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“Putting together last year’s class was hard, but it was new,” Golden said. “And the kids were only exposed from August to January. This year’s group was exposed to the toxicity for two years, which was like having a shadow follow you, wherever you went. You were always combating that and talking about that and trying to keep the opposition on the facts, which got lost a lot.”

Golden also said the NCAA’s public announcement of the external review of its own investigative practices hurt the Hurricanes _ even though, in actuality, the NCAA issues only hurt their own case and basically helped Miami’s cause.

“The parents who have jobs or are working every day and the young man who’s going to school every day and lifting after or playing basketball and then going home and doing homework, all they know after seeing that story is, `That’s a mess down there,’” Golden said. “They didn’t know it was a positive stroke for the University of Miami. All they know is that that fire got stoked again. And to have that two weeks out was an incredible impediment to our progress and to our program.”

“Those articles, regardless of whether it’s pointing to the positives for the University of Miami, were used as negatives by our attackers,” Golden continued.

One positive of the NCAA situation at Miami is this: It seems to have steeled the Hurricanes’ fan base.

A slogan _ “I Stand With The U” _ started catching on around the program since the NCAA probe was revealed publicly, and Golden is using it as part of his mantra with recruits and players right now.

“There’s going to be a lot of people who didn’t stand with us who are going to be remembered for not standing with us,” Golden said. “`I Stand With The U’ means this is tough right now. This is about as tough as it gets in our business. We’ve got a bunch of coaches and players that are digging in and rather than running are going to fight their way out of it. Now do you stand with us or not? And that is the truth. That is the truth. From my heart, that is the truth.”

Soon, he hopes, the unknown will be known.

A group of prospects for the 2014 class will be on campus this weekend. The first question they will all likely ask will be about the NCAA inquiry.

Golden won’t have an answer for them. At least, not yet.

“I’m confident that the 2014 group will not be impacted in any way by the current NCAA investigation,” Golden said. “But until the point that we make an unknown quantity known, we will continue to be assailed by the opposition in the most talented recruiting base in the country.”