Originally Jones was suspended for the 2011-2012 season due to his alleged connection with former UM booster Nevin Shapiro, but ten games in, Jones is back. The University of Miami released the following statement early Tuesday:
“The University of Miami, after consultation with the NCAA, has announced that senior basketball player DeQuan Jones can return to competition immediately. In order to protect the integrity of the ongoing joint inquiry, the University will not comment further at this time.”
Jones is a fourth-year senior that has been practicing with teammates despite the suspension. He’ll be back in the line up this Thursday for Miami’s showdown at Charlotte. The Canes hit the road this afternoon so UM will do what it can to get Jones to North Carolina for tip-off on Thursday.
Shapiro’s original claim was that former UM basketball assistant Jake Morton asked for $10,000 to secure the commitment of the then-recruit, which Jones and his mother Irene Bell have vehemently and repeatedly denied.
According to Jones’ attorney Jason Setchen, the university and NCAA have reevaluated the case, coming to the conclusion that there is “insufficient evidence” to support the suspension. Setchen went on to state that no team rules were violated and that in no way was Jones involved with Shapiro.
When adding up all the pieces, it makes one wonder where the Miami program stands with the NCAA, the investigation and the type of sanctions that will be handed down.
Earlier today it was announced that Ohio State lost a bowl game, earned a year of probation and must give up a total of nine football scholarships over the next four years. It was also noted that the program was less than forthright with the NCAA and that former head coach Jim Tressel was involved in covering up and lying about known information.
Conversely, Miami and president Donna Shalala have been singled out by NCAA president Mark Emmert for their cooperation. UM graciously accepted suspensions of key players prior to the 2011 football season, sitting players until the NCAA reinstated them and not appealing any of the punishment.
UM has been an open book with NCAA investigators and in good faith, mid-season, when Ray-Ray Armstrong potentially violated the rules after dining with the owner of a PR firm, Miami sat the starting safety for the biggest game of the season, Florida State.
The program also self-imposed a one-year bowl ban in good faith – a much bigger show of faith than Ohio State vacating wins from the 2010 Big Ten championship season.
How much would the 6-6 Buckeyes love to give up this year’s Outback Bowl game against the Gators instead of a 2012 bowl game under new head coach Urban Meyer? Any Canes fan frustrated that Miami isn’t playing Missouri on December 26th in this year’s Independence Bowl, this is exactly why. Legitimately fall on your sword and hope that it’s taken into consideration.
Now on the hardwood, Jones was suspended for the year, but has since been reinstated due to a lack of evidence, which shoots a hole in Shapiro’s biggest overall claim against the program.
Miami is far from out of the woods, but the reinstatement of Jones is a good thing – both for the program, as well as first-year head coach Jim Larranaga, who had nothing to do with the Shapiro mess.
Welcome back, DeQuan.