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AP source: Miami awaiting eligibility decisions
Question of the Day
CORAL GABLES, FLA. (AP) - Miami quarterback Jacory Harris is one of eight Hurricanes who has been declared ineligible after a university investigation found that the players likely committed NCAA violations by associating with booster Nevin Shapiro, 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. He was a Miami booster for much of the past decade.
Simply being declared ineligible now doesn’t necessarily mean a player would miss any time this season.
Under NCAA rules, when a school finds violations have occurred, the athlete typically is declared ineligible so the NCAA may begin a reinstatement process. The NCAA will also decide if that player needs to miss any games.
And the clock is running: Miami opens 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.
Shapiro claims he provided dozens of Hurricanes, and some recruits who went elsewhere, with extra benefits from 2002 through 2010.
On Thursday, the `Canes had a sense of business-as-usual. 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.
“Any projections or anything like that, all it is is speculation,” Golden said.
Spence and Harris are among two of the biggest names wrapped up in the scandal _ Spence is considered by many to be Miami’s best defensive player and one of the top linebackers in the ACC. Harris has played 36 games at quarterback for the Hurricanes in his first three seasons.
University officials haven’t commented publicly on the specifics of the process. Miami President Donna Shalala said this week that 15 student-athletes _ she did not specify names or teams _ were being investigated by university compliance personnel. Shapiro told Yahoo Sports that he provided benefits to 72 athletes, 65 of whom played football for Miami. Of those, 12 are current football players, and one is a member of the men’s basketball team.
By Scott Pinsker
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