CORAL GABLES (CBSMiami.com) – Eight University of Miami student athletes ineligible for team’s opening game for their alleged involvement with the Nevin Shapiro scandal, according to CBS4 News partner The Miami Herald.
UM has reportedly asked the NCAA to initiate the reinstatement process.
According to a source close to the investigation, one of the athletes involved is senior football quarterback Jacory Harris. All eight athletes are all believed to be football players.
Head coach Al Golden said he would release the names of the players who are eligible for the Labor Day home opener by next Tuesday. Including Harris, players who could be sidelined include , starting defensive tackle Marcus Forston, receivers Travis Benjamin and Aldarius Johnson, linebacker Sean Spence, and safety Ray-Ray Armstrong among others.
Four other athletes were not declared ineligible because their alleged involvement with Shapiro amounted to no more than $100, something the school thinks can be paid back, usually to a charity.
According to the paper, the university had to rule the players ineligible to ensure the players have a chance to play in the season opener. If not, the school risked a harsher penalty by the NCAA.
The NCAA will now review each players case individually and make a decision to reinstate them, or force them to sit out games.
After practice Thursday, Golden said he and his players are trying to remain focused.
“We’re just coaching the team and trying to move forward in practice with enough guys. I don’t know what the future will bring. I know sometime soon we’ll find out about suspensions and penalties,” said Golden.
“I try not to pay attention to what is going on on the outside and to things that don’t affect us,” said wide receiver Garrett Kidd. “Try and stay even keeled as the team.”
But, the NCAA has to have enough time to evaluate each player’s situation before it can rule on the player’s eligibility. The NCAA has said it should have a decision on sanctions against UM within the next six to seven months.
In addition, as CBSSports.com reported this week, a player implicated could possibly be granted limited immunity for his part in the investigation if he agreed to talk to the NCAA in-depth about the current scandal.
The scandal erupted after former UM booster, and convicted Ponzi schemer, Nevin Shapiro detailed in a lengthy Yahoo! Sports investigation how he gave current and former players illegal benefits including money, gifts, entertainment, among other items.
There is a catch-22 for UM when it comes to reinstatement. As the Herald pointed out, the reinstatement process is separate from the investigation of the school. But, if the player lies to get reinstated and is caught by the NCAA, the penalties for the school get worse, according to the Herald.