The NCAA says 12 members of the Miami Hurricanes football program, including starting quarterback Jacory Harris, accepted impermissible gifts and benefits from rogue booster Nevin Shapiro and will face sanctions as a result.
But only eight of the players face suspensions for their actions and none will lose an entire season provided they repay the amount of the illegal benefit. The NCAA handed out suspensions of one to six games for the players, while four others simply have to repay the amount they wrongfully accepted and will not miss any game time.
The punishments certainly seem a lot less than what they could have been or were expected to be.
"I think it was probably fair," first-year Miami coach Al Golden told the Associated Press on Tuesday night. "Clearly, whatever transpired, it wasn't as over-the-top as everybody was initially reporting.... The NCAA and the university felt there was mistakes made ... and I've accepted that. And now we're moving forward."
Harris is one of five members of the Hurricanes who will only have to miss Monday’s season opener at Maryland, after all accepting less than $500 each in impermissible gifts and benefits. Harris’s total, for instance is approximately $140 he must repay. Defensive lineman Oliver Vernon had the largest total of more than $1,200 and he must sit out the Hurricanes first six games.
Some might see this as a slap on the wrist for the Hurricanes, but it’s also just the beginning. The NCAA has only recently began its investigation into the allegations by Shapiro to Yahoo! Sports of providing Miami athletes with impermissible gifts and benefits over an eight-year period.
But for now, the Hurricanes can begin to move forward under their first-year head coach.
"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."
(Photo: Associated PressAP)