Following a lengthy investigation of Miami's athletic department, the NCAA announced on Tuesday that it had docked the Hurricanes' football program nine scholarships over the next three years. The NCAA did not, however, ban the team from playing in bowl games. Joe Rose of WQAM in Miami was the first to break the news.
In its report, the NCAA cited a lack of institutional control as the reason for the Hurricanes' decade of violations:
The University of Miami lacked institutional control when it did not monitor the activities of a major booster, the men’s basketball and football coaching staffs, student-athletes and prospects for a decade, according to findings by the Division I Committee on Infractions.
Many of Miami’s violations were undetected by the university over a 10-year period, and they centered on a booster entertaining prospects and student-athletes at his home, on his yacht and in various restaurants and clubs. Approximately 30 student-athletes were involved with the booster. Several football coaches, three men’s basketball coaches and two athletics department staff members were also involved in the case. These staff members had a poor understanding of NCAA rules or felt comfortable breaking them. Furthermore, some of the coaches provided false information during the enforcement staff and university’s investigation.
The Hurricanes' three-year probation will end on Oct. 21, 2016.
Miami sat out the last two postseasons as part of self-imposed penalties in the wake of a scandal over improper benefits provided to players by rogue booster Nevin Shapiro. News of the scandal first broke in August 2011, before current Hurricanes coach Al Golden had ever coached a game.
As a result of the NCAA's findings on impermissible texts and phone calls to recruits, the organization also gave former Hurricanes football assistant coaches Aubrey Hill and Clint Hurtt two-year show cause penalties. Hurtt is currently the defensive line coach at Louisville, while Hill is the head coach at Miami's Carol City High.
The NCAA also suspended former Miami basketball coach Frank Haith -- now the coach at Missouri -- for the first five games of the 2013-14 season. Haith must attend an NCAA regional rules seminar at the end of the current academic year. The Hurricanes' men's basketball program will lose one scholarship in each of the next three years:
In its report, the NCAA has also ordered Miami to closely monitor its coaches' future contact with recruits: "For all sports, any staff member who sends an impermissible text to a prospect will be fined a minimum of $100 per message, and coaches will be suspended from all recruiting activities for seven days."
Miami accepted the NCAA's findings in a statement, and university president Donna Shalala offered an apology to fans.
"The Committee on Infractions report closes a challenging chapter in the history of the University of Miami. I am grateful to our coaches, staff, and student-athletes for their dedication to the University and to intercollegiate athletics. I also want to thank Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John Swofford for his steadfast support. Finally, I want to apologize to the Hurricane family, as we have asked for your patience, faith, and support during a difficult time. Thank you for standing with us."
The investigation lasted more than two and a half years. At ACC media days in July, Golden said he hoped the NCAA would hand down its rulings before the beginning of preseason camp.
The seventh-ranked Hurricanes are 6-0.