CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) – Decision day has finally arrived for Miami.
The NCAA will unveil the findings of its investigation into Miami athletics and any proposed sanctions on Tuesday morning, about 2½ years after the probe began and more than eight months after saying the Hurricanes did not “exercise institutional control” over former booster and convicted felon Nevin Shapiro’s interactions with the football and men’s basketball programs.
The NCAA said Britton Banowsky, who chairs the infractions committee, would discuss the decision on a teleconference at 11 a.m. EDT, one hour after the word will be released. Miami officials are expected to not comment about the decision until that teleconference concludes.
Shapiro claimed he spent millions between 2002 and 2010 on football and men’s basketball recruits, athletes and coaches. A study of the allegations by The Associated Press found the NCAA was able to identify only about $173,330 in so-called extra benefits. Still, the institutional control charge is considered the worst that the governing body for college sports can bring against a member school.
“We don’t really concern ourselves with things that we can’t control, such as the investigation and what people are saying,” Miami running back Duke Johnson said Monday. “We just come in and work hard every day.”
The report by the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions will end another chapter in the drawn-out saga, though if more sanctions against Miami are recommended, the process almost certainly doesn’t end here. The Hurricanes have said they will not stand for major penalties beyond ones they have already self-imposed, and have the right to appeal whatever decision is looming.
It comes with the football team off to a 6-0 start and ranked No. 7 in the latest poll.
The Hurricanes met with the infractions committee in June, expecting an answer within eight weeks. More than 18 weeks have passed since.
For months, there have been signs that the NCAA – which has dealt with one high-profile scandal after another in recent years, and has been widely criticized for how it handled many of them – was looking to bring some big penalties against Miami.
According to documents reviewed by The Associated Press, the NCAA asked the Hurricanes to provide, among other things: Information about how many scholarships Miami is using in football and men’s basketball this academic year, how many Miami plans to issue in those sports next year, details of all postseason play in the last four years, and a review of all games that the school expects to play on television in the next three years.
That suggests the NCAA was considering scholarship reductions, vacation of some records, and a TV ban as possible penalties.
Miami has maintained that self-imposed penalties – including the suspensions of more than a dozen athletes, restitution in some cases, two missed football bowl games and a missed trip to the Atlantic Coast Conference football title game last year – should be enough to atone for whatever rules were broken.
“We believe strongly in the principles and values of fairness and due process,” university President Donna Shalala said Feb. 18, one day before the school received its allegations. “However, we have been wronged in this investigation, and we believe that this process must come to a swift resolution, which includes no additional punitive measures beyond those already self-imposed.”