“They’ll still be motivating us,” said Joel Figueroa, named Miami’s left tackle earlier Tuesday. “We’re going to welcome them back with open arms, and we know they’ll be ready to perform when the time comes.”
The process of evaluating the eligibility of Miami student-athletes might not be over yet. Miami President Donna Shalala revealed last week that university compliance personnel were investigating 15 student-athletes. Of those, 13 were addressed by Tuesday’s football decisions. A 14th is believed to be basketball player DeQuan Jones, who was also implicated by Shapiro’s claims to Yahoo Sports. The identity of the 15th is unknown.
It may be senior wide receiver Aldarius Johnson _ who was also implicated by Shapiro, but not named in Tuesday’s NCAA statement. Golden said Tuesday afternoon, as the NCAA news was being announced, that Johnson is suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules.
“We clearly have identified what our travel team is now,” Golden said. “Everybody’s going to get their roles (Wednesday) and by 7 a.m. we’re going to be back on the practice field. That’s been kind of our sanctum anyway. That’s been the safest place for us this whole time.”
The NCAA said Vernon must sit six games and repay more than $1,200 because as a recruit he accepted things such as access to Shapiro’s suite at a Miami home game, drinks and cover charges at two different nightclubs. Shapiro, who told Yahoo Sports for a story published Aug. 16 that he provided benefits to 72 Miami players and recruits over an eight-year span, has even said that he made a $1,000 donation to Vernon’s high school booster club.
Armstrong must repay $788, the believed worth of his extra benefits, while Dye will pay back $738.
“The student-athletes involved have acknowledged receiving improper benefits and will now be responsible for restitution,” Eichorst said.
Forston, the NCAA said, received more than $400 in things such as “athletic equipment, meals, nightclub cover charges and entertainment at a gentleman’s club.” Spence received about $275 in benefits, Ojomo $240, Benjamin more than $150 and Harris more than $140.
Brandon McGee, JoJo Nicholas, Vaughn Telemaque and Micanor Regis all must pay less than $100 for taking various impermissible benefits. Regis was not one of the players Shapiro said accepted benefits. The sanctions of those four players were announced by the university, which is operating a joint investigation with the NCAA.
“I’m glad that chapter is closed,” Golden said. “I’m proud of our guys. I think they were, from every report I’ve gotten, were honest and forthright. And now we get ready for the University of Maryland.”
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