Miami Hurricanes: Reasoning of NCAA Ultimatum to Former Players Unclear

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistNovember 21, 2012

Al Golden's tenure at Miami has been the definition of a roller coaster.
Al Golden's tenure at Miami has been the definition of a roller coaster.Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

As expected, the University of Miami announced it was self-imposing a bowl ban for the second consecutive season earlier in the week.

But that fact will be old news by the time this day is over.

In the latest development of the Nevin Shapiro scandal, the NCAA has now done the unthinkable.

Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald delivered the news late Tuesday night after he obtained a controversial letter from the NCAA to former Miami football players.

I highly recommend you read his entire article before progressing, but here's a direct quote from Jackson that sums up the story.

"The NCAA has delivered a new and disturbing ultimatum to former Miami football players: Either talk to us or we’ll believe Nevin Shapiro’s claims against you."

And to think I had been having a good night until I saw the article.

Though it almost undoubtedly is simply ironic, CBS Sports' Bruce Feldman tweeted that the NCAA lawyer handling this ultimatum is a graduate of the University of Florida.

Like I said, this fact may have nothing to do with anything, but it still makes Miami fans' blood boil.

Now, the snap reaction to this ultimatum is, "Holy crap! What does the NCAA think they are doing?!"

One thing many of us are taught as we mature is to take a step back, observe and research the situation before acting. So, before I flipped a proverbial lid, I tried to stay calm. After an hour or so, my reaction remains "Holy crap! What does the NCAA think they are doing?!"

I don't get this ultimatum. I hope you do because I sure as heck don't.

Does this mean that the investigation is nearing its end? Or, has the NCAA seemingly made no progress in these last 600 days?

Of course, there are plenty of different angles from which to see the situation, but here are two options.

The NCAA may have dissected this scandal, picked it apart one layer at a time and is now telling former Canes that they could be a final factor in how harsh the impending sanctions will be.

Maybe if X amount of players who haven't spoke up deny affiliation with Shapiro—and can prove it—the NCAA will not levy a postseason ban or reduce scholarships. This could very well be the final step in the official investigation into Miami athletics.

But on the other hand, what if the NCAA is just plain stuck?

They sure dove headfirst into the situation—as did ESPN's Mark May who said that the Hurricanes deserve the death penalty should "one-third" of the allegations be true.

The NCAA suspended numerous Miami players at the beginning of the 2011 season, but since then, have not made too much noise. Maybe this "ultimatum" is a last-ditch effort by the Committee of Infractions to uncover some new clues or evidence.

Either way, this has been a long, difficult process for all of us involved in the situation—directly or indirectly.

Players, coaches, the administration, fans, fellow football watchers and media alike are carrying on with their lives yet waiting for a resolution. I'm led to believe the NCAA has been tirelessly working on resolving this issue.

Well, I sure hope they have.

After all of the adrenaline-rushed reading and researching I've done, this is what it sounds like the NCAA could be saying in a die-hard Hurricane fan's opinion.

"It's been 20 months. We're sick of looking into this. Many former players haven't cooperated even though they may or may not legally be required, so we're just plain sick of it and want it to be over. If you don't talk, you're guilty of what a lying, conniving Ponzi schemer with a grudge is saying."

Although the NCAA more than likely has taken 20 months and discovered numerous wrongdoings, it's getting old. This is the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back.

Please end it. Now.

One final thought, ESPN's J.A. Adande had this reaction to the story in a tweet.

I don't see how this ultimatum allows the innocent to be proven guilty, which is what I believe Adande was likely alluding to.

And I pray the seemingly blinded NCAA will open their eyes.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know what you think in the comment section below.


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