- Associated Press - Thursday, August 25, 2011

CORAL GABLES, FLA. (AP) - Miami has determined that eight football players, including quarterback Jacory Harris, are believed to have committed NCAA violations by associating with booster Nevin Shapiro and have been declared ineligible, said a person with knowledge of the process.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Thursday because no one is authorized to discuss the ongoing investigations by the university and the NCAA. Shapiro is a convicted Ponzi scheme architect serving a 20-year prison sentence for bilking $930 million from investors, and his claims have cast a long shadow over Miami’s season before it even begins.

Simply being declared ineligible now doesn’t necessarily mean a player would miss any time this season. The Miami Herald first reported the decision to declare the players ineligible.

Under NCAA rules, when a school finds violations have occurred, the athlete typically is declared ineligible and the NCAA begins a reinstatement process. The NCAA will also decide if that player needs to miss any games. And the clock is running: Miami opens the season at Maryland on Sept. 5.

“The school must declare the student-athlete ineligible and then can seek reinstatement,” NCAA spokesperson Stacey Osburn said.

Earlier Thursday, Miami coach Al Golden suggested that the depth chart might not be announced until Tuesday. All of the players implicated by Shapiro in a story published by Yahoo Sports were practicing Thursday, and have been on the field throughout the process.

“We’ll make sure we practice enough guys because we really don’t know what the future brings,” Golden said. “Hopefully we’ll find out pretty quickly here in the near future if there are any penalties or suspensions, and we’ll adjust accordingly.”

Golden said he has a plan for which personnel to use against the Terrapins. And another plan, just in case. And, well, another plan, in case things change some more.

“All of the above,” Golden said.

Harris and all other Miami players implicated by claims that Shapiro provided dozens of Hurricanes with extra benefits like cash, cars, gifts and sex for the better part of a decade returned to the practice field Thursday after a brief break for the start of the academic year.

Sean Spence led the Hurricanes in a pre-practice chant that left some onlookers doubled over in laughter. Harris took his spot at the front of a stretching group, a position typically reserved for starters.

Say this for the `Canes: They’re trying to carry on some sense of business-as-usual.

“Any projections or anything like that, all it is is speculation,” Golden said.

Golden also said that in what he believes to be accordance with Atlantic Coast Conference policy, the Hurricanes will divulge their depth chart to the Terrapins before releasing anything publicly.

“It’s tough because I know how much hard work they put in over there,” said former Hurricanes receiver Reggie Wayne, now with the Indianapolis Colts. “I hope everything turns out right for them, but the one thing about it is it will bring everyone closer together.”

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