A few weeks ago, the University of Miami received its Notice of Allegations from the NCAA after a 23-month long investigation.
The next step in the process is for the school to review the NOA, but unlike other schools, the administration in Coral Gables has some extra firepower.
In a stretch full of “unprecedented moves,” the school will justifiably fight back against the NCAA.
After the NCAA botched a reported 20 percent of the investigation into Miami, many wondered aloud concerning the accuracy of the other 80 percent. Greg Couch of FOXSports said the association should simply throw out the case against the school.
While there is clearly zero chance this happens, the school is now preparing for a hearing before the Committee on Infractions in mid-June.
University President—and former United States of Health and Human Services—Donna Shalala is bracing for a battle.
One thing to remember in the midst of all this is that Miami has been charged with the dreaded lack of institutional control. That charge is not something to take lightly, and Shalala does not want to put up with it.
In fact, the external review of the NCAA showed the hypocrisy of the association.
If the NCAA won’t be penalizing itself for the work of its employees, can they reasonably punish the Hurricanes?
NCAA President Mark Emmert was said to not be responsible ultimately for the screw-ups of one rogue administrator.
How then, can Miami be held responsible for the screw-ups of one rogue booster?
Now obviously, the former Hurricanes players and coaches were wrong to have done what they did. There is no denying that fact. But as ESPN’s Robert Smith said a few months ago, “not guilty by technicality is not guilty.”
The school cannot sit back and accept the NCAA’s punishment because this case could be a turning point in the NCAA becoming—gasp—fair!
Miami’s football program has already self-imposed two postseason bans missing three total games. As a result, the Hurricanes have missed more than 30 practices as well.
Head coach Al Golden was also planning on taking a small recruiting class in 2013 and missed out on some big names before signing two top players following National Signing Day.
It seems as if the school has suffered enough, but maybe it’s just from a narrow-minded fan’s perspective.
But between the NCAA not upholding its own standards and Miami giving up useful competitive advantages, no additional punishment should be added.
The University of Miami cannot simply accept the punishment in the Notice of Allegations. They must fight back against the hypocritical NCAA and its accusations.
It’s something they need to do as a precedent for the rest of college football.
Of course, they shouldn't have put themselves in the situation to begin with, but where's the intrigue in that?