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Saturday update: NCAA/UM investigation; UM recruiting, Heat, Panthers

Some Saturday quick hits:

### A source told us Saturday morning that the NCAA has told several former UM coaches and staffers to be available Monday and Tuesday for phone discussions about the allegations against them.

Meanwhile, two UM officials said they were told the allegations against UM will be delivered "imminently." But under the typical NCAA timetable, it will be several months before UM learns its punishment. That might not happen until June, July or August.

### While UM obviously respects Alabama and Nick Saban’s power of persuasion, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing that four UM targets are visiting Tuscaloosa this weekend, before making their way to Coral Gables later this month. Unless any of the four commit on the spot, which isn't expected, there are advantages for Al Golden being able to make his case after Alabama does.

UM remains hopeful of landing at least three of the four players: Booker T. Washington’s Matthew Thomas (rated the nation’s second-best outside linebacker by rivals.com); Baton Rouge-based Tim Williams (the third-ranked weakside defensive end) and Port Saint Lucie’s Jaynard Bostwick (the 27th-rated defensive tackle).

UM realizes it’s a long shot to snag Auburn-based Dee Liner, the nation’s No. 2 defensive end prospect.

All four are reportedly visiting Alabama this weekend and all four have visits lined up with UM before signing day Feb. 6.

Besides UM and Alabama, Thomas also is considering FSU, Georgia and Southern Cal. Rivals.com recruiting analyst Mike Farrell calls “Miami and FSU the leaders, but watch out for USC.”

Besides UM and Alabama, Bostwick also is considering UF. Playing early is important to him, and he certainly would have that chance at Miami, with defensive tackle a big area of need.

Farrell said the competition for Williams is “between Alabama, UM and FSU, with the Hurricanes having the most momentum.”

Farrell predicts Liner, an Auburn oral commitment, likely will end up at Alabama.

### The Heat would fall to 7-9 on the road if it somehow loses at Sacramento tonight. Miami hasn’t been two or more games under .500 on the road since the first month of the Big Three Era (November 2010), when the Heat dropped to 2-5 on the road with that “Bumpgate” loss in Dallas. But that team finished 28-13 on the road.

### For those still wishing it could have worked out here with Michael Beasley, consider that he’s shooting 36 percent and has been used only 24 minutes in the past seven games on a dreadful Phoenix team.

### Panthers president Michael Yormark announced on WQAM that the hockey team will open at home next Saturday against Carolina and play at least half of its 24 home games on weekends.

### Check back later for a lot more UM news – plus Dolphins, Heat and Marlins – in the Sunday buzz column.