MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – The University of Miami faces a unknown future, but head coach Al Golden is getting support from many of his fellow coaches in the Atlantic Coast Conference, including one of Miami’s biggest rivals.
“You don’t want that to happen to anybody,” Florida State Seminoles head coach Jimbo Fisher said about UM’s situation. Fisher went on to wish Golden “nothing but the best.”
The Hurricanes will be without several key starters for the season opener against Maryland related to the players’ involvement with jailed former UM booster Nevin Shapiro. A few of those players will be out a longer time.
The Shapiro scandal has cast a dark shadow over the football program and over Golden’s first year as head coach. But his ACC peers are all on board with Golden’s ability to bring the U back from the brink.
“I understand kind of what he’s going through,” said Georgia Tech’s Paul Johnson. “It’s a tough deal and I think Al’s a tough guy. He’ll get through it.”
Johnson’s own team had to return its 2009 ACC championship trophy after the NCAA ruled a player should have been ruled ineligible before the championship game.
The coach of Miami’s first opponent, Randy Edsall, said he spoke with Golden throughout the process and that UM’s coach assured him the depth chart would be provided as soon as the NCAA ruled on the eligibility of those players.
“I’ve just told our guys, what we have to focus on is Maryland what we have to do in order to go out and perform to the best of our ability,” Edsall said. “I know Miami is very talented and they’ve got a lot of very good players. And even though there’s going to be some of those young men that aren’t going to be coming with them as they make the trip north Sunday to play Monday, those other young men who are going to step in have been very eager, very hungry.”
Fisher and Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer said they are also using the UM story as a means to educate their players of what is expected of them when it comes to NCAA rules.
“Before that Miami situation occurred, we always talked to our guys,” Fisher said. “We tried to educate them in every way, shape, and form about the pitfalls out there that go on in the world today and the way folks get to you. That’s something as a coach, you constantly educate your kids all the time.”
“I think your responsibility is to educate your kids,” Beamer added. “They know what’s right and wrong and they’re responsible for their actions.”
Golden’s support is coming from across the country because he wasn’t involved in the violations. The main message is to keep his head up and not give up.
“It’s unfortunate that he inherited that situation. He didn’t cause the problem,” Edsall said. “I just told him, ‘Hey, just keep looking forward and keep doing what you’re going to do and you’ll be fine.’ That’s really all he can do.”
(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)