After an investigation that spanned over two years, Miami has finally learned its fate from the NCAA in the Nevin Shapiro scandal.
The Division I Committee on Infractions found the university lacked institutional control by failing to monitor a major booster. The report from the NCAA indicates most of the violations occurred over a 10-year period, involving 30 student-athletes.
The Hurricanes won’t have to serve another bowl ban, but the football program will lose three scholarships in each of the next three seasons. The loss of three scholarships during that span isn’t a huge deal, especially since Miami is playing just under 80 players in 2013.
Miami also self-imposed a reduction in contact days in the 2012-13 period by 20 percent, reduced fall evaluations from 42 to 36 and cut paid official visits by 20 percent.
Avoiding a bowl ban in 2013 is significant, especially since Miami ranks No. 7 in the first release of the BCS standings. The Hurricanes are considered the favorite to win the Coastal Division, with a showdown against Virginia Tech looming in early November.
The NCAA decision is also huge for the Hurricanes’ current recruiting class. Miami ranks No. 5 in 247Sports, and there’s plenty of momentum building for this program after the 6-0 start to the season. A significant loss of scholarships or postseason ban could have forced recruits to look at other schools.
Former Miami assistant coaches Clint Hurtt and Aubrey Hill received two-year show cause penalties. Hill is not coaching on the collegiate level in 2013, but Hurtt is Louisville’s defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator. Hurtt ranked as the No. 2 recruiter in the American Athletic Conference by 247Sports last season.
While Miami avoided any additional sanctions, it’s important to note this program did not escape the Nevin Shapiro scandal completely free. The Hurricanes served a two-year bowl ban from 2011-12 and could have played in the ACC Championship last season if they were eligible for the postseason. Losing out on the exposure of the postseason, as well as the money from bowl games was a huge blow to the program.
Miami has recruited two top-15 recruiting classes in the last two years, but considering the uncertainty surrounding this program, it may have played an impact on the Hurricanes’ recruiting efforts.
The NCAA decision is also huge for Miami coach Al Golden. Had the Hurricanes suffered huge scholarship reductions and another postseason ban, it’s possible Golden would have left for another job this offseason. Instead, the New Jersey native should be around in Coral Gables to continue his rebuilding project in 2014.
Miami is not expected to appeal the NCAA’s decision, which closes the book on the two-year investigation into the program.