MIAMI ( – Believe. It’s just one word, but it could be the key to figuring out whether Miami Hurricanes head coach Al Golden will return to the school in 2012.

Golden was asked during a weekly conference call if he was positive that he will be the head coach at the U in 2012. Golden responded, “I believe I’m going to be the head coach at Miami in 2012, that’s correct.”

Golden’s worst left a huge door open if he wants to pursue another coaching opportunity during the off-season.

Plus, with the head coaching job open at his alma mater; speculation regarding his future has taken off in recent weeks.

It’s not hard to imagine that Golden is still a little bit upset over the circumstances that greeted him at Miami. He wasn’t told of the depth of the Nevin Shapiro scandal until Yahoo! Sports’ expose lifted the curtain on a program’s dirty laundry.

Golden has done a great job with the school during the season that started off with such turmoil. Golden’s team has his team poised to finish with a 7-5 record if they can knock off a woeful Boston College team on Friday.

But, Miami won’t be going bowling after a decision was made to forego a bowl game this season in anticipation of the NCAA slapping a bowl ban on the team for the Shapiro allegations.

The bowl decision was made without Golden’s input, though he has said he agreed with the move.

Golden’s contract reportedly pays him roughly $2 million per season. He’s in the first season of the five-year contract, but if other school’s come calling; Miami will have to decide if it wants to pony up more cash to keep Golden on the sidelines.

For Golden the decision could be a bit tougher. Miami is facing potentially stiff sanctions from the NCAA from the Nevin Shapiro case, but the worst of the scandal has passed for the school.

On the other hand, Penn State’s child rape scandal has just exploded in recent weeks and the school will need an entire makeover of its administration.

Golden would also be taking over for the legendary Joe Paterno who was fired in the wake of the scandal.

Penn State is also facing potentially devastating penalties if the NCAA finds that the school was guilty of lack of institutional control, the most severe charge from the NCAA.

Penn State’s scandal reaching all the way to the school president seems to be the poster-child for lack of institutional control.

Golden has repeatedly said that he likes living in South Florida and that he’s happy with his gig at Miami. But, until he firmly states that he’s going to be the head coach at Miami, the speculation over his future will continue.

Of course, given the history of at least one coach in Miami saying, “I’m not going to be the Alabama coach,” even a guarantee may not satisfy some Hurricanes fans.


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