Despite qualifying with Saturday's win over South Florida, Miami has made the decision to remove themselves from bowl consideration this season in response to the ongoing NCAA inquiry into the Nevin Shapiro allegations. The school has informed both the NCAA and the ACC of its decision.
We understand and share the disappointment that our student-athletes, coaches, staff, supporters and fans are feeling but after lengthy discussions among University leaders, athletic administrators and outside counsel, it is a necessary step for our University. The University of Miami has not self-imposed any other penalties.
Athletic Director Shawin Eichorst and head coach Al Golden addressed the decision briefly in a teleconference on Sunday afternoon. Eichorst informed Golden of the school's decision early Sunday afternoon, and further meetings with the coaches and players followed.
"Needless to say it was one of the toughest decisions I've been a part of, and one of the toughest meetings delivering this message to these great young men," Eichorst explained. "Much like the decision we made with the eligibility of one of our student athletes in basketball, these are institutional decisions. Head coach Al Golden and Jim Larranaga are not a part of these decisions. They were not here when these matters occurred, and they are not a part of the joint inquiry."
When Al Golden began to address the player's reaction, you could tell the first-year head coach hurt for his senior class. He explained how the seniors were one of the first groups to "buy in" to Golden and his staff when they assembled at Miami, now those players will play their final game in a Miami uniform on Friday against Boston College. With the game nationally televised, Golden suggested that the seniors very likely could treat the contest as their bowl game. He said they could use the game as a "chance to show the country we've changed."
"I'm disappointed. I believe it's the right decision, and I'm 100 percent behind the decision made by President Shalala and Shawn [Eichorst]," Golden said in his opening remarks. "I'm disappointed, I think the team's disappointed, but we're going to have a great attitude and move forward with intensity and prepare to play a great game on Friday."
For many of the Hurricanes' seniors this will be their first season without a bowl game. Miami reached bowl eligibility for three straight years from 2008-2010, although they went 0-3 in those bowl games. Senior quarterback Jacory Harris mentioned the possibility missing a bowl game in his postgame comments on Saturday, expressing the hope that the administration allows Miami to participate.
"I hope we go," Harris said after Miami's 6-3 win against South Florida. "I'm a senior, it's my last shot."
No players were made available for comment on Sunday after the announcement.
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