Nine Canes To Miss Handful Of Games

Yahoo! and Charles Robinson made their big splash two weeks back, but in the end, justice prevailed. A reminder to all you rush-to-judgment losers in the media who had the gall to scream ‘death penalty’ over a sensationalized expose.

The NCAA investigated a dozen or so current UM players and the punishment has been handed down. Five players have been cleared (four of which must repay less than $100), five will miss one game, two will miss four games and one will miss six games.

A far cry from the ‘death penalty’ closing the doors on a ‘renegade’ program.

Per the investigation, junior defensive end Olivier Vernon received the harshest penalty – a six-game suspension – as he received more than $1,200 in benefits as a “prospective student-athlete” in order to “entice” him to enroll at UM. The benefits included meals, transportation, drinks, cover charges and access to a game suite.

Junior safety Ray-Ray Armstrong and recently converted tight end Dyron Dye will each miss four games, again for benefits received during the recruitment process. Armstrong and Dye both attended Seminole high and were part of the Sanford Trio, that included receiver Andre Debose, who ended up signing with Florida.

Debose was cleared by the NCAA, which led many to cite the “limited immunity” clause for those who speak out and aid the NCAA in an investigation. (Debose was on the same recruiting trip with Armstrong and Dye, where the improprieties occurred.)

Armstrong is said to have received upwards of $788 and extra benefits while Dye received $738 – made up up “impermissible lodging”, transportation, meals and entertainment at a gentleman’s club.

The five student-athletes who each received a one-game suspension – quarterback Jacory Harris, linebacker Sean Spence, receiver Travis Benjamin, defensive tackle Marcus Forston and defensive end Adewale Ojomo. The benefits ranged from $140 (Harris) to $400 (Forston). Senior wideout Aldarius Johnson has been suspended indefinitely by UM, not the NCAA.

Four other student-athletes were cleared to play, but each must pay back under $100 as a result of benefits received – cornerback Brandon McGee, cornerback JoJo Nicolas, defensive tackle Micanor Regis and safety Vaughn Telemaque. Defensive end Marcus Robinson has been fully cleared of any investigation and will lose no playing time, as well.

That’s the NCAA’s version – as a Miami fan, this is how it breaks down.

Maryland will be a challenge Labor Day night as Miami will be without seven impact players – Vernon, Armstrong, Harris, Spence, Benjamin, Forston and Ojomo. The biggest hits for the Canes in the opener – the loss of Armstrong and Spence, as well as the hit the defensive line takes with three guys out. That doesn’t diminish the loss of Harris or Benjamin, but with talk of Stephen Morris battling for the start at quarterback and solid depth at receiver, that is an area where UM could seemingly afford the one-night hit.

Miami has a bye on Saturday September 10th, meaning five suspended Canes will work their way back into the fold for Ohio State on September 17th – Harris, Spence, Benjamin, Forston and Ojomo.

The Canes will be without Vernon and Armstrong from this point through game four (Armstrong) and game six (Vernon) – meaning they’ll also miss Kansas State and Bethune-Cookman. Miami will get Armstrong back Saturday October 8th for a road game at Virginia Tech while Vernon will return Saturday October 22nd for Georgia Tech.

The downside? Being strapped for the opener. The upside? It’s Maryland, as opposed to one of the bigger dogs on the schedule. Definitely not a gimmie, but definitely not an ACC powerhouse, either.

Another bonus, Miami goes into it’s biggest ACC Coastal game in Blacksburg with two suspended impact players. Bigger than that, the annual showdown with Florida State comes on November 12th this year, as opposed to early October. The Canes will be running a full squad when rolling into Tallahassee late fall. Sorry, Noles.

The biggest standout in all this? The NCAA truly cracking down on any impermissible benefits given during the recruiting process. Anything that could’ve influenced the route where a then-high school athlete chose to go collegiately, those are the guys here who took the hardest hit (Vernon, Armstrong and Dye).

We could turn this into a sanctimonious rant about rushing to judgment and casting stones, but we’ll instead give thanks that this portion of the investigation is in the rearview and move forward.

Yes, some current Miami players broke a few rules – but when you hear what was done versus what Yahoo! attempted to imply, the slap on the wrist is beyond justified and the 2011 season will remain in tact.

Al Golden and his squad will now get their fighting chance to do what they came to Coral Gables to do – which is the feel-good story in all this. No one wanted to see the majority of this squad or these first-year coaches suffering because of a misstep here or there several years back.

Five more days until College Park. Set the depth chart, Coach and let’s do this.



26 thoughts on “Nine Canes To Miss Handful Of Games

  1. No, the investigation isn’t over – but after two weeks of doom and gloom and a dark cloud hanging over the 2011 season, this is a day to celebrate – not to lament the ongoing investigation. If Miami can get through Maryland it will have two impact players sidelined for three more games and one player out for five more. Compared to all this “a dozen suspensions” nonsense and the premise of a disastrous season, this is huge news.

    And regarding the investigation, based on what was turned up with these current kids – as well as the news of Randy Shannon sniffing out this rat and trying to keep his kids away (seriously, the one-game suspension kids took between $150 and $400 in impermissible benefits years ago) — this lends credibility to UM being in control and less credibility to that deadbeat Shapiro.

  2. My take on this, being an optimist and a canes fan, is that these minor violations in the program and the more serious, but still not that bad that happened when these kids were in high school, would make it hard for the NCAA to extend the investigation past 4 years where the more serious allegations occurred. If this is the case then the university investigation shouldn’t be too bad either. No lack of institutional control or anything major like that. Maybe a small scholarship reduction for a season or two.

  3. When did DBC become a writer? “justice has prevailed?” no it hasnt……….nothing has yet…….because this is far from over.

    the fact the ncaa has determined that current players took shit they shouldnt have taken means they can now use this to open the window and go back further……..something i think its pretty clear they are going to do

    secondly………they still havent spoken to hurtt yet……..that moron could very well twist shit up even worse for us

    thirdly……..if anybody thinks the ncaa is going to close this investigation out before those players who get subponeas from bankruptcy court get a chance to answer…….you are more retarded trhan the previously mentioned DBC

    this is far from being over……and the chances of this ending very badly are still quite high

    this is merely one chapter of the whole book

    1. Remember Clint Hurtt is a CANE. Played here for 3 years. I highly doubt he’d throw his alma mater under the bus.

  4. Josh – In the grand scheme of things this has to bode well for the overall investigation. Were there improprieties? Yes. But look at the magnitude of things. Five guys getting suspended for one game for taking between $150 – $400 each a few years back? The three biggest blemishes all happening on the recruiting trail years back? Hardly a ‘lack of institutional control’ and a far cry from the stuff the Yahoo! story tried to dig up.

    Go back and look at the Yahoo! player pages for each of the guys named above and look at what the NCAA deemed fair punishment. Five guys cleared, five guys suspended one game, two guys gone for four games and one guy out for six.

    I can’t see how the NCAA would lift the statute of limitations to dig back eight or nine years as there clearly was no ‘lack of institutional control’ here, but we’ll see.

    Either way, kickoff in five days. Beat Maryland and start prepping for Ohio State with an almost loaded roster.

  5. Vindication from the doom and gloom feels good. We can now move on to the games.

    One thing to note, the NCAA is changing their punishment system. With super conferences coming the NCAA wants to stay relevant and are changing the way they are punishing schools. This means IMO that the harsher punishments will be relegated to the coaches and staff that were responsible for any broken rules. Clint hurtt, frank haith and anyone else. I think we will get punished, lose scholarships, etc. But the fact that the university is fully cooperating is a great sign. This is a good day from where we were 2 weeks ago. Great days are ahead and I believe with coach golden at the helm we will be a top 5 team and in national title contention within the next two years.

    I will be at the game Monday and am excited to get this season going I have a feeling it’s going to be a special one.

  6. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE U BABY!!!! I can’t wait to come back down to the 305 again to watch the greatest team n the world play again. Congrats canes let’s put this speed bump behind us and roll out all over everyone to a national title. From a huge cane fan in council bluffs ia, by Omaha for those who don’t know where Iowa is. GO CANES!!!!

  7. NJTOFLA – Two weeks ago all the talk was about a ‘death penalty’ for the program and up to a dozen players getting “North Carolina-like” suspensions, which would mean some guys dismissed, others missing the entire season and some gone for the year. The Heels had double-digit losses last year and it wrecked their season.

    For Miami’s impermissible benefits to warrant five guys being cleared, five getting one-game suspensions, two gone for four games and one for six, that is absolutely “justice” in the sense that the penalty absolutely fit the crime here.

    Will the NCAA keep digging? Yes – and so be it – but for right now, today, and the fate of what looked like it could be a disastrous season, this is stellar news for a program that needed a glimmer of hope.

    Let’s save all that “the NCAA isn’t done with us yet” stuff for a later day. Kickoff is five days out and it’s time to start talking football, not sanctions. This was a good day for Miami football. Period.

    1. you are obtuse…….the reality of it from day one was that those currently on the team “evidence” against them that was the toughest to prove…..and appeared to equate to be the least dollar-wise of all those mentioned

      the reality of it is that if all those currently on the team were cleared of any wrongdoing…..that would be more of a sign of “vindication”……but the fact that they werent…..and that the ncaa did indeed determine they were in the wrong will likely lead to them diggin deeper…..over probably a decade….and also being able to question former coaches…….it also means they can then sit around and wait to see what happens with responses to bankruptcy court

      do you honestly think a kid like wilfork or hester would risk purgery and a possible non-paid nfl suspension over just admitting whatever it was they got………and making restitution to a trustee and not getting an nfl suspension by goddells iron fist for a contempt charge?

      i sure as hell dont think that 50k or even 100k is worth the risk of losing millions to anybody in the nfl……nor do i think any of them are stupid enough to risk that either

      again……this chapter is closed…..but this is far from over…..and there is still a very realistic chance that we get hit with the gallagher watermelon hammer before it is all over

      1. this wasnt a good day for anybody……a good day would have meant that all those who were declared ineligible were reinstated with no penalty or repayment at all…..because that would have meant the ncaa found nothing on them which would have meant they would have had much much less to go on if they planned to go back further than 4 years

        that would have been a “good day”

        big picture………today was far from that

      2. just so you are aware, the ncaa isnt a governing body of anybody unless they belong to the ncaa….
        people who are no longer involved in the ncaa no longer have a duty to talk to anyone invloved with the ncaa subpoena the request for information isn’t enforcable because they haven’t broken any criminal laws and just plan don’t have to….rights go both ways……

  8. NJTOFLA – That’s your take. I disagree.

    Today was a good day. This 2011 season was expected to go down the drain by some and didn’t. What you feel would’ve made for a “good day” — the NCAA finding nothing on anybody — was a pipe dream. We all know that.

    Something on some level happened. That said, it seems very tame compared to Oregon on the hook for paying $25K to a recruiting firm, Cam Newton getting six figures and what we saw take place at North Carolina last year.

    The ‘death penalty’ isn’t an option (for anybody) and based on Randy Shannon pushing Nevin Shapiro away (seems the most recent allegations were 2008), it doesn’t look like “lack of institutional control” is a fit. Miami has been cooperating with the NCAA while other programs have gotten it hot water for cover ups and stonewalling the investigators.

    The 2011 season being ‘saved’ is bigger than you’re admitting. It allows Al Golden a good start to his UM tenure and will keep the 2012 recruiting class in tact – as of now. Both are huge for the future of this program.

    Had ’11 gone down the drain with UNC-like suspensions, it would impact Miami’s future with Golden, as well as his first full run at a recruiting class.

    Take today’s good news in stride. No reason to get to high or too low.

    And c’mon now … “obtuse”? Please. Did you just watch Shawshank recently?

  9. P.S. – And based on what Coach Golden and staff thought they might’ve been facing out the gate year one, a safe bet that they’d disagree with your sentiment that today wasn’t a good day for anyone.

    Brandon McGee, Marcus Robinson, JoJo Nicolas, Micanor Regis and Vaughn Telemaque would probably disagree, too.

    1. This guy should just go back to the ESPN blogs that he came from. Even taking $1,200 from this guy in my honest opinion isn’t nearly as bad as stealing from your own school (Ohio state), Beating the living crap out of a US Service Member (LSU), or having your dad take the money so it doesn’t look like you did anything wrong (Auburn). This is peanuts compared to these other schools. The NCAA needs really look into their rules and regulations and the college football program as a whole needs to really consider paying players a stipend to prevent petty crap like this in the future.

  10. If you think the haters are disappointed now, wait until the final punishment comes down.

    ‘No death penalty? This is an outrage!’

  11. Slow down guys…..we can still have major restrictions on scholorships and loss of TV and Bowl games once the verdict for “loss of intitutional control” comes down. True, the “Elite 8” {at least in their own minds} got off semi-easy…..but the final NCAA ruling is still overhead. We haven’t seen the end yet.

  12. Stoked…it is a good day…this could have been much worse and i will look at the Glass 1/2 full…its not over but at least we get Golden off to a better start!…Go Canes and crush the Terps!!!

  13. NJTOFLA, Ex-players don’t have to talk to the NCAA, so all the other stiff about “perjury” you mention and all that is moot. The NCAA has juridiction over them.
    I am just glad that one way or the other, that we now know who is sitting and for how long. I appreciate that the NCAA actually make a decision rather quickly in these cases, and we can all move on. Now we can focus on the Terps and football!

  14. Canes 305….I am a hugh Canes fan. I am a little disturbed that it took “extras” from a fanatic booster to get Armstrong, Dye & Vernon to come play for us. You either want to be a Cane or you dont (Duke Johnson). Question….when these players come back….if we are doing fine without them….does Golden end their careers at UM? The recruiting violation is the worst allegation of all….does Golden end their careers here hoping the NCAA will take notice and perhaps be lenient on them when the real punishment comes down?

  15. When you look at the infractions for receiving impermissible benefits and the total amount, 1200, 800 800 and so on down to less than 100, you have to wonder what can be done to fix it.

    I mean how do you keep the shapior-like schmucks away for recruits and team members altogether? It is a tough answer.

    Then on the other side of this, when you add up the total alleged amount that Pryor’s teammate ratted him out for, in that QSU QB Pryor was said to have received 500 to 1000 dollars a week, or 30 to 50K for signing his name on shirts and memorabilia, and having their head coach Tressel knowingly play the wrong doers for the entire season, then you will have to ask how is this current Miami team anywhere near the scandal that theO$U has on their hands?

    Once again the world turns a blind eye away from Ohio and burns Miami at the stake and calls for the death penalty at the drop of a hat!

    What I come away with is that I have great pride in the U, I am happy to be an Alum and I now have a new list of sources that I will put on the list of haters that aren’t to be given any CRED. Unfortunately that list is most of the Sporting News World!

    1. The other irritating thing is that at O$U, they were selling school property…which in my opinion is way worse than taking a dinner from a booster.

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