disciplinary hearing pending.''
I learned from someone else that Muhammad and Grace, as is protocol in this type of situation, met with compliance Wednesday night and are expected to do so again in the near future.
I confirmed that Grace also missed a portion of practice today, just not the portion reporters get to see.
Coach Mark Richt said re Muhammad: "He had some personal things to work on today. I plan on him being in practice tomorrow. Like I told you,'' he added politely, "when there's something to report I'll report it to you.''
Are we at least getting closer? Richt was asked. "I think so, yeah.''
*** Good news regarding Dionte Mullins, the young receiver out of Gulliver Prep who still has yet to report to camp, Richt said, "He's still working. He's not out of it. We plan on him being here.''
ORIGINAL PRE-PRACTICE POST FROM EARLY THIS MORNING RE MUHAMMAD IS BELOW:
We will hopefully be back to you very soon with an update, but first-team redshirt junior defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad was not at University of Miami football practice Thursday during the 15 minutes of viewing time the media gets.
First-team strong-side linebacker Jermaine Grace, a senior, was out there (*Note: I confirmed Palm Beach Post report that Grace was pulled out at a point during practice).
That might not be significant, or it might be significant, which we’ll hopefully find out when UM coach Mark Richt speaks at the end of practice. But at the very least it raises at least a red flag, as Muhammad is one of the players – and Grace – who is being investigated for allegedly being involved in a situation that focuses on whether players received discounted (heavily discounted?) luxury rental cars by a South Beach rental company.
Both Grace and Muhammad competed in Wednesday’s first fall scrimmage, with Muhammad registering two sacks and Grace registering three tackles.
Muhammad was suspended in 2014 by the university in a situation involving a fight with a former roommate – he could not even take classes – so he missed that season completely. He also was suspended the first game of 2015 for violating team rules.
He is 6-4, 250 pounds of fury that resulted in his finishing third on the team last season with 54 tackles and a team-leading five sacks and 8 1/2 tackles for loss.
Grace led the Hurricanes with 79 tackles last season and had six tackles for loss and two sacks. He’s undersized for sure, but he is extremely fast, talented – and the only linebacker out there with experience.
Internet chat rooms are running wild with speculation that Grace, for one, will be kicked off the team – or suspended for multiple games. Pretty much the same is being discussed on the Muhammad landscape.
Other practice notes: In one-on-one drills, Malik Rosier was the backup quarterback Thursday. Behind him was Evan Shirreffs, Jack Allison and Vincent Testaverde.
***Also, freshman safety Cedric Wright out of Gulliver Prep arrived at his first practice this morning. As for Gulliver teammate Dionte Mullins, a talented receiver that the Canes surely could use, he still hasn’t enrolled. Miami had expected him to arrive this Monday, Aug. 15. I was told his summer academic work was to be completed any day, but that he still has to be cleared by the NCAA Eligibility Center, formerly known as the Clearinghouse.
SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN