Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Kill the Ibis. Kill the Ibis

(Elmer Fudd voice...)

Miami is in trouble. Miami has been in trouble before. Miami understands trouble. Miami grows trouble. Miami cultivates trouble. Miami breeds trouble. The problem with Miami lately, nobody cared because they weren't winning. Since 2004 they are tied for 5th on the wins list in the ACC. In no season did they have more than 9 wins. They have yet to compete for a conference title. It has been since the 2002 season since they were relevant to the football landscape. Heck, it's been 5 years since they won a bowl game. Wouldn't you think they would be better with that kind of money being thrown around, allegedly. Pryor won at least 10 games a year. Reggie Bush won a Heisman and a National Title. As did Cam Newton. They were singular players. Demaryius Thomas at least won an ACC title. What were they paying for in South Beach and Coral Gables?!

Currently, the NCAA is investigating the team and players to determine eligibility for this year. My feeling is that we are going to see another UNC situation with several players notified the end of next week that they will be sitting for the first few games. Depending on how things shake out, it could be a rough start to the season for the Canes: at Maryland, #18 Ohio State, Kansas State and at Virginia Tech all before October 8. If they are forced to sit all 15 players under investigation for the first 5 games, Uh Oh.

If found guilty on a bigger scale, which I don't see the NCAA making a ruling for quite some time, it could mean bigger issues. The suits at the top has all discussed tougher penalties, stiffer control, and sending messages to other schools. Should the death penalty be levied against the Canes? Well, yes and no.

If USC got whacked for lack of Institutional Control and the "should have known" clause, then the Canes won't see the football field for 10 years. A booster giving checks for large sums of money, cussing out the compliance director at halftime in a private box, offering $1million to coach the team, standing on sidelines religiously and even leading the Canes out of the smoke in the Orange Bowl, the Miami equivalent of dotting the I at Ohio State. If this does not spell lack of Institutional control than nothing does. And the "should have known" thing...well, they did know.

Cleaning up the game and giving the Canes the death penalty would hopefully set a precedent for the remaining 115 schools competing for the National Title. Given Miami's past and what has transpired from them previously, they must be dealt with now. If not, if you are Alabama, Texas, Ohio State, TCU, Washington, UConn, etc why wouldn't you follow suit and start paying large sums of money to your players. There wouldn't be a worry about pay-for-play for the NCAA, the market would figure it out because Miami was allowed to get away with it. Have you seen the show "Scared Straight"? The NCAA should be filming a new episode soon...let's hope. Enough of the Ibis and the crooked ways.

And the no:
Killing Miami football would affect more than just Miami. Directly, the (clean) players that are there now would be devastated by past indiscretions. Even more directly, the remaining ACC schools would be hurt for years to come. Why would ESPN keep the tv contract when, let's be honest, one of the 3 big draws from the ACC would not be playing (or be allowed on TV for a period of time following.) A canceled TV contract, the inability to play against the Canes if you go to an opposing school, an uneven number of football teams in this day and age of musical chairs for conferences means that the NCAA probably won't kill the Ibis. There is too much money spread over too many teams to simply look directly at one school. Here's hoping that the NCAA suits figure out a stiff penalty, worse than USC's that will send the message to all schools out there and make them fly straight from here on out.

(That being said, I'm not a promoter of this, but if Miami is given the death penalty, Virginia Tech should run to the SEC as quickly as they can...)

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