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Mark May: Miami ‘Is Not a Marquee Program,’ Not Playing for Championships

Media commentators often say crazy, off-the-wall things just to get attention and rile up fan bases. If that was ESPN analyst Mark May’s objective on Saturday night, he certainly succeeded, but at the cost of his credibility.

Maybe he was just assigned to defend Randy Shannon, who was fired Saturday as Miami’s head coach, but May’s position was absurd. On College Football Final, May said “I think for the Miami administration their expectations are too high right now. Randy Shannon was brought in to right the ship, to be a disciplinarian, to make sure that these kids stay out of trouble, and to turn the program around. That’s exactly what he did. This is the 4th year of his administration. This is the third bowl game in the fourth year he’s been there.

Yes, they’re not playing for national championships, but look at the Miami situation — they don’t have great facilities, they’re playing in a stadium 20 miles away, in a 73,000 seat stadium, they only have 27,000 fans on average in the stadium. So when you look at the entire situation, this is not a marquee program. This is not 2001. This is not 2002. This is 2010. … the fans think they are better than they are.”

May is wrong on every single level of his argument. Miami has always played far away from campus and without a strong home fan base, yet that never stopped them from being successful in the past. Not having great facilities never stopped them from recruiting great players and churning out pro prospects either. Those are just secondary factors that are immaterial. The bottom line is Miami is a powerhouse program that should be winning conference championships and contending for BCS bowl games every single year. They went 5-7, 7-6, 9-3, and 7-5 under Shannon, lost two bowl games, and didn’t contend for even an ACC title.

Shannon by all accounts seemed like an endearing person and a good man, but he wasn’t getting it done as Miami’s football coach. They need to get back to being a powerhouse, and it’s difficult to argue with making a change.


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  • Anonymous

    Mark May should be the next one fired!!! How dare he disrespect one of the most prestigous college football programs in the country like that. Miami has never needed facilities or other smoke and mirrors to win, we always just had better athletes than anyone else in the nation… Some Analyst.. LOL!! The Miami program is as marquee as u getro

  • Anonymous

    He’s simply told some truth that no ‘cane fan wants to hear. When was Miami’s last conference championship? When they played in the Big East. When was their last BCS Championship win? 2002.
    The aura of the Orange Bowl did not transition to Sunlife Park. Their best recruiting class was Butch Davis’ last class before he bolted for Cleveland. Larry Coker inherited some winning seasons, yet where did he end up after he did his own recruiting? Gone.

    Randy Shannon gets in and helps clean up the act. Give a coach a few years to get rid of the bad recruits. Shannon had GREAT local talent and was poised to make a BIG run in 2009 and this season…. but the Achilles’ heel was MARK WHIPPLE!!! He SUCKS as an OC. Why did Mike Tomlin get rid of him in Pittsburgh?!?! Why did Any Reid have no qualms about him leaving the Eagles??!?! If anything, they should have gotten rid of Whipple when they lost to FSU and struggled against… DUKE?!

  • Anonymous

    He’s simply told some truth that no ‘cane fan wants to hear. When was Miami’s last conference championship? When they played in the Big East. When was their last BCS Championship win? 2002.
    The aura of the Orange Bowl did not transition to Sunlife Park. Their best recruiting class was Butch Davis’ last class before he bolted for Cleveland. Larry Coker inherited some winning seasons, yet where did he end up after he did his own recruiting? Gone.

    Randy Shannon gets in and helps clean up the act. Give a coach a few years to get rid of the bad recruits. Shannon had GREAT local talent and was poised to make a BIG run in 2009 and this season…. but the Achilles’ heel was MARK WHIPPLE!!! He SUCKS as an OC. Why did Mike Tomlin get rid of him in Pittsburgh?!?! Why did Any Reid have no qualms about him leaving the Eagles??!?! If anything, they should have gotten rid of Whipple when they lost to FSU and struggled against… DUKE?!

  • Anonymous

    I REALLY read this article to disagree with him, BUT his points are very valid. I am a die-hard Cane fan, Miami native, Alum and former employee of UM. I was THERE and actively involved during the glory years. In those years it was okay to play miles from home in substandard stadiums, without a strong at-home fan base because we WERE the premier force in college football. It is now 2010 and the entire landscape of college football has changed. UM’s problems are that we have failed to transition effectively to ensure that we remain premier and competitive on AND off the field.

  • Anonymous

    I concur 200%…

  • Anonymous

    May spoke the truth and it’s clear the truth hurts. If, you’re not from Miami or don’t live here, don’t speak on what you don’t know. The Orange Bowl was not as far from campus as Sun Life Stadium is and the current facilities do suck. Coach Shannon was not only the Coach at UM, he’s a former player and a product of the same neighborhood that many of its players come from. For all of the UM Boosters and fair-weather fans who applaud Coach Shannon’s firing, be careful what you wish for because UM will never be what it used to be!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_V4KBHDOI5EXIX42QY4EWIUYR2E Michael T

    I hate to admit it because I hardly ever agree with Mark May, but he’s right on this one. We want the prestige from the past,but this isn’t 20+ years ago. College footballis a lot different and we have to adapt in order to be relevant.

  • Anonymous

    The OB was in a friggin SLUM pal and it pales in comparrison to the facilities available at Joe Robbie. I absolutely agree it was a MISTAKE to destroy the foundation of the U’s history (OB) but it does NOT lead the Cane’s to LOSE to Virginia, and USF, sorry. Let’s not forget the pathetic FAREWELL that Coach Shannon led at OB. Regardless of Randy’s pedigree, he was/is NOT a Division 1 head football coach. As for your nonsense about “fairweather fans” how many ticket stubs from the 58 home game win streak do you possess. This is NOT about Randy Shannon the PERSON, it is about Randy Shannon the HEAD FOOTBALL COACH at the U and the experiment was a DISMAL FAILURE, hell the DC for the Green Bay Packers states that Sam Shields did NOT KNOW how to watch film or prepare for the next opponent. ENOUGH SAID. As for this silliness of: “be careful what you wish for because UM will never be what it used to be!” With foresight like that pal, how many lottery’s have you won???? Nothing like a whiner that throws a tantrum when it can’t have it’s way. LOL

  • Anonymous

    Exactly what “truth” did this fella speak???? All he did was babble nonsense that has NEVER had any bearing on the SUCCESS or FAILURE of the University of Miami football program. Anyone who has followed the Cane’s for any timeframe would KNOW this. What was/is clear is that Randy Shannon, while a CLASS ACT, a Cane thru and thru, a life story that is nothing less then heroic was NOT a Division 1 head football coach. That does NOTtarnish the MAN it is only a statement of FACT. The Green Bay Packers DC made PUBLIC that Sam Shields had NO CLUE how to watch film or prepare for the next opponent. ENOUGH SAID!!!!!!! As for this silliness: “be careful what you wish for because UM will never be what it used to be!” with this kind of foresight surely you have won NUMEROUS lottery’s. LMAO

  • Anonymous

    Coach Shannon was hired to be a head coach, not a guidance counselor. As far as MM wa wa wa ,I am so tired of him crying on ESPN

  • Anonymous

    Dude, make up your mind…the OB was a SLUM, according to you but it was a MISTAKE to destroy the foundation of the U’s history? Contradictory points, IMO. The move to Sun Life Stadium directly affected the number of fans that travel to Miami Gardens to support them, which in turn can affect the team’s motivation to play…it’s called home field advantage. You felt the need to point out that Coach Shannon was not a Division 1 head football coach but UM is funtioning like a Division 1 school with no stadium. You can’t have it both ways…holding Coach Shannon to a higher standard but not holding UM to the same high standards. BTW, the only person whinning and throwing tantrums is you and it took you two posts to argue your half-a$$ point of view. Dude, get a life.

  • Anonymous

    ROFLMAO, reading is NOT your strong suit is it junior??? I stated: “The OB was in a friggin SLUM” never suggested that the OB was a SLUM. Enough of you and your inability to comprehend the written word. JUST DAMN!!!!!!!!!!!!1