CORAL GABLES (CBSMiami) — Spirits remained high among University of Miami fans Monday night as the Hurricanes await the NCAA’s announcement about sanctions.
“We’re expecting the worst, hoping for the best,” said Rick Roca, one of dozens of fans gathered at the Sandbar Sports Grill in Coconut Grove to watch Coach Al Golden and Hurricanes players record a radio show.
Fans said they stand behind the coach, the team, and the university and they want to put behind them the scandal involving Nevin Shapiro, the former UM booster and current federal prisoner who’s accused of giving lavish gifts to Miami athletes.
“Al Golden has already done what needs to be done so I think the damage is already done. It’s over with and we’re full speed ahead,” Edgar Cruz said.
Full speed ahead and rising through the rankings, the undefeated Canes were just ranked 7th in the BCS standings. Many fans think the timing of the NCAA announcement is no coincidence.
For more on the NCAA decision, click here.
“Why now? Because we’re number seven now, we matter so now let’s bring them down when they matter. When we didn’t matter nobody cared. We punished ourselves when it didn’t matter,” Roca added.
On campus, students tried to stay focused on the team’s winning season.
“We’re doing awesome this season, finally,” said Elizabeth Chung, a senior.
“Everyone’s going crazy. It’s a huge football school. It’s great to see us go 6-0 no matter what the conditions,” added Sean Steinberg.
Students hope the NCAA will take the university’s actions into account when issuing a punishment.
“We’ve banned ourselves from a couple of bowls now that we probably would have been able to win so it’s kind of crippled the program a little bit, but we’re coming out strong,” said Steinberg.
Students and hope whatever the punishment may be it won’t take away from their winning season.
“Hopefully we’ll be able to keep performing at that top ten level if not better regardless of what the sanctions come out to be,” said Steinberg.