The NCAA investigation into the Miami Hurricanes concerns allegations that are quite simply the most outrageous against any program in the last quarter century. The NCAA sanctions coming against the Miami Hurricanes could be something most current students have never seen.
What happened with the Miami hurricanes? Read that link. In short, what documents show is a booster who broke NCAA rules while simultaneously making tens of thousands of dollars in annual contributions to Miami's athletic program. All while incurring massive bills aligning himself socially with a stable of elite Miami players, including at least 12 current Hurricanes. And the documents? Tens of thousands of documents, hundreds of hours of interviews, as well as additional outside sources corroborating the claims. Yahoo! Sports has detailed Shapiro's specific allegations involving 73 players (Shapiro claims he gave impermissible benefits to 72), seven coaches and three support staff members who he said either received illicit benefits, witnessed the booster giving them, or played some role in his improper activity. Oh, and that booster was also a 50% owner in a sports agent firm.
What will happen to the Miami Hurricanes? Nobody knows for sure. If everything is proved, I think we'll see the most serious penalties since SMU. I do not, however, see a TV ban or a ban on home games, as that would be interference with existing contracts. The NCAA can't afford to do that, as the big schools could easily decide they do not need the NCAA. If proved, I would be shocked to see anything less than what USC got, and something 50% greater seems appropriate. It doesn't necessarily matter whether Miami knew, but rather that they should have known. And yes, they should have known.
Does FSU want any of UM's recruits? Miami has 24 commitments. I think FSU would take Hamilton, Brown, Leggett, and Johnson. That's four kids out of 24. As we've written many times, FSU (and UF) were already killing Miami in recruiting. The biggest recruiting beneficiaries of this mess, if things go really south, will be UCF and USF. Yes, Miami was rated highly as a class, but that is because of the quantity and not the quality of its class.
Will Miami suspend the 12 players currently named in the investigation? If so, for how long? I think the Canes pretty much have to, at least until the players can be cleared. Playing ineligible players after they are known to be involved in something like this is not a good practice. Vegas has already pulled all Miami games from the betting board.
Will Miami be able to recruit with this mess hanging over its head? How will the threat of sanctions hurt the Canes before they are even levied? No. Miami is in deep, deep trouble even if no penalty ever comes. Due to the depth of this investigation, it could take years. Other coaches will unmercifully recruit against Miami with the bad news. Miami's talent is all in its upperclassmen, and thanks to Randy Shannon, the underclassmen are no better than an average-ACC level. Golden really needed this class to be a home run. We thought he could hit a double if everything went his way. He'll be lucky to leg out an infield single this year, and without that, Miami is going to lose a lot of games because of the mess Randy Shannon left. Figure 2-3 years to recover from that mess if Golden doesn't land an elite class... and that's before any official NCAA penalty. Miami is definitely in for a half-decade slump, and if things go really bad with the NCAA, the Canes could easily get passed up by USF and UCF and never get back in that third slot. If proved, it would be a shock if Miami wins more than 70 games in the next 10 years. Miami does not have the talent to be successful in 2012 and beyond, and even the threat of sanctions will make sure that doesn't change.
Anything else Miami should be worried about? Yes, money. We often remind readers how poor of a program the Hurricanes have financially. The last time Miami went on a massive probation, they were coming off a decade of dominance and national relevance. This time, not so much, having finished in the top 25 only once in the last four seasons. The crowds at Miami games will rival those at Wake and Duke, which is a big problem considering Miami's leased stadium seats twice as many as the places Wake and Duke call home.
Will this impact Miami's ability to get a stadium? That wasn't happening in Coral Gables, anyway, thanks to the lack of money and the local government's opposition. But whatever small chance someone insists Miami had of getting a stadium, that chance is now smaller.
Should FSU fans root for the death penalty? No. Not only will it not happen, but it would really hurt the ACC and could, in theory, decrease how much money FSU gets from the TV contract (again, this won't happen).
Should we get ready to put more weight on games against Clemson and Virginia Tech? Yes. Virginia Tech is an enormous favorite to win the division in the coming years thanks to this and the Carolina mess. FSU could play them 5 times in a 3-year span.