In hardly a surprise move, the University of Miami announced Sunday it will withhold its football team from bowl consideration this year in response to the ongoing NCAA inquiry into its program.
With a record of 6-5 (3-4 in the ACC), the Canes became bowl eligible with Saturday’s win over South Florida and were likely headed to the Kraft Hunger Bowl, Independence Bowl or some other low-end bowl game.
Here is UM's official statement:
“We understand and share the disappointment that our student-athletes, coaches, staff, supporters and fans are feeling but after lengthy discussions among University leaders, athletic administrators and outside counsel, it is a necessary step for our University. The University of Miami has not self-imposed any other penalties.
"The team was informed of the decision earlier today and is in preparations for their final game of the season.
"As we stated in August, the University of Miami maintains the highest standards in our academic and athletic endeavors and we will remain steadfast in our commitment to building winning programs with the utmost of integrity. We will be more vigilant in our compliance efforts and continue to work cooperatively with the NCAA on the joint inquiry to determine the true facts.
"To continue to protect the integrity of the inquiry, the University will not comment further at this time.”
UM said the decision was made by athletic director Shawn Eichorst and president Donna Shalala and UM coach Al Golden was informed this afternoon as well as the rest of the team.
Golden obviously feels bad for his seniors, but understands it is the right thing to do.
Considering some of his seniors took impermissible gifts from former booster Nevin Shapiro, it's hard to argue their class pay for the mess being left behind once they're gone.
"I’m clearly disappointed," Golden said. "I believe it’s the right decision and I’m 100 percent behind the decision that was made. but we are disappointed. I think they will be resilient though and have a great attitude and move forward with intensity and prepare and play a great game on Friday."
"We know we are one step closer to putting these issues behind us," Golden said. "We can move forward and move the program forward."
Golden was asked about his own future at the program considering the potential sanctions at UM and the coach opening at his alma mater Penn State.
"I don't have any decisions to make," he said. "I am coaching the Miami program and moving forward. My family and I enjoy living here and we have a great group of kids on the team and I am excited about the direction we are going."
Eichorst assured the media he will do his best to make sure Golden remains the coach of UM for a long time. "I truly believe in my heart that I have one of the best football coaches in America and I plan on working side-by-side with him for a very long time," Eichorst said.
> Golden seemed encouraged by the MRI results of offensive lineman Seantrel Henderson on Sunday and has upgraded him to doubtful for Friday's game. "It doesn't look like it will be a surgery deal, which is great for the young man," Golden said.