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Hey This Miami Thing Looks Like It Might Be A Big Deal

Let me first say that we are not going to spend a lot of time discussing what is happening in Miami past the point where it might be generally interesting to discuss it. Besides we have our own issues to deal with. That being said I did hear Yahoo's Charles Robinson interviewed on 99.9 The Fan today and let's just say if UNC has a tire fire, Miami has a flaming nuclear reactor.

Robinson discussed his article with David Glenn and some of the details are just mind blowing. Robinson placed the total amount of improper benefit in the neighborhood of $2 million(UNC's total is around $27,000.) The now disgraced and federally incarcerated booster Nevin Shapiro apparently had complete and total access to the Miami athletic department. When you are dropping six figure donations left and right, that kind of access is pretty much assured. Shapiro was hanging around the football team, leading them onto the field, recognized by the school for his donations and one picture in the article had him standing beside Miami school president Donna Shala(holding a $50K check from Shapiro) who might not last past Columbus Day. Robinson also said during the last game at the Orange Bowl a.k.a the infamous 30-0 beatdown Miami suffered at the hands of Virginia, Shapiro nearly got into a fight with the Hurricanes compliance director in the press box. Despite these kinds of shenanigans Shapiro was still allowed access to the program for two more years. Adding to this mess is the fact Shapiro's time at Miami happened, at least part of the time, under former AD Paul Dee. Dee sat in judgement of USC on the Committee on Infractions and did plenty of grandstanding about compliance and what not. Someone should tell Dee that compliance starts at home.

The disturbing aspect in all of this is almost anyone, who has means to drop enough cash, can get this kind of access and do the same manner of damage. 99.9 The Fan's Adam Gold in a different interview asked Robinson if it was possible to prevent a person like Shapiro from doing what he did and the answer is not really. I think it could probably be stopped at a certain point but not before serious damage was done. In Miami's case, coaches had knowledge of Shapiro's activities including former Miami and current Missouri basketball coach Frank Haith. Robinson indicated that Haith knew what Shapiro was about and even said he "needed" someone like Shapiro "on his side" to advance the basketball program. We can only speculate what Haith really meant but the fact Shapiro apparently paid DeQuan Jones $10,000 to ensure he came to Miami tells you what you need to know. According to Robinson Shapiro and Haith spent all sorts of time together, including at strip clubs. If Haith survives to coach a game at Missouri I will be mildly surprised.

The way it looks right now, Miami is going to be taken for a walk or several walks. The words "death penalty" will get tossed about but I doubt it gets used here since the damage it did to SMU was so far reaching, giving to Miami would severely damage the school and the ACC in general. The same is somewhat true with a TV ban since it would keep other ACC schools off TV when they played Miami and no one wants that. The problem here is the NCAA does not have penalties spelled out. David Glenn asserted this was the second worst scandal he had ever seen in college athletics with SMU's troubles in the mid-80s being #1. Nothing that has happened in the intervening 25 years can really hold a candle to that or even what the Yahoo story lays out. In other words, the NCAA plagued by inconsistency and a convoluted system, will be deciding these penalties on the fly meaning whatever they come up with it will be not enough in one area and too much in another.

Of course, UNC has its own front porch to sweep. Nine major infractions are not child's play. UNC will have its own serious consequences and nothing that happens at Miami isn't going to make UNC fans feel better or the school less guilty. Nor should it.  However, there is some comfort in knowing that while there were some royal screw-ups in Chapel Hill, there should be an opportunity here. There is a chance for UNC to learn from its mistakes and move past the scandal without(hopefully) debilitating sanctions that cripples the football program.

For Miami there will be no such window.