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Golden’s First Big Call: Start Or Sit Players Named By Shapiro

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MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – First-year University of Miami head football coach Al Golden will face a tough decision in the not too distant future. Coach Golden must choose to either play the 12 players alleged to be part of Nevin Shapiro’s claims or sit them.

The allegations from the jailed former UM booster includes a who’s-who of NFL players and several current Miami Hurricanes players as having received gifts, money, favors, etc.

One of the most prominent names from the current Hurricanes team is quarterback Jacory Harris. Currently, Harris is locked in a battle with backup Stephen Morris to see which quarterback will start the season opener against Maryland.

Reports from UM’s training camp have Harris looking like he will win the job, but Golden has yet to name his starter.

And this is where Golden has to walk a tight-rope. The NCAA hasn’t said one way or the other about the eligibility of the 12 players implicated by Shapiro. But, UM could choose to sit them while the investigation plays out or until the NCAA gives a ruling on their eligibility.

There’s a precedent that was set last year by former UM and UNC head coach Butch Davis. The Tar Heels lost several star players the day before the season started last year after they were implicated in a pay-for-play scandal.

So far, Golden has said he will play all of his players unless told otherwise by the school administration or the NCAA.

If the named players take the field and are later found to be ineligible, the Canes could be forced to forfeit any games the players participated in.

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