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How Much Different Are Miami’s Violations from 95% of Other Programs?

The Miami Hurricanes football program is going down and it’s going down hard. Yahoo! Sports’ investigative report unveiled hundreds of violations committed by the program from ’02-’10. Their information comes from former booster Nevin Shapiro who’s in jail for running a $930 million Ponzi scheme. The guy is a crook, a jock-sniffer, and a pathetic wanna-be who was used by talented athletes. But anyone who denies his stories despite the overwhelming financial and photographic evidence is blind.

The thing is, this isn’t about Nevin Shapiro, his credibility, or his motives. This isn’t about whether or not the athletic department knew of the violations (it was on too large of a scale to ignore). This isn’t about whether or not Miami deserves the death penalty.

Really, this isn’t even about Miami.

The issue is we’ve learned that this is a widespread problem going on throughout most programs in Division-I college football. Changes are needed on a grand scale.

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Chris Rix on Miami Bounties: They Never Knocked Me Out of the Games

The Miami Hurricanes football program came under scrutiny Tuesday after Yahoo! Sports published an investigation alleging improper conduct between several players and a prominent booster. Nevin Shapiro, who is currently in jail for his role in a $930 million Ponzi scheme, says he provided 72 players with thousands of impermissible benefits from 2002-2010. Amongst the benefits Shapiro says he provided were “bounties” on opposing players. Specifically, Shapiro says Hurricanes players were offered $5,000 to knock former Florida quarterback Tim Tebow or former Florida State quarterback Chris Rix out of games.

Larry Brown Sports spoke with Rix Tuesday evening to hear his thoughts on the bounties.

“My first reaction was ‘wow,’ the former Seminoles quarterback told LBS. “It’s just sad to see.”

Rix, who currently runs the Champion Training Academy that mentors young quarterbacks, says he remembers Miami players coming after him hard but he thought it was due to the rivalry between the teams.

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Don’t Talk to Al Golden About ‘Swagger’

Despite the fact that they have done virtually nothing since joining the ACC in 2004, the Miami Hurricanes still carry a celebrity presence.  Playing football at The U is something to be proud of.  If you can say you go to The U, people immediately think you’re the man (or a criminal).  The recent struggles of the Hurricanes have done little to quiet the mouths of current players and alumni.  If you wanted to describe players at The U in one word, you might say they have “swagger.”  Just don’t say it in front of new head coach Al Golden.

Golden, who you may remember from his days of destroying the Penn State weight room, wants nothing to do with that word.  He realizes the Hurricanes have done nothing noteworthy in recent years and sounds like he wants to change the Hollywood environment that surrounds the team.

“I’m so tired of talking about ‘swagger,’” Golden said according to CBSSports.com. “Swagger, as it was said to me by Alonzo Highsmith and so many of the other former players, was the by-product. It wasn’t the product, it was the by-product.

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Miami Hurricanes Brag About 10 Players in NFL Network Top 100 with Awesome Card

The Miami athletic department created this awesome infographic based on NFL Network’s Top 100 players of 2011. The Canes blew all colleges away by placing 10 players in the Top 100 (and it could have been more if they didn’t snub Ken Dorsey).

Devin Hester was overrated while Jon Beason and Frank Gore were underrated. D.J. Williams should have made the list too. Still scratching my head why the legendary Jarrett Payton wasn’t included …

After seeing that graphic, is there any surprise why Miami’s 2001 team was called the most talented college football team ever? We all know Ohio State lost that ’03 title game too.

Helmet knock to NESN for the graphic

Willis McGahee Wants Championship Ring from 2003 Miami-Ohio State Title Game

Former Miami Hurricanes running back Willis McGahee is still chapped about a delayed call in the 2003 National Championship Game against Ohio State and wants his title ring. Asked by Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports for his reaction if it is found out that Ohio State won the game with ineligible players, McGahee told him he would “like to have my ring.”

McGahee then changed his focus from the ineligible players aspect of the issue to the pass interference/holding call made in overtime. “I feel we were cheated anyway. We beat them. The pass interference with the eligible, ineligible players. It wouldn’t have made any difference. I can’t get my money back that I missed out on a second ring. If they did [cheat] I’d like to have my ring.”

Here is the call in question in case you forgot about the issue. Jimmy Sharpe was called for pass interference on the play against Chris Gamble, but the officials later said the real infraction was defensive holding:

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Warren Sapp Upset with Snub from Al Golden Despite Criticizing the Hire

Warren Sapp has had an icy relationship with the University of Miami since playing football for them in the early-to-mid 90s. The former Hurricanes standout says he had gone 15 years without returning to the school until attending the team’s Pro Day this year. At the Pro Day, Sapp says he made himself available to speak with new coach Al Golden but he was snubbed. Here’s what he told The Finsiders during an interview this week:

“All this reaching out? I stood in that locker room for two hours. You think Al Golden came and saw me? I’ll leave it at that, for all Canes fans.”

“I walked into the school, to the weight room where it says ‘We make champions here,’ stood there for two hours and the head coach didn’t come down to say hello or nothing. Let’s stop talking about this Al Golden reaching out and reaching back and telling everyone they’re welcome. It’s bull.”

“I went to my university for the first time in 15 years. I didn’t see Al Golden. I guess I gotta write a check to see Al Golden.”

Sapp can rant all he wants, but what he’s conveniently leaving out is how he criticized the hiring of Al Golden when it was announced. Evidence: There was this tweet on December 10th “Who The Hell Is Al Golden. And How U Fix The Greatest Program In America Coming from 1 of the Worst Program Ever. Somebody Help Me. I’m On a Bridge Talk Me Down Please!”

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Tate Forcier Transferring to Miami, Will be Strong Competition for Stephen Morris

After falling to third on the depth chart at Michigan behind superstar Denard Robinson and backup Devin Gardner, Tate Forcier decided to transfer schools. Forcier is an athletic speedster who was hyped as a potential savior for the Wolverines only two seasons ago. His play dropped off and he was replaced by Robinson (a concussion also factored into the change), and now he’s looking to move on.

It was announced on Wednesday that Forcier has decided to transfer to Miami, canceling visits to Arizona, Washington, Montana, and Kansas State. Miami has Jacory Harris returning for his senior season next year, and Stephen Morris who will be a sophomore.

Harris has been largely ineffective most of his career, and a big reason why Randy Shannon was fired in my opinion. If the new coaching staff is wise, they’ll choose Stephen Morris as the team’s starter. So if Morris has three seasons left, why would Forcier choose to transfer to Miami?

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