Instead of hammering the University of Miami with more bowl bans, heavy scholarship reductions, and expunging its wins, the NCAA chose to not impose any bowl bans and only withhold nine football scholarships (and three for basketball) over a three-year period. In other words, the NCAA basically gave Miami a slap on the wrist for its past transgressions.
And while the NCAA seemingly did right by the University of Miami, I thought it should not have penalized the Hurricanes more and just let them be.
Granted, Miami did fuck up in several areas. First of all, it allowed Nevin Shapiro – a known slimy booster/convicted Ponzi schemer/glorified male groupie who lived vicariously through the football players – to run amok through the athletics department. He showered football and basketball players with gifts, money, and strippers among other things. There were photos of Miami administrators, which included president Donna Shalala, at events hosted by Shapiro. There was footage of Shapiro standing on the football field with the team during player introductions.
In short, Miami knew what was going on and turned a blind eye.
However, I believe Miami had served its penance. It self-imposed two consecutive bowl bans the last two seasons, including last season where it would have played in the ACC championship game. It also self-imposed scholarship restrictions and took extra steps in ensuring that another Nevin Shapiro would not happen again.
In other words, Miami was cooperative (and USC was not).
And don’t forget that the NCAA “Watergated” its own investigation. I knew the NCAA’s case was flimsy at best because it trusted the word of a convicted Ponzi schemer who kept changing his story by the minute and played the NCAA like fools (after all Ponzi schemers are good at lying). The NCAA made under the table payments to Shapiro’s lawyer (which, among other things, led to her disbarment).
Nevertheless, judging from the 2013 on-field product and the high ranks in recruiting, “The U” may very well be back. And the Atlantic Coast Conference is happier for it.