Robert Marve earned himself a first class trip to the sideline for this year’s Emerald Bowl, on December 27th. After sitting out the season opener against Charleston Southern, Marve is again in hot water. The official offense is a “violation of team academic rules”. Jacory Harris will get his second start of the season, in the finale against Cal.
Marve said that the suspension is a result of “a miscommunication about absentees for a class.” He didn’t practice with the team today and instead trekked home to Tampa for “personal reasons”. Sadly this will only fuel transfer rumors, which clouded message boards and sports pages these past few weeks.
Eugene Marve chimed in, stating that his son was late to class after getting caught up talking with a professor from another class. Though it was verified, the appeal was turned down. Marve, late or absent to a few classes already, was down to his final strike.
For a family that was visibly miffed by Marve’s suspension earlier this year (punished for a year-old offense), one has to wonder how this will sit. Is Randy Shannon sending a message? Is Miami forcing Marve’s hand? You have to wonder.
There’s been much speculation that Harris is the favored quarterback entering 2009, though Marve started 10 of 11 games this season and was listed as 1a to Harris’ 1b.
Marve has never come out and stated that he was looking to transfer, but he’s also done nothing to quell any rumors. “I’m just taking all this one thing at a time,” Marve told The AP.
Hardly a vote of confidence regarding the quarterback controversy that was once a ‘competition’.
Many are searching for answers, digging online and are falling for every rumor on the subject – as if anyone really knows anything, besides the Marve family. If the coaches know, they’re sure not talking… which means media members and message board enthusiasts with too much time on their hands are throwing everything at the wall, waiting to see what sticks.
I’m certainly not ‘in the know’ on the subject matter, but would have to give Marve 50/50 odds on returning vs. transferring. Let’s apply an ounce of logic and reason to the situation:
> Harris seemed to have outplayed Marve down the stretch. If you look at their signature moments this season, Harris had more than Marve. Marve was gritty and ‘found a way’ on several occasions. Wake Forest and Virginia Tech come to mind. Running for first downs. Picking up crucial third downs. Marve had his moments, though they were sporadic and sometimes spastic.
Harris was “Elway-esque” in the comeback against Virginia, showing poise and making throws that neither quarterback made any other game this season. Harris also rallied Miami at Duke and put that game way out of reach late in the fourth.
> Marve is again in hot water, missing his second game of the season. If there’s one thing we’ve learned in the Shannon Era, players don’t want to be in this coaching staff’s doghouse. Mess up and there will be hell to pay. Addition by subtraction applies here and Marve being in trouble versus Harris staying out of trouble; that’s the biggest thing separating two freshman quarterbacks right now. Might now seem like much, but it’s a big deal.
Like Ken Dorsey in 1999, using the Gator Bowl to separate himself from Kenny Kelly, Harris will have the national stage to start building his case for 2009 in San Francisco against Cal.
> The Marve family is frustrated. Dig up some of papa Marve’s quotes from August when #9 was suspended. While Eugene said the right things, if you read between the lines the family didn’t agree with the timing of the last suspension and this time around has to be equally as disappointed with this most recent one. Especially being such a minor infraction.
Frustrated families are a big reason kids transfer. A lack of playing time. Not seeing eye-to-eye with the coaching staff. All this stuff adds up over time.
My gut tells me that Team Marve is weighing their options right now. Should Harris shine in the Emerald, he’ll have a leg up entering spring. There is no separation between Harris and Marve – one being a true freshman and the other a redshirt freshman. Whoever gets a stranglehold on that starting job, it’s theirs until 2011-2012 with the other relegated to life on the sidelines holding a clipboard.
Both Harris and Marve have taken the high road, embracing the competition all year as neither pulled away from the other regarding their game. Unfortunately some off-the-field business is creating separation, so don’t be surprised if Marve starts looking around. It’s to be expected.
In retrospect, one has to wonder where Miami’s quarterback situation would be had Marve not been injured in last year’s car accident. Kyle Wright and Kirby Freeman were a trainwreck in 2007, so maybe the then true freshman would’ve had his number called and we’d be talking about a true freshman and true sophomore right now.
Another year of experience could’ve had a make or break effect, instead of all these questions this Hurricanes program faces today.
C’est la vie. Nine days until Cal and Harris is your starter. Rally behind him, root on the Canes and wish Team Marve the best as they sit down to sort things out.