MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – The University of Miami Hurricanes won’t be going bowling this season, despite being bowl eligible. The Canes removed themselves from consideration for a bowl Sunday.
The move was made just 24 hours after the team became bowl eligible by beating the University of South Florida Bulls.
The Canes would likely have entered the bowl season with a 7-5 record as the team is likely to knock off the Boston College Eagles on Friday at Sun Life Stadium.
“Just shocked and disappointed,” head coach Al Golden said. “I was just laying in bed last night and the only thing that came to mind was Jake LaMotta from ‘Raging Bull.’ He never got knocked down. And I think that kind of personifies who we are right now.”
The decision has its roots at the Nevin Shapiro scandal that erupted at UM just before the regular season started. The scandal implicated the school in years of allowing a rogue booster to give improper benefits to multiple players.
The last time the Canes self-imposed a bowl ban was in 1995 during the Pell Grant scandal that crippled the program, according to CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald.
“Right now, I’m just happy to spend these last few days with my teammates,” said senior quarterback Jacory Harris.
Miami’s hope is that by self-imposing a bowl ban, it could mitigate the penalties that are likely to come from the NCAA investigation into the scandal.
The NCAA’s investigation is still underway and could take anywhere from six to 18 months to complete.
The team was called in for a special meeting Sunday and told of the self-imposed bowl ban. Before the ban, the team was projected to play in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl in Nashville, Tennessee, according to ESPN.com.
Miami was likely to face the Mississippi State Bulldogs from the Southeastern Conference in the Music City Bowl.
On the bright side for UM, Golden revealed Monday that there would be zero scholarship reductions in 2012.
The bigger question for the school now is whether head coach Al Golden will coach his final game this Friday against Boston College.
Golden’s name has been linked to Penn State University’s open coaching position, but that school is also looking at significant NCAA penalties for the sex abuse scandal.
Golden said that the decision to forego a bowl game was made independent of him, but that he supports the decision by the administration.
For Golden, his decision could rest on if he trusts the administration. The school didn’t tell him the details of the Nevin Shapiro scandal, and now the bowl decision was made without his knowledge.
For the seniors at the U, it will be a bittersweet game. After arriving at the school with much fanfare, the senior class will end their career at the school without a single bowl victory.
Overall, the University of Miami hasn’t won a bowl game since 2006 and is just 1-5 in the school’s last five bowl appearances.