MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The news broke Monday morning that the University of Miami Hurricanes will self-impose a second-consecutive postseason ban on the football team. Word spread quickly and left fans, coaches and players disappointed over the decision.
“I can sense that among the players,” Hurricanes head coach Al Golden said. “We know and now we have a chance to move forward. As disappointed as we are, we’re just trying to pay tribute to the seniors and thank them for all they’ve given up and obviously we want to play really well for them on Saturday.”
Hurricanes starting quarterback Stephen Morris has had his best season as a member of the Hurricanes in 2012, but his and the rest of the team’s effort will not be enough to overcome the team’s need to try to mitigate any possible NCAA sanctions.
“I think the whole team is disappointed,” said Morris. “At the same time, we have to focus on moving forward. We have a great opponent in Duke and we can still do a lot of special things here at the University of Miami.”
Fans were a little more outspoken about the school’s decision.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” said UM student Megan Motley.
“I’m kind of upset and kind of frustrated,” said UM fan Derek Coe. “The kids have worked hard all year. It’s the second year in a row they’ve imposed the bowl ban and as a fan it just hurts, especially for the seniors.”
Some fans and students said the ultimate decision on a bowl ban should have been left to the NCAA and not been made by the school.
“Because I’m a senior it was really tough,” said UM student Shevaun Bryen. “I was hoping that we would not cause our own death at our own hand.”
The catch for UM is the NCAA could still decide to impose an additional bowl ban on the school depending on the severity of the findings in the Nevin Shapiro case. Given that UM has self-imposed a two-year bowl ban, it’s possible the school knows the hammer may be about to fall on the program.
The school could have another problem in the football department with head coach Al Golden. Rumors have started that Golden could be on the short-list of coaches at the University of Tennessee. The Vols recently fired Derek Dooley and are looking to start over.
Tennessee would be a marquee job without the possibility of harsh sanctions from the NCAA and a highly dedicated fan base. The Vols regularly draw 100,000 fans to games on Saturday even when the team is bad, while UM struggles to even halfway fill Sun Life Stadium.
UM interim athletic director Blake James said Monday that he believes Golden is in it for the long-term with UM and ready to turn the program around after the past two years of scandal.
“I will say, Al is very committed. When you look at the team that we have out on the field, you look at the young guys you have contributing to this program right now…we have a great future as a program and that credit goes to Al,” James said. “Al is very excited about, and committed to the future of the program here.”