Like almost every Miami Hurricanes fan out there, I too am wondering how hard the NCAA will hit the football program with penalties and sanctions.
As a fan of college football, I know that there are some big penalties coming in light of the accusations made by a former booster alleging money and gift giving to many players. However, as a fan of The U, I am hoping against all hope that these penalties won't be as bad as I think, and that they won't make for a mass player exodus, like the one that Penn State is now dealing with.
Apples and Oranges
Now, I am fully aware that comparing the situation that the Hurricanes face to the one that the Penn State Nittany Lions faced is like comparing apples and oranges. Yes, the Hurricanes are likely in deep trouble, but what they are accused of doing pales in comparison as to what took place with a former coach on the Penn State staff. But, if their penalties and sanctions are anywhere close to that of Penn State's, then I fear the worst.
Penn State has already lost nine players to transfers and its recruiting has been hit hard, to say the least. But, that's what losing 40 scholarships over four years and a four-year bowl ban will do to a program. Now, I don't expect Miami to get penalties that harsh, but a two-year bowl ban is not out of the question, and it is almost certain that scholarships will be lost.
The Wildcard Factor
Of course, there is one wild card that could help the University of Miami retain some of its current players once the NCAA penalties do hit, namely the NCAA's ruling itself. In the case of Penn State, the NCAA allowed all current players to transfer to other schools and immediately be eligible to play. So, if they do not grant this ruling to the Hurricanes currently on the roster then those who would transfer would have to sit out a year before they would be allowed to play. This won't help with keeping certain committed recruits from decommitting, but it might help keep the players they currently have in place.
The Wait Is Killing Me
The worst part about all this is the wait. The investigation is still going on by the NCAA and that is making for a torturous scenario for fans like me. I can't imagine what it is doing to the players and the coaching staff. After all, head coach Al Golden started his tenure off with the Hurricanes as the investigation was just getting under way, and going into his second season as the head coach there is still no timeline as to when the NCAA will make its ruling.
So, I will continue to go to Hurricanes home games and tune in when I am not able, all the while wondering what will be. Until I know for sure what the NCAA has in store for the football program, I will simply watch and enjoy the talent that the Hurricanes will have on the field this season and hope they will stay next season to showcase more, even after the NCAA drops its hammer down.
Jimmy Collins has been a loyal fan of "The U" since he was a child attending games at the original Orange Bowl. Still a resident of South Florida, he attends numerous Miami Hurricanes games each season and enjoys writing about NCAA Football and the Miami Hurricanes in particular.
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